The petrol and diesel ban is set take effect in 2030; a little under a decade. Consequently, it is no surprise to see a noticeable shift in industry initiatives which seek to support it. Operating in a space distant from conventional production are smaller businesses offering conversions of older gasoline/diesel cars to solely electric power.

The proposition is animating, financially stimulating, and idealistic. Many car conversions of this type target classic, enthusiast, affordable, collectible, and sports cars. The reasons to convert are numerous, including cost saving, exclusivity, performance, and personal preference. It is often cost effective to convert than buy new however if the car in question is an older collector’s item or has a disagreeable chassis infrastructure with which to begin, costs will exacerbate.

Zero EV is an electric car conversion company in Bristol that creates such conversion kits. The Mazda MX5 and Porsche 911 are well established sports cars in the automotive scene and bring with them decades worth of motoring pedigree and consolidated identities. Zero EV has developed conversion kits for certain past models of these automobiles. Such kits contain battery, motor, chassis attachment, and other essential electric components required to execute the conversion.

Entire Kit components

The company has produced a kit for the Porsche 911 964 2c; a cherished model released during the late 90’s. For those unfamiliar with the 911’s speciality, it is a rear-engine car. This means its engine sits behind the rear wheels. Furthermore, the engine is a flat six-cylinder layout that involves pistons that fire horizontally as opposed to vertically as is the case in most conventional combustion engines.

This placement ensures a lower centre of gravity for the car as more componentry sits lower down in its chassis. As mentioned, the engine sits just behind the rear wheels. This is further beneficial as weight near the rear wheels help increase traction. The lower centre of gravity provided by the particular engine layout adds further weight to the area thus also advancing traction. A car powered by an electric motor is fortunate to receive maximum torque output as soon as the accelerator is pressed. As the 911 naturally has a technically enforced traction advantage, instant kinetic energy from electric power would enhance its performance drastically.

Zero EV’s conversion kit has three main components. These are batteries, a charger, and an electric motor. The latter would replace the engine whilst the batteries and charger will slot into the car’s front end. There is no requirement to alter the car’s chassis as the kit is designed to “bolt in” directly to existing material.

Battery packs (on either side) and Electric Motor Drive Unit from Tesla (centre)

For the older Mazda mx5 from its second generation, a similar kit has been developed. The Mazda is a more affordable car to purchase than the Porsche. Second-hand prices generally range from 1000 to 2500 (2021) depending on condition, history, and mileage.

It is meaningful to convert old sports cars of this type to electric. A quiet sports car that abolishes petrol costs and the use of fossil fuels is a charming proposition for environmentalists, enthusiasts, and the general consumer. Zero EV achieves this whilst preserving and/or affirming inherent qualities of their associated cars. Furthermore, they seek to offer conversion of both moderately priced and high end cars. Considering this, the company targets the whole, values efficiency, promotes ease of access, and operates to reflect the inevitable but positive automotive industry shift we have come to terms with.

Feel free to delve into Zero EV’s activities and offerings by visiting their website: