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Classics converted to electric


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As I have posted elsewhere I have ridden in a converted Spitfire MKIV.

The cost of conversion is high, that is true. When I have time (ha) I was going to do a spreadsheet and see if the cost would amortize in his lifetime but frankly that isn't the point.

The car drives as it did before. People worry about the weight but our Triumph engines are no lightweights. Heck the exhaust is about 20 Kgs...

I have posted many things on here about batteries pros cons etc etc so I won't bore anyone with it but I do have a code when it comes to these conversions:

1. Thou shalt not convert a car of historical value. My definition of historical is basically it was featured (a feature is not just a review!) in some publication at the time the car was in production.

2. Thou shalt not convert a car that is 100% original. Taking a perfectly working car and converting it is like tearing into a gold medalist to see if you can "improve" things.

3. Thou shalt not convert a rare car. I don't care if it is rare because it is scheit or rare because they were not produced in numbers. People need to see them as they were in "the wild". Except the Allegro. Do whatever the poop you want to that thing! 😄

There are a lot of cars out there with blown motors, missing interiors, odd previous owner choices etc that will never ever fall into one of the above categories and I reckon are fair game if you have the time and money...


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Now there's a project. Take a basket case body shell, rebuild it add the motor off you go. There must still be lots of shells that could be salvaged and restored with an EV power plant. Wonder if you could get a start up grant????   Hmmmm!!! We can rebuild it, make it stronger, faster...... oh no, that's the 6 Million Dollar Man.

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Doesnt the article suggests you can put in an electric motor and batteries and DVLA will still allow the car to keep classic car status with no MOT or tax and cheap insurance! I would have thought that constitutes a rather major change from original....

And the idea doesnt add up in terms of saving the planet🤪

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For a laugh i thought i would look at how much a battery pack would cost. 24kw pack £3k. Thinking that might even be a bit short, but not made the calculations. Way out of my pricing,  add 1.5k for all the other bits required. So 4.5k doing it all yourself plus car! I allways thought the ideal car to convert would be an audi tt, an early hard top version. Loose the no good back seats for the batteries, perfect centre of gravity.

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18 hours ago, Mathew said:

Its the cost of the battery pack thats the killer! Plenty of motors and controllers ect at a good price. I could do one but i want a minimum of 150 mile range. 

Yes the batteries are the "worst" part. Luckily long term testing is showing batteries actually last longer than originally thought.

Why 150 Miles?

The guy who converted his get 80 if he is lucky but more like 60 to 70 and he drove to Greece and back from Southwest Germany.

He basically said that in a Spitfire you really can't drive it for more than an hour anyway and you just stop where you can and "graze" for power as you go.

On a standard 11KW charger the car was fully loaded in under 2 hours which is just a longer lunch break...or a short one if you are French. 🙂 😄

One point he made was with his ICE he had a seasonal license plate (he couldn't get classic status because it had a catalytic converter, small bit of irony...) but since electrification  (March 2020) he has driven over 11k miles with it. In fact, if it isn't raining it is their preferred car to drive.

New tech like hydrogen has been "around the corner" for nearly 20 years and while a hydrogen Spitfire would probably make more sense there will be no where to fill it up around me for at least 3 years probably longer.

I am also mildly concerned that Big Oil is so chummy with hydrogen as I don't really buy that they always have the customers best interests in mind...

The current trend in Germany is using solar to charge the EV as the government forces you to fill out 300 pages (I am not kidding) of paperwork if you produce more than 10 KW of power. So people are setting up systems that use the power for home use and charging the car first and then only trickle into the grid if everything else is full.

And then people wonder whey we still need coal power...

EVs are not a perfect answer and they will not solve everything but I really don't think they are that bad either and doing nothing is worse...


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150 miles, thats the magic number, it would mean i could travel the coast road of norfolk and back home through the countryside without having to stop for charge. Living in west norfolk there are some lovely roads to travel on. Imagine top down, sunny drive, along the coast. Perhaps stopping for some light refreshments along the way. Charge at home and just enjoy the ride during the day.

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For comparison, this guy would be able to get to Norfolk location and as long as he stayed relatively put for 2-3 hours he would have enough charge to get back.

He does admit though that his car is not optimized and likely a good 10% more range is possible through software tweaking  and maybe more by swapping out for lighter parts and a better diff ration (currently has 3.89, 3.63 should be fine)...

When he originally signed the deal in Nov 2019 he was getting 15 KW but by the time thee batteries arrived the same size and weight got him 22KW. So within a few years the tech might be able to do that...

Mind you, his trunk/boot is still completely empty. It would be possible and maybe even feasible to through another 4-6 batteries which would easily get you 100-120 mile range out if it... Hmmm... a cunning plan...


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Ahh, I read a lot about charging over a lunch break, stop for a coffee etc etc. What is a 2 hour lunch break? I am lucky to get 10 minutes to eat. If I am driving a distance it's service station, butties, flask, toilet, back on the road. A 2 hour charge time would never come into the equation. If I drive for pleasure I want to be on the road or just maybe a quick drink and cake not sitting watching the clock for the full charge icon. I did enough clock watching at work.

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Someone near me (in Watford, I think) converted a GT4S to battery power in the 1970's/80's, so maybe you could do the conversion and still have the car considered historic 🤣! He used lead/acid batteries as that was all there was at the time: the car got some press coverage, but I can't find anything online. I saw it occasionally when going to work, but by then it was running a 1500 Spit engine. Ahead of its time? Maybe.

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The ability has been around for a while, but like my engine swap the ruling is could have been swapped or converted at the time. Ac motors with inverters converting the dc were not an option comon place back then. The comparison being ive swapped an inline 4 with an inline 4 but the inline 4 i swap in was not around and common swap 30 plus years ago!

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1 hour ago, Badwolf said:

Ahh, I read a lot about charging over a lunch break, stop for a coffee etc etc. What is a 2 hour lunch break? I am lucky to get 10 minutes to eat. If I am driving a distance it's service station, butties, flask, toilet, back on the road. A 2 hour charge time would never come into the equation. If I drive for pleasure I want to be on the road or just maybe a quick drink and cake not sitting watching the clock for the full charge icon. I did enough clock watching at work.

Warning: The following is a massive amount of cheek. Followed by a side order of cheek with cheek for afters.
I put it down to a long lunch break I just had with mousse au chocolat and a double espresso....


<p jest>

<mild snark>I guess this is the same attitude like I see here in Germany when a new cash register/till opens up and I have seen grannies who were last in the current line/queue literally run over small children with their shopping cart/trolley to be the first ones... I guess as you get older you worry about losing time... doesn't explain why the car won't go over 35 mph... </mild snark>
</p jest>

Seriously though I am very much in the "getting there is half the fun" camp and always have been. When we drove to Paris we took a route away from the Autoroute to find nice little family-run restaurants and buy local produce.

For 3 years I was self-employed and for various reasons I had days where I would travel over 200 miles in a 24 period having at least 7 appointments and using nearly every form of transport except flight... maybe that was enough for me rushing about...


Our next car is a Skoda Enyqa and I just read that through a software update it will increase the charging speed to 175 KW. Given the Tesla supercharger network is to be opened up and ABB has started installing 400 KW charging systems that would mean a 30-40 minute break to fill up the car completely. So a 10 minute chow break with 5 minutes for bio-break, add in the fact that charging points are always at the far end of any parking lot/car park that means you would have about 5-10 minutes to: <H3>Cheek</H3>

1. Corchet

2. Write a text to loved ones

3. Admire your surroundings

4. Call an unawares person and try to social engineer them into divulging their bank account info

5. Rage about how scheit this technology is

6. Make a TikTok video

7. Go back to the shop and annoy people by acting like you can't find your wallet


8. Learn Esparonto

All of this is in an ideal world of course...



PS: My father-in-law has a valid HGV license in case someone is looking...


<H4>Cheek out..</H4>.

DVD3500 sets himself on 23 hour ban of writing about EVs...


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23 minutes ago, Patrick Taylor said:

B. So we can carry on running our cars come the day when, as was once the case, you can only buy petrol from a pharmacy

THAT'S the worry. Electric conversions become the norm, all green and happy-clappy, the sun shines every day, wild horses gallop by the roadside and there are butterflies everywhere, and petrol users become the minority and there's not enough of us left to persuade anyone to actually stock petrol.

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