Wayne’s Electron Garage converts classic cars into electric vehicles in Scotland
Wayne’s Electron Garage, currently the only one of its kind in Scotland, converts classic vehicles into electric vehicles. The Herald of Scotland shared Wayne’s history and one of his recent conversions, a shiny black Morris Minor with a chrome bumper and shiny exterior mirrors. The article noted that it was sliding very quietly.
While it’s a classic car on the outside, the Morris Minor has been completely electrified on the inside. Wayne also increased the vehicle’s top speed from 40 mph to 70 mph.
Wayne removed the engine, fuel tank, and other original components and replaced them with an electric motor and 24 kW batteries from a Nissan Leaf that insurers wrote off after an accident. Not only is this a useful revitalization of a classic car, but it also reuses older EV batteries, which is doubly good for the environment. Wayne noted that while the range is only about 70 miles, it is enough for a city car.
Another vehicle Wayne and his son Euan are currently working on is a 1960 T2 VW campervan. He said Herald of Scotland that it would be equipped with a 75 kW Tesla battery and a Tesla drive unit. This gives the classic car a range of up to 250 miles and transforms it from a gas eater into an emission-free electric vehicle.
Although some fans of classic cars believe that switching to electric cars is sacrilege, there are more and more people who are swapping the unreliability of an old internal combustion engine (ICE) for a new, environmentally friendly one.
Wayne agreed that not everyone is a fan of classic car tinkering, but electrification would mean more of these vehicles would be seen on the streets. “There are two camps out there,” Wayne said. “They say we shouldn’t do that with a classic vehicle – and there are some cars that we don’t want to touch.”
âBut there are also many old-timers in garages and barns that don’t turn a wheel from year to year because they are difficult to live with.
âWith a lot of older cars, you need a toolkit when you go for a drive. You collapse and you are left on the side of the road.
âElectrification gives it a new life and helps it keep going for another 20 or 30 years. You can ride it without having to worry about getting where you want to go. “
Governments around the world are tightening restrictions on diesel and gas vehicles. Because of these restrictions, as well as the idea of ââlow-emission zones in some city centers, many owners are rethinking how they will power their vintage cars in the future. The mix of environmentally conscious millennials with a passion for retro design and older “petrol heads” wanting to revisit the cars of their younger days will help drive the electrification of classic cars. As the article noted, it is driving this trend.
No demand for classic electric cars?
Herald of Scotland also interviewed Alan Potts who specializes in selling vintage cars to enthusiasts at Car Cave Scotland. He pointed out that business is booming. He believes that few would want to swap the roar of a classic motor for the quiet hum of an electric motor.
“The general consensus among classic cars is that you would ruin your classic car,” said Potts. âIf you have a Morris Minor or MG Mgb Gt that might be worth Â£ 5,000-10,000 and then convert it, you’re going to affect the value of the car a little, but not massively. However, if you convert a Type E Jaguar to an electric one, the value of the car will be significantly reduced. And with some old cars like an Aston Martin, the sound they make is everything, âhe added. “To turn on the engine and suddenly there is a hissing noise … it throws a little courage out of the car.”
Potts found that demand for retro gas classics is booming, especially those old favorites from the 1970s and 1980s. He imports these from South Africa. “There is massive demand,” he explained. âWe change around 20 classic Fords every month. If we had more of certain models, we would move more. “
In the interview, Wayne pointed out that inquiries had been received for converted classics such as the VW Camper Van as well as for a converted old Land Rover. He noticed that people have been customizing cars for years and customizing classics is no different.
“I think interest in switching from classic cars to electric cars will increase once people become aware of what can be done,” he said.