Should I convert my classic car to electric?

Aston Martin is claiming a world first (although Jaguar might have something to say about that) with the creation of an electric-powered version of one of its classic DB6 Volante convertibles from the 1960s, with a conversion that the company says is fully reversible.

Aston classic electric concept

The Aston classic electric concept is a relatively simple one. Remove the 4.0-litre straight-six petrol engine, originally designed by Aston’s then-in-house engine genius, Tadek Marek, and insert in its place a ‘cassette’ containing an electric motor and batteries derived from the incoming Rapide-E electric saloon — Aston Martin’s first production electric car.

Is it something you should try? A clever way of keeping your gorgeous classic ahead of future legislation? Certainly many are considering it, but there are two things to consider — the quality of the work, and getting insurance. In fact, these two are intermingled.

Clearly, given the potential for getting very high performance from an electric motor and batteries, you’d want to make sure that the conversion work is being carried out to the highest possible standard, and that the car’s suspension, steering, brakes, and even body structure are all suitably upgraded to be able to handle the new-found grunt.

Your insurer will definitely want to see proof of how good the conversion is. We spoke to about this, and their response was cautious, but not an outright ‘no.’ “We’d need to establish certain things first, of course” said a spokesperson. “Such as driver profile, age, no claims bonus, and making sure that the car was for private use only. The main concern would be who is doing the work – is it a professional firm or a bit of a DIY? Engineer reports would be required and it may have to be an engineer on the insurers panel and this could be at the clients cost.”


It’s also probably a good idea, as with the Aston Martin conversion, to make sure that if you’re slotting in batteries and motors, that you do so in such a way that the original engine and running gear can be easily put back in, so as to maintain the car’s history, and its value.