Mythbusting the world of EVs: is it sacrilege to convert a classic car into an EV?
Should you really be repowering old petrol cars with electricity?
Myth: converting classics is sacrilege
Is it sacrilege to repower a petrol classic car to electric? Mostly not. Obviously if it has an especially wonderful petrol engine, then don't do it. I'm suspicious of converted Jags that began life with an XK or Porsches that had a flat six. It's also a dumb idea to heart transplant rare or historically significant cars. Originality matters there, for sure.
Otherwise, have at it. As a wise friend, no fan of classics, once said to me: "The only point of old cars it to make new ones look good." The engines in most of them are heavy and rough. They won't start from cold. They often wont start when they're hot either because you've flooded the carburettor. They cough and splutter and you don't know if it's the fuelling or the ignition timing.
I kept a 13mm spanner in the door pocket of my last classic. Out of town it ran cool, but back in London traffic it got hotter and demanded different timing so I'd leap out and adjust the distributor at the first red set of traffic lights on the North Circular.
Still, electrifying classics is never going to go big. It usually costs more to do the conversion than the thing is worth in the first place. Besides, classics are almost by definition rare cars that don't drive far. So the CO2 put out by all the classics in the world is adding infinitesimally to the climate crisis. Unless you drive your classic car a lot, there are better uses for the batteries.
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