The Best Classic Cars Converted To Electric For Sale In The UK
Taking something old and refurbishing it for a modern audience is nothing new to the automobile industry — only now we’re seeing more and more classic electric cars taking to the streets.
In fact, the rise in electric conversions of classic cars has sparked an interesting question: what makes each vehicle so iconic? Is it simply the look of the car, or is it what’s under the hood that matters?
Everyone will have their own take, but we consider them unique in a sustainable yet familiar sort of way — as do collectors.
Today we’ll be looking at what we consider to be the best classic cars converted to electric. Moreover, every EV mentioned will be available to UK buyers. And trust us, you have a lot of options (if you can afford it).
Now, let’s take a look at some electrified classic cars, shall we?
Electric Classics For Sale in the UK
Understand that to own the best electric classic cars, you need to first own the original version. You see, rarely can you buy electric versions of classic cars unless carmakers manufacture updated versions of older models.
If you want to turn most classic cars electric, you’ll need a conversion kit. These kits consist of all the parts required to make an electric switch.
Some kits are more expensive than others; it all depends on the classic car you’re looking to upgrade.
Finding an applicable conversion kit, or fully optimised electric car, shouldn’t pose too much of a problem, thanks to internet sources. Justifying the costs, however, is a different story.
Is there anything more British than a Mini?
This classic compact car has a lot going for it as a bonafide city traveller, heightened by its electric potential.
To convert this classic car to electric, you’ll need to purchase the Swind Mini Kit. This kit comes with everything you need to get set up and road-ready, alongside some optional extras that include a speed sensor kit and throttle pedal.
A four-hour charge can carry you around 125 miles before you need to plug in. This isn’t too bad unless you’re planning on longer trips, going from one major city to the next.
In terms of price, you’ll need to fork out around £79,000 for the kit, which is a hell of a lot cheaper than some alternatives.
Moreover, you know the large boot of the Mini? Yeah, it gets bigger when you remove the fuel tank within. That gives you more space to play with on top of the added performance you get when switching to electric!
© Credit to Jaguar
Jaguar E-Type Zero
The first classic electric car featured to be made by the brand itself, say hello to the Jaguar E-Type Zero.
This classic car began turning heads back in 1961 for its unbelievable performance and sleek appearance. Well, in 2017, Jaguar revealed details on an electric, zero-emissions version that can go from 0-60mph in less than 6 seconds!
An electric powertrain within is the only major change, as the weight of the car/dimensions remains completely unchanged. According to Jaguar: “It drives, handles, rides and brakes like an original E-type.”
You might not get that classic E-Type noise, but it’s a lot kinder on the environment.
In terms of power, the electric powertrain used can develop 220kW; a powertrain made just for the Jaguar E-Type Zero, by the way.
Like most electric cars, the E-Type Zero comes with more torque (332lb-ft) and is slightly heavier than the 60s version. Tests on the E-Type Zero found that it could travel 125 miles on a single charge.
Price-wise, this electric throwback will cost you around £300,000. In other words, you Jaguar fans might want to start counting those pennies.
Did you know that you can convert the VW Beetle into an electric classic with help from VW directly? In fact, you don’t even need to own a donor, thanks to German site eClassics, who work in tandem with VW to convert these classic models for you.
You can visit countless refurbishment sites to find cheaper conversion kits. Still, with help from eClassics, everything is done for you. This includes the eBasIS Chassis, the Beetle Body, and all the inner workings needed to get it moving.
You’re essentially buying a new car if you purchase the VW e-Käfer (their name for the classic electric car) as everything has been refurbished/redesigned. This isn’t like the electric Mini, where you simply swap out the battery.
In terms of spec, the lithium-ion battery has a capacity of 48kWh. Site eClassics, claim that you can travel 350km, or 217 miles, which is nearly as good as some all-electric SUVs!
If you live in the UK and wish to convert your VW Beetle, then you’ll need to visit Jack’s Garage, which happens to be a partner of eClassics.
Looking for something a lot cheaper? Try converting a Fiat 500 to electric using parts supplied by Electric Classic Cars.
Original (1957) versions of the Fiat 500 were all the rage back in the day, so to see companies breathe new life into them is always a sight to see.
The only downside to this classic electric car is milage. On a single charge, you are only getting between 50-75 miles of range. On the other hand, torque is almost double compared to the original 57 version (70 lb-ft). Then again, the original did come out over half a century ago; you’d expect these sorts of advancements regardless of an electric component.
So how much does it cost? Around £25,000, which is more than double the price of a modern Fiat 500. You’d have to be a die-hard Fiat fan to chase a classic electric car like this.
A non-classic option would be to buy the Fiat 500e, which is a lot better in almost every way (especially range). It’s a lot more practical, too, if you plan on implementing this ride into your day-to-day.
Aston Martin DB6
We’ve saved, arguably, the best till last. Like VW, British dynasty Aston Martin provides a helping hand to anyone wanting a high-end classic electric car.
Aston Martin’s Heritage department is gifting electric conversion kits to transform classics like the DB6 MkII Volante, an updated version running on zero emissions.
Interesting fact: the original DB6 launched in 1970. There is a finite number of them available, as is the case with most classic cars.
The concept DB6 electric car was shown in 2018 and met with mixed emotions from fans/critics alike.
Expect to pay an arm and a leg to own an updated electric version of this car (around £200,000 to convert). What did you expect? Second-hand versions of the DB6 sell for up to £450,000 to give you an idea of how revered this classic car is.
Where Can I Convert My Classic Car to Electric
As mentioned at the beginning here, owners of classic cars have multiple options when it comes to converting their collection.
In the UK alone, you have multiple options at your disposal. Looking online is great for obvious reasons — another option is to do it yourself by buying all the parts separately. Word of warning: electric conversions are very expensive and could affect your ride’s performance or worse.
We’d advise against trying to convert a classic car to electric yourself unless you happen to be an expert with working knowledge on the subject — or automobiles in general.
Know that the cost of converting a classic car into a classic electric car is pretty pricey. After all, you’re asking for custom work on a car that might have come out decades ago.
Always go with a reputable specialist if in doubt. Sites like Retro Electric and Electric Classic Cars are great UK options.
The latter gives you the best of both worlds and is one of the most popular specialist sites there is, period. At Electric Classic Cars, you can either purchase the parts needed to convert your classic car to electric yourself or, you can pay them to do it for you.
Their ethos is plastered on their homepage: “Electric Classic Cars was born out of the passion for classic cars and the desire to make them more reliable and ecological to drive using the knowledge gained in the energy efficiency and control industry.”
Another option would be to check if the car brand in question offers some sort of conversion service. Or wait to see if more companies follow Jaguar’s lead in reworking older models to go on sale.
In fact, many supercar companies have already announced plans to make electric versions of popular rides.
Why Convert Your Classic Car to Electric
It’s an interesting question given the legacy of certain vehicles. What would possess owners of classic cars/car brands to go down this route?
Want our opinion? We, personally, consider electric versions of classic cars unique. These vehicles were never meant to replace the original; we think of them more like an update to bridge the past and the future.
An electric showcase, so to speak.
It could be easy for us to say money, but money doesn’t cover it for the most part.
It’s true; the cost to convert your classic car to an electric type is expensive. Still, you have to consider what work goes into crafting old parts/refurbishing most classic cars. Remember, they weren’t made to handle electric tech when designed/manufactured.
For brands upgrading their vehicles themselves, it’s a genius marketing technique disguised as an official vehicle launch, one that gets everyone talking — from the petrolhead doubters to the die-hard EV enthusiasts.
Classic cars carry the history of certain brands. They remind people of a bygone era, so what better way to ring in the future than reworking these cars — making them faster, more reliable, and above all else, sustainable.
Furthermore, it makes future EV announcements a lot more interesting to a wider base. Another reason is a pretty simple one: to continue the lineage of certain models, like with the Fiat 500e.
We know; Fiat’s aren’t considered ‘classics’ by any stretch of the imagination, but earlier models are.
Did we mention that electric cars are a lot cheaper to maintain too?
You pay less road tax for driving around in an eco-friendly vehicle. Then there’s the amount of money you’ll save in the long haul by charging overpaying for fuel.
Issues That Arise When Converting a Classic Car to Electric
Refurbishing a classic car is one thing, but adding an electric component is like navigating uncharted waters mostly.
Think about it. You’re taking a massive risk, that in some cases, isn’t worth the reward. Look at the converted electric Fiat 500 for an example. The Electric Classic Cars version could only manage 50-75 miles on electric-only, limiting how far you can travel as a result.
Practically any car can be reworked and made electric. However, only a select number of classic collectors will look to alter their prized possessions in any significant way.
Electric power has given many of the classic cars shown above a new lease on life, but if you simply collect them to display and occasionally ride them, then what point is there in paying all that money to convert it?
Furthermore, electric components are heavy, like really heavy. Veteran drivers will notice the difference almost immediately when behind the wheel. This is mostly true with electric conversion kits.
Those who rework their classic cars entirely by implementing a new chassis to counteract the weight will notice this less. Then again, would this alter the feeling associated with the original car?
Owners might have to convert these vehicles regardless, given the UK government’s green plans surrounding transport.
In Short: The Best Classic Cars Converted To Electric For Sale in The UK
We look to classic cars like we look to elders for guidance. Without them, we wouldn’t have as many options to choose from in the present day. It makes sense then that these established car companies would give drivers the tools to rework them.
Conversion kits are pretty popular if you know how to install them or have the money to pay someone to do it for you.
Buying a classic electric car is a lot more expensive than some might think. Is it worth it? We think so, given the impending electric wave that’s about to hit the UK. If you want to continue driving a classic car on English roads, then there might be no other choice.
That being said, owners of classic cars very rarely shy away from their comfort zone.
Our suggestion would be to seat them in a converted E-Classic Mini and have them drive around for a little while. Ask them afterwards what they think; we can guarantee they’ll have a change of heart.
Whether or not they pay to own a classic electric car afterwards depends on the person.
Again, it’s an expensive process but could add years to the life of these iconic rides if the car takes to the electric transplant successfully.
Interesting, right? We hope you found our picks for the best electric classic cars in the UK as riveting as some of our other features.