Are there any cars you can’t convert?
No, but for cars younger than about 1990 it is usually not worth the cost. In about 1990 cars started acquiring body control modules and VCUs that did more than just control the engine. This means we have to interface with someone else’s electronics, and this is time-consuming and expensive. So, it’s better to convert pre-1990 cars, plus models that kept their simplicity all the way to the end of their runs, like the classic Land Rover Defender (2015) and the classic Mini.
We don’t convert motorbikes, as the design work and manufacturing techniques need to be intricate and it’s not economical.
We don’t currently convert buses or trucks.
What classics are best suited to conversion?
It’s all about the range between charges. Heavier vehicles go fewer miles between charges, but there has to be enough space for batteries. Our classic Mini Kit, for example, is light but there is little room for batteries under the bonnet. So we can give it stunning performance, and if you don’t buy the range extender (which fits in the boot), it has a range of about 80 miles. A Rolls Royce Silver Shadow is heavy but has lots of space for batteries. The perfect compromise is a Porsche 911, which is light and streamlined, so a relatively small battery pack can give you 200+ miles on a single charge.
And it depends on how you intend to use your electric classic. The average journey for any car in the UK is under 30 miles and the most frequent journey is one mile, so most people’s daily commute, school run or shopping trip is easily accomplished by even the smallest battery pack.
Have a good think about how you intend to use your Retro-EV, and then talk to us.
Can I fit one of your kits myself?
Right now, only the classic Mini kit. The reason is that uniquely, with this kit the whole drivetrain is built on a replacement front subframe and commissioned in our works. This means all you have to do is add the wheels and brakes, bolt the assembly into your Mini and wire up the throttle and dashboard. Crucially this means that as long as you treat the kit with respect, you don’t have to get involved with the HV at all.
All of our other kits (and the Mini range extender battery) have to be fitted by one of our partner-installers. This is because that although the majority of the fit is factory-built, they still need to run HV cables, plumb in charge points, etc., and we can’t test the whole of the system until it is installed in the car. So we train our partner-installers to do this.
Will you be producing kits for American cars?
Yes! You need to be patient but we are busy establishing a kit manufacturing works in the USA, and when this is operational we will be working with our US colleagues on a range of kits for American classics.
How much will it cost to convert my classic car?
How long is a piece of string?
It depends on the specification and the complexity of the build. The biggest costs are driven by high-power motors (performance) and large battery packs (range). Our kits are the lowest cost entry point, with bespoke conversions costing a bit more. The classic Mini kit starts at £15,000 (+VAT) for self-install, and costs for a high-specification kit fitted in a performance vehicle can top £100,000. It really depends, so call us and talk to us about the EV of your dreams.
How long does a conversion take?
The installation of one of our drop-in kits takes a few weeks, and a bespoke build can take a year or more. It depends on the amount of new engineering we need to do.
Will my classic car lose something when it is converted?
Only its engine and fuel tank! Plus the noise, oil and unreliability.
We don’t drill any holes or cut any of the bodywork, so the conversion is fully reversible… but once you have driven your new Retro-EV, you will never want to go back. Most electric conversions involve a significant increase in power, and all include a big increase in torque. This makes it a renewed pleasure to drive, and enables you to more than keep up with modern traffic. Once converted, many of our Retro-EVs become daily drivers.
How much does an Electrogenic R-EV cost to own?
Almost nothing! The big savings are:
- no depreciation – you are stepping into a classic car that will retain its value, not a new vehicle that will lose 20% of its value when you drive it off the forecourt and then date far too quickly
- no road tax or MOT (it’s a classic!) – though you should have an annual check for your own peace of mind
- no engine maintenance – just the usual brakes and suspension checks
- no escalating fuel costs – your new motor is more than 95% efficient and is not fuelled by a diminishing resource