Charged EVs | Turn any vehicle into an EV with Electric GT’s crate motor conversion kit


Turn any vehicle into an EV with Electric GT’s crate motor conversion kit

Conversion shops are the bespoke tailors of the EV world – maverick motorheads who craft custom creations for the wealthiest of car lovers. The California company Electric GT has created a “crate motor” that’s designed to make it easier for professional converters or even ambitious home mechanics to electrify vintage ICE vehicles.

York Times
reporter Lawrence Ulrich drove a vintage Fiat 124 Spider
conversion equipped with one of the company’s powertrains. The e-Spider packs 120
hp and 173 lb-ft of torque. It makes 60 mph in about 7 seconds – 3 seconds
better than the gas version’s best. A 25 kWh battery pack mounted in the trunk delivers
a 75-85 mile driving range. For larger vehicles, Electric GT can provide packs
with up to 100 kWh of capacity (the company salvages batteries from low-mileage

“The idea is to take something old and mix it with something
new, with good design and engineering behind it,” co-founder Brock Winberg told
the Times. “A lot of guys go out in a classic car that’s 40 or 50 years old,
but it’s a one-way trip – they get a ride home with AAA,” added his partner
Eric Hutchison. “This is for enthusiasts who love their cars but want something
reliable that’s good for a weekend drive.”

Electric GT’s system is for those who love to drive. It’s
designed exclusively for manual-transmission cars. A self-contained “black box”
includes a motor and its control unit, and is designed to be installed under a
vehicle’s hood. One quaint touch: the system is designed to resemble a vintage V-8
engine, with faux cylinder heads and orange sparkplug cables.

Electric GT told the Times that even a skillful hobbyist should
be able to electrify a vehicle in only 40 to 50 hours, equipped with a basic
set of tools, an engine hoist and the company’s manual. The plug-and-play
components are designed for safety and simplicity. “We’re taking out all the
brain work of having to be an expert in battery safety or electrical
management,” Mr. Hutchison said. “You can treat it like a normal engine swap.”

Electric GT’s crate motor is sure to make conversions easier
and cheaper, but they remain the domain of wealthy car lovers. System prices
start at $32,500 and can exceed $80,000. Converting a classic is usually a
project for someone who wants to keep a beloved old car alive, Hutchison said. “It’s
the guy who says: ‘I already own three Teslas. Now, how do I get my classic
Jaguar electrified?’”

Source: New York Times

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