Mobility Energy

308: Retrofitting vehicles to electric propulsion


According to Oliver Wyman of Lux Research electric vehicles are 45% more expensive to build than their internal combustion engined equivalents.


During the 1980s, many individuals retrofitted their gasoline automobiles to electric propulsion despite being held back by batteries with feeble autonomy.

In 1966, Daniel Theobald Cambridge, Massachusetts bought a 1966 VW camper off Craigslist, converted it to electric power in an afternoon and started re-engineering the vehicle for solar power.

Among them was Randy Holmquist of Errington, a small Vancouver Island community in British Columbia, Canada. In 1995 Holmquist set up Canadian Electric Vehicles (CEV) with the initial focus to provide the designs and parts for converting gas vehicles to non-polluting electric.

In 2000 Canadian Electric Vehicles was approached by Los Angeles airport to design and build an electric powered aircraft refueling truck. Over 70 of these three ton trucks have been converted and are in use at airports in in US, Dubai, Puerto Rico, Australia and in 2009 England. In 2012, CEV innovated a kit to convert Ford Ranger fleet vehicles to electric which was received by both municipal and private fleet operators in BC.

Today, across the border, there are some thirteen Electric Vehicle Conversion Companies

Across the Atlantic, in Newton, mid-Wales, Richard “Moggy” Morgan and Graham Swann e-retrofit models from the 1960s or 1970s including the iconic VW Beetle and its derivatives

Since 1954, it had been impossible to change a car engine in France, even to put an electric, batteries and thus drive every day with much less pollution. But on April 6th 2020, the French government published a ministerial decree that creates a legal framework for electric car conversions. ICE cars, buses, and trucks over five years old, and two and three-wheelers over three years old can now be retrofitted with an electric powertrain

This was largely due to lobbying by Retrofuture of Paris, who have “electrified” such vehicles an Austin Mini, a Peugeot 504 or a Jaguar XJ. With batteries today, but with hydrogen tomorrow, Marc Tison and Arnaud Pigounides are accompanying the revolution in ecological and economic mobility

Discover Solution 309: Shaded farming aka Agrophotovoltaics

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