A small London startup – London Electric Cars – is producing electric conversion kits for cars including this, practically perfect, 1953 electric Morris Minor.
The truth is, car users in cities tend to do just a handful of miles each day in their cars, so if there was a way to have a really cheap electric car which cost not a lot to buy and not a lot to run, there should be a big market. Step forward London Electric Cars.
Run by Matthew Quitter, London Electric Cars is in the business of delivering conversion kits for electric cars, and what better way to demonstrate that than by converting England’s ‘Volks Wagen’ – the Morris Minor – to run on nothing put electricity from a 13 amp socket.
Matthew has taken out the Moggie’s original A Series lump and replaced it with an electric drivetrain, which means the engine makes way for a 30bhp electric motor and nine ‘Thundersky’ prismatic lithium ion cells, with another sixteen cells sitting where the fuel tank was. There’s even an AC-DC converter to keep the original 12v lead acid battery, and the motor is bolted to the gearbox so you have a four-speed electric car.
Matthew says he tends to drive it around in second gear, but once you’re on the move you can plop it in fourth which gives direct electrical drive and takes away the bit of whine you get in other gears.
Power on offer is comparable to the original ICE engine – although you have twice as much torque – and the range is only around 40 miles, but that’s ample for use in a city, and it cost pennies to charge.
It’s a very environmentally friendly way to put more electric cars on the road without actually building them, although the cost is around £10k for the conversion kit, which makes it a bit harder to swallow.
Still, an electric Moggie is very appealing, and London Electric Cars say they can deliver a conversion kit for a wide range of cars which can be fitted in a weekend and requires no welding.