Electric GT Built a Plug-and-Play Crate Motor to Convert Classic Cars to EVs
Yes, you even get to keep your manual transmission
The act of converting a vintage car into an electric vehicle is not new, but for some, it’s always been too sacrilegious to stomach. Too much had to be changed. Too much of the original spirit of the car seemed to disappear. Then Electric GT came along.
The California company, which started in 2014 and made headlines with its electric Magnum, P.I. Ferrari, has a new EV conversion solution: a plug-and-play crate motor that looks like its gas-powered forebear. As The New York Times reported after testing it out for themselves, the “battery-powered drive system” is so intuitive for those used to gasoline cars that it “allows professional restorers or even enterprising home mechanics to convert vintage gasoline cars to run on electricity.”
The best part of all? You get to keep your stick shift. Well, it’s more than that. The New York Times writes that the proprietary system “is designed exclusively for manual-transmission cars.” Instead of classic car owners feeling like they’re giving up their history to technology they don’t understand, Electric GT’s solution respects that history, while also offering a cleaner running car that owners won’t have to fuss over.
“This is for enthusiasts who love their cars but want something reliable that’s good for a weekend drive,” Electric GT co-founder Eric Hutchison told the Times.
Can’t quite picture what this looks like in real life? Here’s a walk-around video of one:
Interested? Electric GT does conversions themselves, but the company says the full crate motor system (battery packs included, which are repurposed from Teslas) are simple enough that “even a reasonably skilled car hobbyist will need just 40 to 50 hours to convert a car,” according to the Times.
However the price may be out of reach of the average car hobbyist, ranging from $32,500 on the low end to over $80,000. But we are talking about Ferraris, Fiats and Toyota FJ40s, not that Ford Pinto that’s been rotting in your neighbor’s driveway.
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