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    04/01/2022

    What is the future of classic cars and electric conversions?

    Article

    ‘The image of electric vehicles (EVs) as sleek and futuristic is changing.’ – BBC

    Electric classic cars are making more of an impact today than ever before. Since the government’s announcement to ban the sale of new petrol or diesel vehicles by 2030, our perception of petrol and diesel cars as ‘the norm’ could start to shift into the future.

    Although 2030 will mark the end of beginning of a new electric era, you’ll still be able to buy petrol and diesel cars which are already on the road. That means the sale and use of many classics will still be allowed, so many owners aren’t too worried about the upcoming changes. But as more electric and hybrid cars start to roll off production lines, where does this leave the future of classics?

    The simple answer is: we can’t say for certain. However, if current trends are anything to go by, we’ll be seeing more electric classics on the road with each passing year.

    WHY ARE ELECTRIC CLASSIC CARS BECOMING MORE POPULAR?

    There are many reasons behind the growing popularity of converting classic cars to run on electricity. Steve Drummond, owner of classic conversion company Electrogenic, commented on the turn toward electric cars and how classic owners could benefit: ‘The incentives are to buy new EVs, but that’s throwing away a whole car when you could just change the engine.’ Some of our customers who have converted classics to electric, have done so to give the car a new lease of life, without the full engine rebuild and ongoing leaks they’d previously had to contend with. Take, for example, Heritage customer Peter Brazier, who was the owner of the first Ferrari 308 to have a Tesla motor installed. ‘The engine was getting old; every summer I had to replace parts of the fuel system; the garage always smelled of oil. It was getting to that point where I had to do something with it: either sell it, or rebuild the engine, one thing or the other.’

    Likewise, there are financial incentives to think about. All classic cars which are over 40 years old are eligible to become tax and MOT-exempt, even if they’ve had their petrol or diesel engine replaced with a battery. That means owners could benefit from the perks of an electric engine but still have the tax advantages of a classic. Insurance for classic cars also tends to be far cheaper than insurance for a modern vehicle, although this does vary between different marques and models.

    Another reason to convert classic cars to electric could be the adverse effect that petrol and diesel cars have on the environment – something the UK and the entire world is becoming more conscious of. Recent examples of these environmental factors can be seen in government actions, too. Take, for example, the introduction of E10 fuel in September 2021. It seems that, with more people focusing on our national and personal carbon footprint, going electric on the road is becoming a preference for many drivers of both classic and modern vehicles alike.

    WILL WE SEE MORE ELECTRIC CLASSIC CAR CONVERSIONS IN THE FUTURE?

    Andy McDonald, underwriter at Heritage Car Insurance, commented that, ‘As far as the future goes, I do see an increase in classic cars being converted to electric: it’s inevitable. There are more garages around the UK who will now do the conversion including London Electric Cars & Electric Classic Cars.

    ‘The introduction of E10 fuel will also have an impact as it will probably push classic car owners to look at a conversion, so the cost will start to come down as the technology gets cheaper. And, with the increasing infrastructure around the country to cater for charging needs, electric conversions will be a very attractive option to a lot of owners.’

    IS IT MORE DIFFICULT TO INSURE AN ELECTRIC CLASSIC CAR CONVERSION?

    As with most insurance policies, it depends on the car itself. Usually, classic car insurance is fairly cheap and gives drivers ample annual mileage to boot. When it comes to transforming the inner workings of a classic car, however, insurance companies are still getting to grips with the policies that will provide the right cover.

    Andy states that, ‘the insurers are starting to think about the products they offer for electric classics. Although we only have limited options at the moment, there are other insurers who are working to ensure their products are suitable for the increasing demand for electric classic car insurance.’

    With Heritage, you can get your electric classic vehicle covered as long as it meets the following criteria:

    Information from ERS Insurance

    In the future, we expect to see more insurers offering policies for electric classics and will work with insurers to find the cover that suits your next project. To speak with us about the insurance cover for your classic car – electric or otherwise – please call a member of the team on 0121 248 9229.