Messerschmitt, Beetle, Datsun Fairlady… welcome to Japan at OZ Motors, for whom electrical conversion is a serious business. Maybe even innovation. If retrofit is practiced in conjunction with restoration work, the ambition of its founder is to bring the automobile into a new era.
Electric conversion in the land of the rising sun
OZ Motors, is one of the first companies to do electrical conversion in Japan. Founded in 1993 by Osamu Furukawa, the company first made a name for itself in the customization and resale of automotive supplies to dealers.
Committed to bringing the automobile into the new era of mobility, OZ Motors first started its electrical conversion activity on old vehicles.
In Japan too, the vw combi and the electric beetle are in great demand.
In Japan too, the vw beetle finds many fans. It is therefore not surprising to come across a number of them circulating in the land of the rising sun. The various conversion kits designed in part for this model, allow the retrofit of the electric ladybird, which has become very popular in the country. The same goes of course for the electric vw combi.
Count a little less than 25,000 euros for a ladybird bought and retrofitted by OZ Motors.
One small detail that’s important, OZ Motors uses batteries that have already been used on the Nissan Leaf. Retrofitting and “re-use” optimized to the end.
To the impossible no one is bound. Except for a 1960 Datsun Fairlady…
In 2011, OZ Motors is embarking on the electric conversion of a 1960 Datsun Fairlady. This operation remains quite exceptional in the history of the company… Nevertheless, it has introduced the company to a taste for customization.
Conceived as a concept car, a quick charger, developed at the time by JFE Engineering, was installed for this conversion. The use of the CHAdeMO charging port with output socket, which could be used as a backup power source in the event of a power failure, was quite innovative at the time. Not to mention the air conditioning and the chassis with air suspension.
Technical innovations and regulations in Japan
In order to continue to develop its electrical conversions towards ever greater safety, OZ Motors is working on equipment such as cruise control and automatic driving.
In Japan, in order to obtain the right to drive after the electrical conversion of a vehicle, the inspection rules are strict. And are the same for all vehicles on public roads. OZ Motors also carries out tests on re-used lithium-ion batteries, equivalent to those carried out under European standards.
The Japanese government does not provide any particular support to those involved in electrical conversion. Retrofitted cars are, moreover, subject to the same taxes as new electric cars. CQDF…
Youtube of OZ Motors with the video of its Messerschmitt converted to electric: