How Much Does It Cost to Convert an Old Car to Electric – 2021 Guide

Keeping up with the modern times is not always easy, particularly if people do not want to rush things, if they like them as they are at the moment, or if they lack the finances to do it. It could be said that the constant advancements of technology is a double edged sword because it does make our civilization and society better, but at the same time it also creates wider and wider divides between classes and nations. The differences between certain parts of the world when it comes to development is staggering. It takes decades for a third-world country to get even the basics of modern technology and ways of life, while the world leaders keep expanding at a rapid pace.

One of the places where this is the most evident is the auto industry and the overall common sense about vehicles and their technologies. As the western civilization tries to push for a greener future and less pollution due to the ever-growing climate change issues, other parts of the world are struggling to even join in, let alone keep up. Some do not want to, others ignore the problems, while many of those who would want to partake cannot. The obvious solution is to go electric and cut our ties with fossil fuels. Sadly, the infrastructure is lacking and modern electric cars are still too expensive.


So what can be done? What can a person who wants to do their part and drive an electric car do if they lack the necessary conditions to buy and own one? Well, there is one very interesting solution to this 21st century problem, and it comes in the form of converting a traditional old car into an electric car. While it may sound like poorly written science fiction or something that Doc from Back to the Future might aim for, it can be done. In this article, we talk how exactly. Read on to learn more and make sure to check out if this form of retrofitting classic cars is interesting to you.

How Is It Done?


In theory, any car with the internal combustion engine can be converted into an electric car. It is a difficult job to pull off as it is not something that is standardized, but it can be done. Right off the bat we need to say that this should not really be done with new cars. Modern vehicles that are not electric are too valuable and in too good condition to be tinkered with like this. It is not only a pity, but there is no saying that you will be able to pull it off due to the intricate systems and mechanisms involved. Newer cars have a lot of computerized features that depend on each other and there is no saying what can go wrong. The devalue potential is also staggering.


With older cars that came decades ago however, it is a whole different story. They are already past their prime and people tend to modify and restore them anyway.

In addition, it means owning a classic car that is modernized for the future now that it has an electric engine, better acceleration, a higher top speed, and is lighter. If you want your old-timer in the modern age, there is nothing better you can do than fir it with an all-electric engine and the supporting specs.

The most expensive part about the whole ordeal is the donor car, or at least the donor parts. The costs range massively based on the model you have and the one you need, as well as the type, the condition, etc. Then you have to buy the parts you will be missing, and something is always missing. Batteries and other parts are currently found with insurance write-off cars, mostly Tesla models. Crashed electric vehicles can be found for a few thousand dollars with most of the parts intact. You have to scour the markets and junkyards but you will eventually find something.

The Cost


Usually, the whole mission of converting an old petrol car electric costs more than buying a different electric car. It is still a relatively new method and not everyone is able to do it. This sets the price high from the start. The conversion itself can cost up to $6,000 only for the parts you need, and then about $1,000 to $3,000 for the batteries and the installations. And this is for the less expensive manufacturers and models. For the true classics like the Fiat 500, or the always-popular Porsche 911, you could be looking at tens of thousands of dollars. Bigger and higher performance cars have gone through transformations that set their owners back as much as $75,000.

However, it is not only about the money you invest in the conversion. First of all, you can no longer buy and old classic like the one you have, nor will you be able to. They are pieces of history, art on wheels, who are sadly not made for the future they have had the pleasure of being in. To save them and make them a part of the new world, there is an amazing solution of taking the old engine out in favor of an electric one. This instantly makes them more cost friendly and finally puts an end to your increasing spending on fuel.


Not only that, but you will be left with a ton of usable, probably original spare parts that have just come out of your vehicle. These cost a pretty penny and they are highly sought after due to their rarity. If they are in good condition, especially the engine itself, they could offset a lot of the total conversion costs you had. Basically, you will hardly be able to do anything without at least $20,000 so be prepared to spend as much as you would for a new set of wheels. But again, it will not be your dear old set of classic wheels that you will be able to drive for years to come for a fraction of what you used to spend on gas!