What does it take to make the list of top Electric Car Conversions of 2022
Here at eDub, we keep a close watch on the latest conversions to come from other conversion shops in the UK, but also around the world. Sometimes, an eDub conversion isn't a good fit for our enquirers, due to cost or timings. So we've pulled together our top 8 electric classic car conversions completed in 2022.
During our roundup; we found lots of companies who have started conversions in 2022 but with no sign of them being completed. This may be a reflection of the truth as they may still be undergoing conversion or restoration. As the rules of this blog are to show the best completed conversions, I can’t include them (and it's a shame, cos some of them are awesome!)
There's also another fairly obvious ommisions from this list, spoiler alert! You won’t see any eDub Conversions in this list. It's not because we think they aren't worthy of the title. It's because well, that’s not fair. You can take a look at eDub’s Conversions on our website or Instagram.
There are plenty of vehicles being converted, all over the world. This list represents eDub’s favourites for reasons we will explain for each vehicle. We will say that this is not simply a list of the ‘best’ electric conversions, we’ve tried to include some variety and some projects that show some future ideas that are worth acknowledging. We’d love to know your opinions on these finalists; contact us!
Let’s get into it!
If you’ve been following the Electric Classic Conversion industry recently, you may have noticed that Land Rover Defenders are popping up all over the place! It's great to see communities like off-roaders, agricultural and collectors are embracing the electrification of the these vehicles. Arguably pioneered by Jaunt in Australia; Defender conversions come in all sorts of flavours, so what makes Relik’s Defender one of our top conversions? For us, it comes down to the attention to detail. The upholstery and wood panelling is simple and elegant. This conversion isn’t screaming at you that it’s electric, but it’s not all battered either. It looks just as home on a safari as it would at Waitrose. Well done Relik.
Recharged Heritage show the latest glimpse of what the future of electric car conversions will look like. One great reality of this industry is that the classic cars that are converted, will never change. Sure, there will be a few variations, but mostly, a classic mini will stay the the same forever. That means that once the complicated design and battery planning has been done for one vehicle, it can be done for another. And another, and another… Recharged Herritage; A three way partnership between BMW, Mini Sport and Zero EV, bring this conversion concept to the masses with it’s mini conversion kits. The standard of conversion from the team is impressive, and hard to beat for a repeat model. and who wouldn’t want an elecricclassic mini!?
Electric Classic Cars is the world's largest converter of classic cars to electric. Maybe there needs to be a separate blog simply ranking ECC’s top cars of 2022. I can count 12 projects completed on their Instagram with many more Defenders, Fiat 500s and Beatle kits completed around the world I’m sure.
But my favourite, for the purpose of this blog, is the Gordon Keeble. ECC claim that the Gordon Keeble is the rarest electric conversion, only 100 made and around 90 still on the road. But why has this made our top list of 2022? With our work at eDub, we spend time throughout the year at festivals and gatherings of car enthusiasts. Other than the ocasional tutting, our conversions are met with a lot of respect. The reality is that these enthusiasts love their cars, and they know that they won’t last forever. Breakdowns with traditional engines will become more and more frequent with replacement parts becoming harder to find. An electric conversion keeps the car on the road and enables the owner to keep enjoying it for many years to come. The Gordon Keeble is a prime example of this. A super rare car is going to be harder to keep running, but the design and history deserve to be seen and loved; so make it electric. Keep it on the road.
Bigger does not equal better. In fact, I might argue the opposite. It’s so much harder to make something truly brilliant in a small package. Enter; the BMW Isetta. The tiny bubble car causes smiles on everyone’s faces and is absolutely perfect for electric conversion. Retro Electrics from London, UK brought this beautiful little car into the 21st century. They haven’t over powered it, they haven’t gone over the top with endless features of ‘EV bling’. It does the job, and it’s so cute.
Campers! Ok, we’re a little biased. Schilder Electric have been converting T2 campers for a few years now, they provided the campers for Evan, the electric camper hire company in the Netherlands. Schilder have some great conversions on their website, and have really thrown themselves into a variety of vehicles. What we love is that because they’ve been at this process for a few years, they have started to innovate with off-grid charging. Watch this space for more in 2023, we’re sure of it.
Opto Innovation are new to the market and have a bold claim, that electric conversions shouldn’t cost the earth. At eDub, we here a lot about how expensive electric conversions are for some of our customers. Opto’s yellow mini is showing that reclaimed EV tech, small battery pack and some simple tech joining it all together can be achieved for £17k (plus VAT). Why is this one to watch? Because high cost is a major barrier to wannabe classic EV owners. If Opto can pull this off in 2023, then more power to them.
So from one extreme to another; here we have a choice that represents a very high class of electric conversion. And why is this vehicle in the list? Simply, because I think the Stingray is one of the coolest cars ever! The electric conversion industry is at it’s infancy and so ofter, it’s just about getting the right customer, with the right vehicle at the right time (just like our Golf Mk2). Ava have also done something very unusual with their website; given clear stats and prices! So this Stingray has pretty small battery pack (37kWh) but for Sunday driving, do you need any more? Plus CCS rapid charging so top up really quick, it’s very similar to the e30 pack we offer at eDub. The sale price is, i’m sure, fully valid at €285k+ and if my pockets were that deep, you know, I just might…
And finally, a little twist. If you’ve been following Classic Car Electric conversions then you’ll recognise Lunaz from the stunning work they’ve done on some of the worlds most iconic cars. And now with a left turn at the traffic lights, they’ve moved onto… bin lorries. OK, It’s not a classic car so it probably doesn’t belong in this line up. but why do we draw attention to this? Classic car Electrification is always contentious. either in general as we’re ‘removing the soul’ of the car. Or because everyone has different opinions of which cars make great electric drivers.
But at it’s core, all the listed companies will agree, that one of the main points of the industry is not to throw old cars away, or keep them polluting with petrol and diesel engines, but to preserve them and save them for future use. That applies if it’s a rolls Royce, or a bin lorry. Lunaz have done something stunning with these vehicles and have really put their money where their mouth is. No longer can they be simply throwing high price tags at a problem that only the elite can afford to claim, but UK councils can now order these vehicles and instantly clean up their infrastructure.
That rounds up the list for 2022. We can't wait to see what companies produce in 2023.
We'd love to know what you think of our list, or maybe you have another vehicle you've seen worthy of this list. Get in touch.