Innovative EV Start-Up Saving Bangers From The Scrapheap

Tue 21st Sep 2021

Classic cars are being saved from being sent to landfill and giving the environment a double-boost by being converted to electric by a crusading new London start-up.

With the high costs of owning a petrol or diesel engine in the UK’s capital made even more difficult by the eye-watering daily Ultra Low Emission Zone fees, motorists are left with the stark choice of paying more than £60 a week to drive their car, or leave their classic vehicle at home and find another alternative.

But with their headquarters in London, a new start-up is promising to give a new lease of life to classic cars and make them cleaner in the process. London Electric Cars are using upcycled batteries from Teslas and Nissans to concert vintage cars into EVs, giving owners the option of driving their beloved cars for just £1 a day (the cost of charging it) and no ULEZ fees.

"I saw that companies in California were converting cars and at the time there was no one in the UK doing this," said Mattew Quitter, founder of London Electric Cars, who started the company by converting his own 1953 Morris Minor and now works on a range of mainly Mini and Land Rover conversions. His team of 10 engineers can swap an engine to EV for prices starting at £25,000, which may sound like a lot, but the savings are significant, and many are made on classic chassis.

"One of the things we try to do is maintain the cars as much as possible for historical integrity," said Quitter. "Things like the indicators are a little less consistent than say a modern car. But for most classic car owners that’s the quirkiness that they enjoy.”

The London Electric Cars company have also worked on iconic cars such as a Lancia B2, a Bentley B2 and even a Bond Bug for classic car enthusiast Roy Campbell, who saw his tiny car fitted with a Tesla engine earlier this year.

“The value is still there afterwards. It’s not like you’re throwing money away," Campbell says of his vehicle, which now has the added EV benefits of no emissions, and no noise.

“Now I could just sit there and read the paper. It’s completely silent. The advantages of converting to electric are really exaggerated with this car."