Before Tesla came along and introduced the Model S, no one really believed that an electric car for the masses could look stylish and sleek. And with good reason, every EV that preceded it — with the exception of Tesla’s own Roadster — was something of an eyesore that was either too clunky, weird-looking, or downright ugly.
The difference in EV design today compared to years past is, without exaggeration, night and day. From the aforementioned Model S to the Porsche Taycan and 2020 Jaguar I-Pace, it’s now possible to purchase an EV that is both luxurious and well-designed. And while not every EV today is a sight to behold — the Chevy Volt still exists, for example — the EV options today are substantially more attractive than what was even available just a few years ago.
But what if you want the benefits of an EV with the style of an older car that has since been discontinued? Well, there’s actually a company out there that will gladly transform your classic car into a modern-day electric vehicle.
The company is called Zero Labs and its specialty is essentially mixing something new with something old. In a nutshell, the California-based company takes an old car, strips away unnecessary and hazardous materials, and then installs its own electric platform. So whether you have a vintage pickup truck or a classic muscle car, Zero Labs boasts that it can hook things up with ease.
Zero Labs’ electronic platform, according to the company, can be installed within 30 days and delivers 235 miles of range on a single charge.
“After more than 5 years of engineering and testing and use in all 2020/2021 full vehicle rebuilds, we are now proud to offer electric platforms which are designed to transform four gasoline and diesel vehicle formats each with numerous makes, models, and size configurations,” the company says.
It’s worth pointing out that not every car can get the EV treatment from Zero Labs. Per the company website, the four types of vehicles eligible for the transformation include classic 4x4s from 1947-1975, classic muscle cars built before 1975, classic 2 door coupes built between 1948 and 1975, and lastly, classic pickup trucks built between 1947 and 1975.
With respect to charging, the company notes on its FAQ:
We use two common onboard charging systems. Level 2 Charging and Level 3 Charging. You will not need a separate wall charger. How each works is described below.
We use onboard charging systems so you do not need a wall charger for this to work. You will be provided a cable to connect to an 240 volt outlet or if you have a wall charger you can use that too. We will supply you with a cable that will fit a variety of NEMA outlet sizes.
Level 2 Charging uses 240 volts Alternating Current (AC) found in nearly every home. Level 3 Charging requires a level 3 charging station. To locate one near you we suggest searching “level 3 charging station near me”. There are a growing number of very well funded national level 3 charging station providers such as ChargePoint and EVgo.
The company notes that the platform will be available sometime in 2021. In turn, precise pricing details aren’t available just yet.