19th Aug, 2019
Across the world, a movement is growing. Inspired by the steady advances made in electric vehicle technology, its proponents are driven (pun absolutely intended) by a desire to preserve the supremely beautiful aesthetics of classic cars, while retrofitting their interiors with newer technology befitting a high-tech modern age.
Converting these classic cars into electric vehicles is a somewhat delicate art, but it’s one that’s being especially well-received by owners of the classic cars themselves. After all, if you owned a historic VW Beetle, you wouldn’t want to scrap your car – but it would be a whole lot more tempting to give it a fresh lease of life as an electric vehicle!
It’s a fairly simple process in theory – although obviously, the reality is a lot more complex. It involves taking out the engine and fuel tank, and instead replacing them with a battery and motor, which itself is often connected to the old gearbox. Throughout the process, the engineers make a conscious effort to change as little as possible so that the process is reversible. The parts come from new vehicles from the likes of Nissan and Tesla, and most converters use a mix of new and recovered parts to make the transformation possible.
It’s not just updates of existing cars, either. Some of these converters offer quite an impressive range of additional services. As well as converting your classic car to electric, they’ll also source and build an electric classic car to your specification, or simply supply the tools you need to do the job yourself.
Right now, of course, these conversions aren’t cheap. The average job will cost something in the region of a teeth-clenching £20,000. But as the proponents point out, the more it’s done, the cheaper it gets.
As you might expect, we strongly approve of it here at Scrap Car Network. It’s an ethos that fits perfectly with our own mission to minimise waste, chiefly by re-using, re-selling and recycling any parts that might otherwise end up on a landfill. Similarly, it avoids the unnecessary scrapping of millions of otherwise functional petrol car bodies. It also provides a neat partial solution to the issue of e-waste, which is one of the most pressing environmental problems of our time. The complex makeup of many electronic materials means it’s more difficult for them to be effectively recycled, but using batteries from old electronics like laptops can be useful elements in converting the car to cleaner electric energy.
Plus, it helps to circumvent on of the main criticisms of electric cars, namely their practicality. Electric cars currently have limited range, so they can’t go for very long distances without having to stop for a recharge. However, classic cars are unlikely to be taken on long cross-country jaunts anyway, or used as commuter cars. Instead, most of them will only be driven for relatively short distances, and rarely enough that the relatively frequent recharges won’t factor in quite as much.
As for the converters themselves, there are a couple of competing reasons for their motivations. Some are blending their passion for the environment with their passion for cars (the two aren’t always compatible!). Some, on the other hand, are happy to leave the environmentalism to others. In a world increasingly focused on developing ever-more advanced technology to combat the threat of climate change, they see it as their job to ‘save the car’.
However, they all share the same love for the automobiles themselves, and whatever their individual reasons for doing so, there’s a lot to be said for the people making these legendary cars cleaner, quieter and more efficient, while simultaneously preserving everything that made them classics in the first place.
Here at Scrap Car Network, our talents lie in a related but slightly different direction. We have over 40 years of experience to our name in effectively, efficiently recycling every vehicle we process. Right now, we guarantee to recycle at least 95% of your car, but we’re working on getting this figure up to 100%. With your help, we’re slowly getting there! Just enter your car reg and postcode into the fields on our homepage, and you can get an instant online valuation of your car in as little as 10 seconds!