An electric car at a charging station recharging. Text reads, "Can classic cars be converted to electric?"

Can Classic Cars be Converted to Electric?


Owning a classic car is a dream for many car lovers, but the idea of converting one into an electric vehicle has sparked much debate. Many people have started researching if it’s possible to convert a classic car to electric while others say, just because you can doesn't mean you should. So, can you really convert your classic car into an electric vehicle and still retain its original look and feel? What does it do to the value and resale ability?  Let’s dive deeper into this idea of converting traditional vehicles to electric cars.

What is required to convert a classic car to electric?

Converting a classic car to electric requires some major comprehensive work. The process starts with the removal of the engine and other components necessary for running on gasoline. This includes removing the gas tanks, fuel lines, exhaust system, cooling system, and other parts associated with burning fossil fuels. All these components must then be replaced by an electric motor and battery pack that will power the car. Other modifications include replacing the transmission, installing wiring for power delivery and control systems, as well as a new suspension, axels, and drivetrain. You’re essentially just keeping the original body.

Why Would You Convert a Classic Car to Electric?

The main benefit of converting your classic car over buying a new one is cost savings, depending on how you’re looking at it—electric motors are much cheaper than internal combustion engines—as well as performance improvements from greater torque available from an electric motor over gasoline-powered engines. Additionally, there’s no need for regular oil changes or emissions testing since there are no emissions from running on electricity instead of petrol or diesel fuel. Also, any additional range needed can be easily achieved by adding extra batteries without making any major modifications to your vehicle’s body or chassis.

Downside of Converting a Classic Car to Electric

Electric car conversion is very expensive and time consuming due to the fact that of all the other components, aside from an engine change out, also have to be changed. Classic and vintage cars weren’t designed with electric conversion ever being on anyone’s mind to even be a possibility in the future. You’re going to be undertaking a complete overhaul of everything and only left with the body and interior as original to the classic car, maybe. You would essential ruin a classic. Not to mention the safety concerns since older cars were not built with modern safety protocols such as airbags and anti-lock brakes in mind; it may be difficult or even impossible to retrofit those features in old cars during the conversion.                

It is possible to convert a classic car into electric, but why would you?! For vintage car owners to convert their classic cars into modern electric vehicles, it takes considerable effort and money plus knowledge about electrical engineering principles and mechanics in order to do so safely and effectively. And you will lose all vintage car value that it once had. While there are certainly advantages to electric cars like lower costs and improved performance, this is one new technology that you shouldn’t try to incorporate into a classic car. If you really like electric cars, we recommend having a new one custom made is the best route to go. Ultimately it comes down personal preference and budget when deciding whether or not trying to take on this conversion is right for you!

*While every reasonable effort is made to ensure the accuracy of this information, we are not responsible for any errors or omissions contained on these pages. Please verify any information in question with Dealer.