Driving an old Austin Mini or an electric Porsche 912 is now possible in France with the arrival of the retrofit. New players specialising in electric conversion of classic cars are launching themselves on the French market by offering cars of a new kind.
The conversion of classic cars, the tasty marriage of vintage and innovation
Combining a vintage car with 21st century technology is now possible thanks to retrofit, which concerns cars, two-wheelers, but also vans, aviation and water sports. For private individuals, retrofit concerns both everyday vehicles and leisure cars intended for weekend trips.
The arrival of retrofit in France and the technical advances in electric motorization (autonomy, battery recycling, etc.) now make it possible to satisfy a wide variety of motivations. Whether rational (climate, fuel economy, circular economy…) or emotional, the electric conversion of classic cars now offers the possibility of driving with style and zero emissions.
The electric conversion of classic cars, a matter of model. Or not.
Owners of older vehicles, which have been produced in large numbers and whose engines are wobbly, will no doubt be tempted in first. The purists of the thermal mechanics or those whose vehicle has a high rating, will perhaps be harder to convert… whatever.
To convince you of this, the POA (Petits Observateurs Automobile) report dedicated to Mr. Paul, who has been driving a Porsche 912 in its original thermal version for many years. Mr. Paul is testing a Porsche 912 converted to electricity by Retrofuture and whose Flat 6 has been replaced by an electric motor of 88 kw equivalent to 120 hp, flanged at 95 hp.
His impressions are without appeal! Mr. Paul is seduced. Flexibility of acceleration, silence, reliability in the behaviour of the vehicle… this test turns for him into an astonishing moment of pleasure at the wheel of this “e-Porsche 912” of 1968. As a small bonus, the gearbox has been kept during the retrofit, which allows the driver to continue shifting gears and even start in 3rd gear in a very honourable way, thanks to the torque of the electric engine.
To discover the test drive of Mr. Paul’s retrofited Porsche 912, click here :
Retrofit in France. The only exceptions are vehicles less than five years old and collector vehicles
The electric conversion of classic cars can be carried out on all types of cars over five years old, excluding recent vehicles or those under manufacturer’s warranty, ideally between 15 and 20 years old.
The other exception to the rule concerns vintage vehicles, authentic and therefore not converted, over 30 years old, with a “collection” registration document. This “heritage” status does not therefore allow conversion to electric vehicles.
Read also: Electric conversion arrives in France. Transformation of thermic cars into electric cars is now possible
Retrofit mythical cars: after the manufacturers, French start-ups are starting to make their mark
Car manufacturers themselves are interested in retrofit their iconic models. Like Jaguar and its mythical E-Type (Zero)… or the American branch of Volkswagen and its famous Combi… Most of the conversions today concern popular and mass-produced models such as the 2.CV, the Austin Mini, the Beetle vw…
Nevertheless, it would seem that a new chapter in automobile history is being written in France with the arrival of specialists in the conversion of classic cars such as Retrofuture-ev and its 15 mythical models, Ian Motion and his Austin Mini, or Brouzils Autos, the first to have electrified a Coccinelle vw, or the Méhari Club in Cassis.