Motor Trend – Angus MacKenzie – Jaguar E Type 

“What makes this EV conversion special is that it’s truly plug-and-play.  The result is a classic car you can genuinely use as a daily driver, a ride that’s more likely to nail the primo parking spot out front of a chic hotel or nightclub than any modern supercar.” 

Original article published 3 July 2023

Convincing Conversion: Electrogenic E-Type EV Sports Car First Drive 

Want a classic car, but don’t want the mechanical headaches? Electrogenic’s plug-and-play EV powertrains could be the answer. 

Classic cars are great fun if you have nowhere to go, and all day to get there. And it helps if you don’t mind rolling up your sleeves and getting into the oily bits when stuff goes wrong, as it inevitably will in a machine built when The Beach Boys were still singing about little deuce coupes and big-block Chevys. It takes dedication and determination to use a classic car as a daily driver, especially one from Europe. You can buy bits for old Chevys and Fords and Mopars almost anywhere in the U.S. Finding a water pump gasket for a 1962 Jaguar E-Type engine takes a little more effort. You don’t have to worry about such things in an Electrogenic E-Type all-electric sports car conversion.  

From the outside it has all the 1960s swank and style of one of the most beautiful sportscars ever built. Underneath, however, is a powertrain that’s as trouble-free as a Tesla’s. That’s right, the Electrogenic E-Type is electric powered, its 3.8-liter, triple carb straight-six replaced with an electric motor nestled in the transmission tunnel and two battery packs, one located under the hood and one in the space where the gas tank used to be. 

Jaguar E-Type EV Conversion 

What makes this EV conversion special is that it’s truly plug-and-play: You simply unbolt and remove the Jaguar’s ICE, its transmission and gas tank, and bolt in the modular Electrogenic EV powertrain kit—e-motor, inverter, battery packs, and control system. You don’t need to cut any sheet metal, or even drill a single new hole. Your precious old Jaguar isn’t mutilated, and its value compromised, and the EV conversion can be easily reversed at any time. 

The result is a classic car you can genuinely use as a daily driver, a ride that’s more likely to nail the primo parking spot out front of a chic hotel or nightclub than any modern supercar. 

Electrogenic Background 

UK-based Electrogenic was founded six years ago by Steve Drummond, a mechanical engineer and renewable energy pioneer who started his career in the nuclear power industry, and Ian Newstead, a mechanic who in 1995 began restoring vintage air-cooled Volkswagens and Porsches. The pair met when Newstead, who is, ironically, allergic to gasoline fumes, convinced Drummond that an electric powertrain would allow the classic Volkswagen he was trying to sell him to be driven regularly. 

As Drummond and Newstead researched the project, they realized they could between them design and engineer superior EV powertrain components and systems for retrofitting into in classic cars than many of those then available on the market. Electrogenic was born. The company was originally planned to be a business-to-business operation, says Electrogenic’s head of brand Vic Crofts, but Covid saw a pivot to a business-to-consumer model, driven by demand from wealthy clients for bespoke conversions of classic cars to electric power. 

EV Conversion Kits 

Electrogenic still does bespoke conversions, most of which use low voltage e-motors driving through the old cars’ original transmissions, and all designed and engineered in-house to meet the customer’s precise requirements. But the company quickly realized there was demand for bolt-in powertrain kits that turned popular classic cars into easy-to-use EVs. “There’s a younger generation who like the look of older cars, but don’t want to get involved with a carburetor,” says Electrogenic’s lead design engineer, Alex Bavage. 

The current lineup of Electrogenic EV kits includes powertrains and battery packs for Jaguar E-type coupes and convertibles, as well as for pre-2016 Land Rover Defenders, Land Rover Series I, II and III models, 964 and earlier Porsche 911s, Triumph Stags, and original Minis. All the kits feature OEM-standard high voltage e-motors with single speed transmissions and battery packs put together in pre-assembled modules that can be bolted into the cars by qualified technicians using existing mounting points and supported by additional brackets where needed. 

E-Type EV Conversion Options 

The Electrogenics Series I E-Type convertible featured here is fitted with Electrogenic’s E43 kit, which combines a 160-hp e-motor with the 43kW/h battery pack. A 200-hp e-motor and a 48kW/h battery pack is also available (marketed as the E48 kit) while the E-Type coupe, which has more space under the rear floor, can be ordered with the E63 kit, which features a 63kW/h battery for customers who want the longest driving range. The E43 kit has a 350V architecture, while the E48 and E63 kits are 400V. All are controlled by power system software designed in-house by Electrogenic. 

The 160 hp e-motor is mounted longitudinally in the transmission tunnel, where the original four-speed manual transmission was located, and sends 420 lb-ft of torque to the wheels via a fixed ratio single speed transmission and the standard E-type prop-shaft and differential. That’s enough the get the Electrogenic E-Type convertible to 60 mph in less than 6.0 seconds, which is almost half a second quicker than the car could have managed straight out the factory back in 1962 with its 265-hp straight-six gas engine under the hood. 

Improved Performance, Lighter Weight 

The improved performance is down to the e-motor’s instant-on torque, the fact that you don’t have to shift gears, and because the Electrogenic conversion trims 110-130 pounds from the E-Type’s overall weight. That’s right. This is an electric car that’s lighter than its ICE equivalent. 

The overall gearing is roughly similar to having the ICE car permanently in second gear, says Alex Bavage, but because the e-motor spins to 12,000 rpm, the Electrogenic E-Type will still hit 120 mph. No, it’s not as fast as the original—in 1961, Britain’s Autocar magazine took a 3.8-liter E-Type coupe fitted with Dunlop racing tires (and probably a carefully optimized, hand-built engine) to a verified 150.4 mph (while posting a best 0-60mph time of 6.9 seconds). But it’s fast enough in what seems these days to be a small open top car. 

Keeping the Original Character 

Relatively light weight helps the range, too. Even though a 43kW/h battery isn’t that large, and, despite its looks, the E-Type was designed in an era before computer-aided aero design and low rolling resistance tires, Electrogenic says the E43 E-Type has a range of just over 150 miles. The 200-hp E48 and E63 models, which each weigh about the same as the ICE powered E-Type, will travel 160 and 200 miles respectively between charges, despite having 40 more horsepower and a 140mph top speed. 

Electrogenic aims to preserve as much of the original car’s character as possible. Our tester still has the iconic E-Type twin exhausts—now non-functioning, of course—sweeping up from under the rear of the car. Only the lack of a shifter in the cockpit gives any clue this isn’t your average classic Jaguar. 

Jag Dash 

The Jaguar dash looks just as it did in 1962, but the instruments aren’t quite what they seem. The ammeter shows the state of charge of the 12V system used to run the car’s ancillaries, the fuel gauge the EV battery pack state of charge, the oil pressure gauge the temperature of the inverter, and the water temperature gauge the temperature of the e-motor. The tach shows how fast the e-motor is spinning, though as it only reads to 6000 rpm you must look at a number and double it. Only the speedo operates the way Jaguar intended. 

Taking Off 

Foot on brake and select drive. The powertrain software has been configured to give the car a strong low-speed creep, so the Jaguar oozes away from a standstill the moment you lift your foot off the brake. Press the accelerator and the old girl whooshes away with a whirr and a whine instead of the charismatic straight-six snarl of the ICE original. 

Weight Distribution 

Noise apart, though, it drives pretty much exactly like a 1962 Jaguar E-Type, which means heavy steering and a curious rhumba from the rear end in faster corners. The battery packs are mounted low in the car, and, crucially, ensure a 47/53 front to rear weight distribution, which is marginally better than that of the ICE original. Initial turn-in response is thus slightly crisper, but you’re always aware you’re working through a lot of compliance in the suspension when asking the old girl to change direction in a hurry. 

Seamless Handover 

Brake feel is impressively good, the Electrogenic software doing a brilliant job of blending the regenerative braking effect so characteristic of a modern EV powertrain with the feel of a 60-year-old four-wheel disc brake system. The handover is seamless. 

Sport Mode 

Our car has three different drive modes, selected via what was the original map light toggle switch on the E-Type’s dash. The down position is normal mode, the mid position is eco mode, and flicking the switch up activates sport mode. Each has noticeably different levels of accelerator pedal response and lift-off regen, which also varies with vehicle speed. We liked sport mode, which endowed the old Jag with sprightly acceleration away from the lights, and good sensitivity to accelerator inputs through corners. 


Electrogenic’s software is such that the company can tune your car to feel the way you want it to feel in any mode. In Land Rovers, for example, the highest regen modes provides the equivalent of modern Hill Descent Control. (Fun fact: While, like the other Electrogenic kits, the classic Land Rover EV powertrains are single, speed direct drive, the low range transfer case is retained, which means they have a genuine off-road gear.) 

Electrogenic E-Type Is Well-Sorted 

Based on our experience with the E-Type, Electrogenic’s EV kits are impressively well resolved. But that comes at a price. Take your old E-Type to one of Electrogenic’s three U.S. installation partners—Xerbera in Dallas, Texas; InoKinetic/Drakan Cars in Murrieta, California; and Whittam Engineering in Trenton, New Jersey—and it will cost you about $120,000 to have the EV kit installed. 

Electrogenic E-Type a Bargain? 

No, it’s not cheap. In fact, $120,000 is about what an original 1962 3.8-liter E-Type roadster in decent drivable condition is currently worth, though one in excellent condition now costs close to $300,000, while a concours winner commands a $400,000 price tag. But there’s this: The list of open-top electric-powered sports cars you can buy right now is vanishingly small. And those that are coming, such as the GranCabrio version of Maserati’s GranTurismo Folgore, will all likely cost close to $200,000, or more. 

And none will look quite as cool as a Jaguar E-Type. 

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