Right now, EV swaps are still too complex and expensive to be viable for most owners of older and classic cars. Major automakers like Ford, Chevy and Mini have touted the ease of converting ICE-equipped models to EVs, but until crate motors (electric, that is) and battery packs are cheaply available as off-the-shelf parts, these kinds of conversions will remain rather niche. Or they’ll be the purview of specialist shops trying to conserve classics by turning them into EVs.
That will not always be true, hopefully. When that time comes, what models do you think will make for better EVs than their former combustion-powered selves? Which car would you perform a something of an “enginectomy” on to turn it into a zippy EV?
Cars from the eighties and nineties come to mind, but then again, that’s just my favorite era of car design; it also happens to be around the time cars still seemed reasonably-sized. Size and weight will matter when keeping EV swaps within reach for the majority of drivers. Not for the purposes of a gnarly power to weight ratio in the name of speed, but to keep the swap reasonably cheap. Besides, sticking with low power output that’s suitable for an old chassis is probably for the best.
It’s likely that even when EV swaps become common, batteries and high-performance motors will still command a premium. So, a small, lighter vehicle would be my pick. Something like a Honda CRX (bonus points for it being an HF!) I’d want to fit the EV parts under the rear seats in the old Honda, and keep true to its spirit as a fun commuter car that cuts down on running costs.
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I know we’ll all miss being able to row our own gears in many of these older models, which is part of the charm: that connectedness and effort that binds the car and driver is a big draw. But I’m willing to give that up if it means an old Honda or Mini can live on for decades on the road. When you consider the benefit of upcycling a whole car by replacing the powertrain and reusing the classic shell of a car you already love, EV swaps start to make sense; I’m just hyped for the chance to make our favorite models last beyond ICE. Given that goal, which cars do you think will be better electrified?