To add charge to the electric classics debate, the conversion process is to become easier thanks to a new ‘crate’ EV motor from Swindon Powertrain – the British company behind the Swind E electric classic Mini.
The transverse-mounted electric powertrain is mated to a single-speed transmission and produces the equivalent of 107bhp. It measures 600mm wide, 280mm tall and weighs 70kg – meaning it will fit under the bonnet of a classic Mini or under the load bed of a light commercial vehicle.
Swindon Powertrain claims its crate EV motor offers the highest power/volume ratio of any electric motor on the market, and hopes that it will ease the shift towards electrification for smaller manufacturers who have not had access to compact EV powertrains they could source in low to mid-volume.
Meanwhile, another UK company is planning to electrify some of the finest ever British classics – starting with a pair of Rolls-Royces and a Jaguar XK120. Silverstone-based Lunaz, founded last year by David Lorenz and former F1 man Jon Hilton, will open orders for its sympathetic, high-tech conversions from next month.
Each car is meticulously evaluated and 3D-scanned, before a bare-metal restoration starts. The bespoke creations will all run on Lunaz’s own powertrain, developed and built in-house. The XK120, for example, gets twin motors producing 375bhp plus an 80kWH electric battery, while the heavier Rolls-Royce Phantom V gets a 120kWH version. All cars also have traction and cruise control, regenerative braking systems and fast-charging capability, plus luxuries such as air-con, electric heaters and Wi-Fi.
“We are innovating to create cars that are useable, dynamic and stand as the ultimate drivers’ classics,” said Lorenz. “For Luna, my daughter, not to have access to a car like the Mercedes-Benz 190SL when she is of driving age would be a tragedy. Without building Lunaz, this is the reality she faces.”
Such conversions come at a cost though – prices begin at £350,000. The XK120 is currently undergoing final testing and is expected to be released soon.