• Cellvion
  • Posts
  • Swapping Car Engines for Batteries

Swapping Car Engines for Batteries

⚡The Future of Retrofit Electrification & Electrify Expo Recap

Austin, TX is home to some amazing events and opportunities for tech enthusiasts. Electrify Expo, for example, is the premier showcase for the latest developments in electric vehicles and is hosted every November.

We at Cellvion had the chance to attend this year, and it was truly inspiring to see how much EVs have cemented themselves into the future of clean transportation. Held at the legendary Formula 1 track at Circuit of the Americas, Electrify provides the chance to experience some of the greatest developments, technologies, and collaborations happening in the electric mobility space, from bikes and scooters to cars and trucks. We even got to drive a Tesla Model S Plaid and Porsche Taycan 4s on COTA’s track!

Modern Sport-focused EVs definitely pack a punch at the wheel!

One really unique and interesting theme that stuck out to us from Electrify is one that facilitates the marriage of car enthusiasts and clean energy advocates: gas to electric vehicle conversion.

It’s no secret that car lovers and sustainability proponents don’t see eye to eye on many topics, and to be fair, the sound of a gas-guzzling V10 at wide open throttle makes arguably one of the greatest sounds ever heard. This disparity between the two groups has made adoption of EVs to this community somewhat turbulent, but some folks have dedicated their professions to tackling this challenge in the retrofit conversion industry.

Here are two interesting companies we met and the problems that they’re solving:

Current Electric Vehicles is an EV conversion shop based in LA, and they specialize in electrifying classic cars. All internal combustion engine components are swapped for an electric drivetrain consisting of battery packs, inverters, and battery management systems. They work with old Fords, Chevys, and even Ferraris to restore life back to these beautiful classics, and make them a whole lot greener and cleaner than their carbureted counterparts. 

The founders, Brian and Rudy, expressed that some of the greatest difficulties in EV conversion come from actually figuring out how to accomodate and integrate modern electrical systems into cars that were originally designed for ICEs. As a result, they are working on developing standalone products (hardware & software) to solve these integration issues for other shops and EV conversion enthusiasts to use all while continuing to work on custom builds

1932 FORD DEUCE COUPE that Current has converted to an EV. They even fabricated the battery component cover in the style of a classic Lincoln V12 engine block!

Current EV Motors is a startup located here in Austin that is aiming at making EV conversion more cost effective and scalable. They’ve secured patents for a modular, integrated bolt-on EV conversion kit that replaces the entire engine and transmission assembly while maintaining original drivetrain components such as the transfer case and driveshaft. Their goal is to turn cars from disposable entities to life-long modes of clean transportation.

With this approach, they also have engaged in partnerships with climate-friendly universities that operate fleets (mainly Ford Econoline vans for now) to convert them to EVs rather than scrap them altogether and purchase new EVs. This saves money both up-front and in the long term, as the cost for conversion is much more economically feasible versus purchasing new vans, and with Current’s bolt-on kit, they can execute these conversions with low-turnaround times.

Rocco, the founder, expressed that the greatest challenge for him at this early growth stage is customer acquisition. EV conversion is a rapidly growing market, and there are still many hurdles to overcome relating to user acquisition and consistency in growth. Rocco’s goal is to reduce the barrier to entry for EV conversions for potential customers, and their patented technology can work to make this process as accessible as possible.

That’s all for now. Keep an eye on Cellvion and subscribe to our newsletter to learn about the biggest challenges in EVs, smart cities, grid electrification, and more.

Happy Thanksgiving!🦃

Join the conversation

or to participate.