The conversation around converting classic cars to electric has been spinning around the motoring news and classic magazines recently, dividing opinion at every turn. Why does this matter to insurers you ask? Simple, classic car and bike ownership is an emotional investment, not a sensible financial one. Most classics do NOT make money long term. People own them, restore, drive and endlessly fettle for love, not money.
Thing is, when classics are banned, there will be few drivers who enjoy taking an electric powered MG, Ford Capri or Alfa Spider out on Sundays. They lack romance, noise, an oily rag smell and they’ll probably have some sinister government tracker default fitted which means you’re automatically charged a climate change tax per mile.
Nevertheless, some owners are considering simply converting their classic cars into electric motors, plus manufacturers are also bringing back their iconic models with an electric twist.
Urban hipsters selling artisan wicker baskets may well be tempted by the electric version of the 60s VW Campervan – The ID Buzz, which is expected in 2022. If not, there’s always the wedding car hire market, where the VW should go down a storm.
With this in mind, Whocanfixmycar.com have been looking into both sides of these developing trends and have created 6 renders of iconic classic cars and what they may look like if they were redesigned in an electric era, whilst commenting on how this could affect the car’s value.
There is a harsh financial reality check here though. Most classic cars aged 30-40 years old need a great deal of work to convert them, which may involve junking some original parts and upgarding brakes, suspension, steering etc. for safety reasons. RBW will convert an MGB Roadster for around £105,000, with almost everything on the classic being replaced or refurbished.
If that is too spicy for you then London Electric Cars will convert a classic BL Mini or Moggy Minor for about £12,000-£20,000 depending on how much of your original car is useable. That is within the budget some classic car enthusiasts would deem acceptable, but maybe the truth is that people will feel forced into electric conversion, or scrapping the car they’ve invested so many years of their life into restoring and maintaining. A great many classic fans are going to walk away from the scene forever.
In the computer render of the Aston Martin DB5, (see header image) the iconic shape of the car has been maintained but electric styling has been added, such as the circular headlights, wing cameras that project a video of the side of the car into the cockpit and futuristic spoke alloy wheels.
The 5 other iconic cars that have been electrified are;
- Bugatti Type 57 SC Atlantic
- Jaguar E-Type
- Lamborghini Miura P400 SV
- Mercedes Benz 300 SL Gullwing
- Shelby Cobra
Whocanfixmycar.com also spoke to expert Joseph Salama, the CEO of Jack’s Garage in London who are specialists in converting petrol-powered classics Volkswagens to electric – the first in the UK to offer this service. He believes that “it is inevitable that almost ALL vehicles in the future will be either powered by electricity or some kind of gas derivative (eventually). And so, a classic car will still be a classic whether it’s powered by petrol, electricity or even gas.” (Let’s hope it is hydrogen turning cams and pushing pistons – Ed)
When asked if he expects a classic car to depreciate in value if converted to electric, he responded:
“When a classic vehicle is converted into an electric vehicle it effectively is future proofed. The ultimate value of the vehicle is of course relative to the quality and components used in the conversion process. Secondhand, recycled components will yield a lesser end value than brand new OEM components.
The second major point to consider is the originality and uniqueness of the vehicle in question. In essence a vehicle’s value may be increased dramatically through the EV conversion process, and equally it may be considerably reduced by the same process. I believe that a classic vehicle will only be devalued through electrification if it is an exceptionally unique and special model. Otherwise the end value will go up. Up by how much ultimately depends on the quality and components utilised in the electrification process.”