I've always coveted classic VW Beetles, but having discovered the joys of driving an electric car, I can't imagine going back to gas. If I still lived in the UK, however, I could have my cake and eat it too. Electric Classic Cars do exactly what their name suggests, taking classic cars from the sixties and seventies and restoring them to their original beauty—but swapping out the drive train for an all electric, emission free option instead.
In the video below, the always excellent Robert Llewellyn of Fully Charged takes one of their creations for a spin. And I do believe he fell in love. Featuring a 22kwh battery pack, split in two (one in front, one in back), and with the addition of regenerative braking, the car gets somewhere right around 100 miles per charge. (Most of Electric Classic Cars conversions get right around this range.) Because the switch to electric means more power, and more acceleration, the conversion also included some tweaks to the suspension and newer disc brakes in the front. But the interior has been kept pretty much as the original would have looked:
According to the company's website, the conversions tend to get a top speed around 100mph—although knowing how the range drops off on my Leaf when I get on the highway, I would suspect that you can't go flooring these things and expect to get anywhere near the advertised range.
No word on price, unless I missed it in the video, but I'd imagine there are a fair few people out there who'd love to get their hands on one of these beautiful creations. (Update: One commenter on YouTube said he was told a figure of £25,000 by one of the founders.) Sure, I doubt the true classic car purists are all that happy, but for those of us who don't wax nostalgic about grease, oil and emissions, this seems to me like the best of both worlds.
Plus, you know, recycling...