A startup named London Electric Cars is showing the way to convert vintage cars to electric vehicles in order to save them from being dumped in landfills. According to the UK government’s green energy policies, almost 46 percent of the total cars would have to be electric by 2030 to meet the nation’s climate goals. According to a report, the government is already providing up to GBP 2,000 (roughly Rs. 2.03 lakhs) to motorists to dump their older cars. Now, classic motorcar owners can keep their vehicles without causing much pollution, thanks to the startup.
Founder Matthew Quitter launched the startup in 2017 after converting his own 1953 Morris Minor. He changed the fuel engine with a set of nine prismatic lithium-ion cells.
“I saw that companies in California were converting cars and at the time there was no one in the UK doing this,” Quitter told Euronews Next.
Currently, the London Electric Cars team consists of 10 engineers who convert petrol-based engines to clean-energy engines. The engineers convert vintage vehicles to zero-emission cars with the help of upcycled Nissan Leaf and Tesla batteries. They work with 3D printers and lithium-ion cells. However, Quitter’s team tries to conserve much of the original fixtures and fittings of the cars.
“One of the things we try to do is maintain the cars as much as possible for historical integrity,” said Quitter. For instance, indicators in vintage cars are not as consistent as in modern cars. But Quitter’s engineers keep them intact because owners are fond of such eccentricities.
Since vintage cars are devoid of modern features like power steering and satellite navigation, the conversion of these cars requires less labour. Hence, the conversion price becomes more affordable.
The team takes up to six months to convert a car. The price of conversion starts from GBP 25,000 (roughly Rs. 25.3 lakhs).
After the company’s launch, many other electric conversion companies emerged in the UK. But, according to Quitter, London Electric Cars is different because it tries to bring this facility to the mass market. They also have conversion kits that can be sent to the car owners. The company is also trying to convert a car in lesser time.