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It may be late, but I’m impressed by the length of this electric car conversion article

I really am impressed by this article, not only for its length (not dismissing its subject in half a dozen lines), but by the brave folk who took a chance and set up their conversion businesses three years ago.

I’ve always know about the Classic Car electric conversion business, and how good/attractive it was, but that was in the US, where electric vehicles are (always estimate) at least five years in advance of anything in the UK. The UK is pretty sad as regard this subject, and you are more likely to find people who persist on referring to milk floats rather than saying anything positive about electric vehicles.

I’ve followed the BEV (battery electric vehicle) story in the US, and it’s like a replay of the same whining and initial refusal to accept the idea here now, as it was there then.

Years ago (even before we had the batteries and tech we have now), US vehicle converters were using ‘old’ lead-acid batteries and recovered electric motor to take muscle and sports cars, stripped of their fossil fuelled power plants, and make ‘sleeper’ cars (they looked the same from the outside) which would out-perform anything else on the road.

If anything, they were TOO powerful and had to be driven with care as they also didn’t have the power limiting or control circuits now included in conversion using lithium-ion power and custom-built, matched, vehicle electric motors. Those early classic conversion could not only disappear into the distance ahead of anything trying to catch them, they’d lay down strips of black rubber on the road even after passing 100 mph – not something you’d want casual drivers to be doing. Reviewers often got the chance to play that game, but only after the owner, or converter, taught them how.

That said, in the article:

The Ferrari will now go from 0-60mph in 3.5 seconds in good conditions, halving its petrol-driven time. Its owner can worry less about tune-ups and break-downs, he says.

The car could do it in 2.7 seconds, but this was toned down as the rest of the car wasn’t strong enough to handle it.

I don’t think I saw a reference to another option which has become a reality, that of the reborn classic, built by the original manufacturer, but as an electric – but in small numbers, and with a hefty price tag, for example Jaguar’s E-Type Zero.

Sadly, you can NEVER please an activist or a campaigner…

Critics grumble about vandalising pieces of history and the loss of the engine noise. A few point out that globally, most electricity is still generated from coal and oil.

Thankfully, those still living in the real world, and moving forward rather than gazing forever backwards, know these people deserve no time or attention:

The engineers give these points short shrift.

In your Edwardian house, do you still have a coal fire? Have you ruined it by putting in central heating?” asks Richard Morgan.

For him, the noise is lost power that should be used to make your car go faster, and its absence means hearing the countryside again. As for the long tailpipe argument?

“If petrol was invented now, it would not take off,” he says. It needs to be discovered, refined and shipped about the country. And the portion of renewables used by the grid is ever increasing, he adds.

Tesla motors make classic Ferraris go faster

For once, unusually, it’s an article about electric vehicles I can actually recommend taking the time to read (if you’re interested).

I’m intrigued that he’s one of the few that gets the “Noise – lost power” fact.

I gave up trying to point this out to F1 morons fans a few years ago as they just didn’t understand WHERE that noise comes from. I actually wonder why many people call themselves F1 fans, as they seem to have no interest in the formula, and just want noise, crashes, and injured drivers.

Looking at the example pic from Electric Classic Cars below almost make me wish I’d been able to hang on to my black BMW, only a little younger than the type shown.

Sadly, despite a complete respray making it look better than new (with a glossy two-pack black), it was (so I’ve been told) built of old East German tin cans, and was rusting even before the panels were stamped out of the original sheet steel. Seems true, as the whole rear end could almost be seen rusting as you looked at it. I’m surprised the spare wheel never fell through the floor.

Still, it helped my tuning efforts.

The factory spec was 10 sec to 60 mph (actually over 11, but a magazine tested at 10) – mine was measured at 8 sec.

I could claim credit for tuning the engine, or maybe it was just the ‘lightened’ bodywork improving the power to weight ratio 🙂

Electric BMW Pic credit Electric Classic Cars

Electric BMW Pic credit Electric Classic Cars

I’m jealous, and wish I’d been in a business that might have given me a foothold in this years ago.

09/08/2019 Posted by | Civilian, Transport | , , , , | Leave a comment


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