Best EV Conversion Companies

Flash Drive Motors is our top recommendation for electric vehicle conversion

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Best EV Conversion Companies of 2022

Treehugger / Design by Amelia Manley

Our Top Picks

EV conversions swap out a vehicle's internal combustion engine for an efficient, low-maintenance motor and electric battery. This allows car owners to re-purpose the body of a gas-powered vehicle and drive emissions-free. The good news is that converting a gasoline car to an electric one is getting easier and easier.

EV conversion companies are growing in number and sophistication. Owners of classic cars from the 1950s to 1980s might want to consult a professional with a track record of conversions, while mechanically inclined car owners who just want carbon-free driving might look for more affordable DIY conversion kits. Continue reading for our list of the best EV conversion companies.

Best Overall: Flash Drive Motors

Flash Drive Motors

Flash Drive Motors

Key Specs

  • Price Range: Not advertised
  • Optional Add-ons: Yes
  • Services: Conversions and parts

Why We Chose It: Flash Drive Motors has experience working on a wide range of cars and trucks.

Pros

  • Does restoration work and EV conversions
  • Innovative in adapting EV motors to transmissions
  • Conversions are reversible

Cons

  • A small operation
  • Website is basic

Flash Drive Motors falls in the middle between high-end shops catering to luxury customers and one-person DIYers working out of their garage. This is a full body shop with experience in the restoration of older vehicles and has converted a wide variety of cars and small trucks, from a rusted-out 1969 Karmann Ghia to a 1980 Subaruru Brat now packed with a Tesla battery and double the torque. Its many YouTube videos demonstrate the knowledge and care the company brings to each of its projects.

The enthusiastic team at Flash Drive Motors installs single- and dual-motor packages as well as all the necessary components to make them run. Every conversion is different, so rather than posting prices, Flash Drive fields informal inquiries via email, Facebook, and its website. The site promises to “offer a solution to fit your budget and performance goals.” Flash Drive Motors also sells EV parts and works with DIYers working on their own conversions.

Best for Trucks, Vans, and 4x4s: Zero Labs

Zero Labs

Zero Labs

Key Specs

  • Price Range: Not advertised
  • Optional Add-ons: Yes
  • Services: Conversions only

Why We Chose It: Zero Labs does high-quality work and has its roots in light-duty vehicles.

Pros

  • Conversions are fully reversible
  • Sources original vehicles for clients
  • All modern conveniences available

Cons

  • Custom-built “Premium Classics” are pricey

Zero Labs produces the best of both worlds, installing high-power, top-of-the-line electric powertrains with long-range batteries inside gorgeous classic vehicles that will increase in value over time. Founded in 2015, Zero Labs made a big splash among automotive and luxury magazines (think MotorTrend and Esquire) by restoring 4x4s, but it has since expanded into classic pickup trucks as well as two-door coupes and muscle cars.

It should be no surprise that Zero Labs' base in Hawthorne, California, is just down the street from the Tesla Design Center. Zero Labs is a full-service luxury restomod (short for “restored and modified”) company whose final products can optionally include DC fast charging, touchscreen controls, dual motors, 100 kWh batteries, premium suspension, performance brakes, and vegan leather interiors.

Inquiries about pricing and scheduling are done through its polished website. Zero Labs caters to car and truck owners who are looking to preserve their classic vehicles and increase their value in an increasingly electric future. Don't expect to convert a late-model light-duty vehicle to an EV platform here: Zero Labs says on its website, “That would be completely silly.”

Best for German Cars: Zelectric Motors

Zelectric Motors

Zelectric Motors

Key Specs

  • Price Range: $68,000–$88,000
  • Optional Add-ons: Yes
  • Services: Conversions only

Why We Chose It: Zelectric Motors' conversions of classic VWs and Porsches are to die for.

Pros

  • Sources original vehicles for clients 
  • Fully reversible conversions
  • No cutting or welding of the original body

Cons

  • VWs, Porsches, and Karmann Ghias only

If you mourn the death of the VW Beetle or don't like the look of VW's new Microbus replacement, the ID.Buzz, Zelectric is your conversion shop. Based in San Diego, Zelectric has received media attention from several national media outlets. Its popularity has led to a 15– to 18-month waiting list for new projects, each of which requires three to four months of custom re-engineering.

Zelectric does more than swap out an internal combustion engine for an electric motor. Its standard conversions include front disc brakes, regenerative braking, LED headlights and taillights, a digital dash fuel gauge, and a USB charging port. Options include heating and heated seats, roof racks, custom paint and upholstery, and other restoration work.

Zelectric does high-quality conversions. Just ask entertainer Jay Leno, who calls his Zelectric-modified Porsche “the best electric car I've ever driven.”

Best for DIY Kits: Electric GT

Electric GT

Electric GT

Key Specs

  • Price Range: $34,500–$65,000
  • Optional Add-ons: Yes
  • Services: Kits only

Why We Chose It: It’s an excellent choice for reducing DIYers' hassles.

Pros

  • Plug-and-play kits
  • Batteries included
  • Range of motor/battery combinations

Cons

  • Not for tinkerers who want to mix and match parts

EV conversion kits are for DIYers who don't want to be confronted with a parts list and the need to do all the engineering themselves. Electric GT's turnkey kits eliminate the need to follow complicated instructions to put the kit together piece by piece. Its eCrate systems can be bolted directly into an existing vehicle's body, without the need for welding or cutting of the original body.

Electric GT then goes one even step further by including a battery. Most EV conversion kits lack batteries, requiring DIYers to source them separately. Given how chassis and voltage requirements can vary from vehicle to vehicle, this can be a challenge. Electric GT's “Motor Blocks” combine motors, batteries, chargers, controllers, converters, thermal management systems, and junction boxes in a single, well-designed unit.

Electric GT's powertrains are truly turnkey systems designed to fit many body shapes and sizes. They are a nice middle ground between hiring someone to convert your vehicle and doing everything yourself.

Best for DIY Parts: EV West

EV West

EV West

Key Specs

  • Price Range: $8,000–$18,000 for kits
  • Optional Add-ons: Yes
  • Services: Kits and parts

Why We Chose It: EV West offers the best range of parts for EV conversion.

Pros

  • Large number of parts, well-described
  • New products are regularly added
  • Offers seminars and YouTube instructional videos

Cons

  • Limited number of kits
  • Website looks dated

EV West's homepage takes you directly to its catalog, as the company only sells conversion kits and EV parts. Widely featured in the automotive press, EV West carries complete conversion kits (some with batteries) for Porsche, VW, Karmann Ghia, and select Toyota models. It sells a variety of batteries by the individual cell or by the pack for easy configuration into any conversion.

Looking like something from the 1990s, the company's website itself could use an upgrade. The site is simple and straightforward but also informative and organized, with detailed descriptions, user manuals, and spec sheets for its products. DIYers will have an easy time navigating the site and finding what they need.

Final Verdict

The transition to cleaner, greener transportation leaves a lot of conscientious car owners in a dilemma: What do you do with a gas-powered vehicle that you've already invested a lot of money in? EV conversions offer you one route, converting your existing gas vehicle into an EV.

For DIY projects, EV West offers the best selection of parts, while Electric GT offers a wide variety of Plug & Play kits. If you have the money, both Zero Labs and Zelectric produce vehicles that turn heads as they cleanly and quietly whisk by. For a more cost-conscious approach, Flash Drive Motors offers the best mix of experience and know-how at less than luxury-class rates.

Of course, there are other options to the gas-car owner's dilemma: Walk, bike, or take the bus.

Compare the Best EV Conversion Companies

Company Price Range Optional Add-ons Services Types of Vehicles
Flash Drive Motors
Best Overall
Not advertised Yes Conversions and parts Pre-2000 passenger and light-duty vehicles 
Zero Labs
Best for Trucks, Vans, and 4x4s
Not advertised Yes Conversions only Premium classic 4x4s, pickups, coupes, and muscle cars
Zelectric Motors
Best for German Cars
$68,000– $88,000 Yes Conversions only VWs, Porsches, Karmann Ghias
Electric GT
Best for DIY Kits
$34,500– $65,000 Yes Kits only Most makes and models
EV West
Best for DIY Parts
$8,000–$18,000 (for kits) Yes Kits and parts Most makes and models
Frequently Asked Questions
  • What Are Some Common Reasons for an EV Conversion?

    Some common reasons people convert their vehicles to electric include having zero emissions and lower fuel costs, better performance, less maintenance, increased lifespan of the vehicle, and better resale value.

  • Is It Worth Converting Your Vehicle to Electric?

    Financially speaking, hiring someone to convert a late model gas car to an EV is likely to cost more than a new EV itself, while a DIY project can be done on a reasonable budget. For a classic, pre-2000 car whose value increases as it ages, an EV conversion is a good investment.

  • How Much Does an EV Conversion Cost?

    An EV conversion company can charge as much as (or far more than) the cost of a new vehicle, but DIY conversion kits can be purchased for as little as $8,000, plus batteries. Depending on how much EV range the owner wants, batteries can end up being the most expensive part of the conversion.

  • How Does an EV Conversion Kit Work?

    Most kits are designed for specific makes and models so that cutting or welding is not necessary on the original car body. The vehicle's internal combustion engine, gas tank, and (sometimes) transmission are removed and the “e-Crate motor” and battery are installed. For kits without batteries, decisions need to be made about how and where to store the batteries in a safe and efficient manner.

  • What Vehicles Can You Convert to Electric?

    Most conversions occur on pre-2000 vehicles, especially those with manual transmissions. It is usually cost-prohibitive and overly complicated to attempt a custom conversion on a late-model vehicle with a complicated transmission, HVAC system, and advanced power controls.

  • Is EV Conversion Legal?

    Yes. For restoration work on older vehicles, however, there are limits to compliance with modern safety standards. For classic vehicles, for example, front and side curtain airbags and breakaway bumper sensors are not legally allowed to be installed. Check with an EV conversion company about safety modifications before you begin any project.

Methodology

We reviewed 30 EV conversion companies and evaluated them based on the breadth of their services and products, their customer and press reviews, the track record and quality of their EV conversions, their YouTube channels and self-hosted videos, and the functionality of their websites.