Vintage Car Retrofits Go Electric, But At What Cost?

Author: Jason / Date: August 8, 2022 / Tags: classic cars

Vintage Car Retrofits Go Electric, But At What Cost?

( – Classic cars lack many of the features modern-day cars have, but that doesn’t mean they have to. Many owners upgrade their vintage rides with improvements such as air conditioning, LED lights, and power windows. Some are taking it to the next level though, converting their classic cars from traditional combustion engines to electric vehicles (EV). 

While others are upgrading their stereos or alternators, there are some people like Michael Bream who have dedicated their time to converting cars to electronic propulsion — regardless of how old the vehicle is. Bream and his company, West EV, use Tesla batteries and technology to transform classic cars into EVs. They have upgraded several models, from a Ferrari 308 GTS to a 1950s Volkswagen Bus. 

While EVs may have fewer emissions than their combustion engine counterparts they do come with several disadvantages. One of those would be the range EVs have and the lack of charging stations, forcing drivers to meticulously plan their route to ensure they don’t get stranded. Another major disadvantage is the cost of repairing them. While a traditional engine could cost thousands to fix, replacing a battery in an EV can cost upwards of $15k. 

Despite being widely labeled as environmentally friendly, these cars are only as clean as the sources that power them, which in most cases are coal-powered generators. That’s not mentioning the waste products EVs create when batteries go bad.

Regardless of the drawbacks, some people welcome the change and are even willing to pay nearly $20,000 for a conversion. Others, however, believe it’s a waste of time and that it damages a car’s history, heritage, and image. But if people can create resto-mods giving classic vehicles modern features, what makes an EV upgrade any different? 

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