Why do we build Retro-EVs at Electrogenic? For the beauty and the tech, for being one step closer to nature and because we love driving them. But why do our customers buy them? Now that’s a question…
It is of course a question we are very interested in, and we talk to our customers a lot about it. The answers, broadly are as follows:
- It’s a great environmental option
This is clearly the case if switching from an internal combustion engine (ICE), but a R-EV is also a great option compared with a new electric car. It’s famously difficult to determine the emissions entrained in the manufacture of a new car, but an ICE takes at least as much carbon to produce as it produces from its exhaust over its lifetime, and making an EV involves even more emissions. But with a R-EV, you are starting with a “recycled” car and if you use second-hand batteries too, your manufacturing emissions are practically zero.
- It’s romantic and practical
New EVs are efficient and have lots of bells and whistles (that you may or may not use), but they are mostly ugly, or at best boring. But classic cars are often noisy, smelly and unreliable (classic car owners know all about “range anxiety”). It’s often scary to drive in modern traffic because you are too slow and unless you do all your own mechanics, they are expensive to keep on the road, too. When you convert it, you know it will start and you know it will get you home again too. Everything that is wrong with a classic car, is right with a R-EV. And everything that is right, is right too.
- “It gives the old car a new lease of life”
Turning an old family friend into a R-EV future-proofs it. ICE vehicles are getting banned from city centres across the UK. And it’s getting hard to get a decent Jag engine to build back up again. As more EVs hit the streets, you will have to drive further to find petrol – remember your classic car is 50 years old and going strong; roll forward 50 years and there will have been no new petrol cars sold for the last 20. If the engine in your classic needs surgery, will you really invest in more of the same?
- It’s ecomonic
Yes, it is expensive to do a conversion to R-EV well, but if you intend to keep your newly ePowered classic, it is good economics too. It beats a new EV hands-down, because it won’t depreciate. And it turns an ornament into a daily driver – so your classic suddenly replaces your second family car.
- It’s fun!
Trouble-free classic motoring, picnics in the sun…and in the words of one of our customers “I’m bored of my Tesla. The only good part of it is taking people at the lights. Now if I convert an old VW that no-one will suspect…”
Steve Drummond is the co-founder of Electrogenic and a mechanical engineer who started his career in the nuclear power industry before seeing the light and becoming a renewable energy pioneer.
Steve gets fired up by the beauty in technology, and will be a contributor for Retro Electric on all matter of technical and build projects.