Reclassification of Converted Vehicles

17th Oct 2020

Reclassification of Converted Vehicles

There is huge merit in converting an otherwise ideal combustion-engined car to electric power. The most obvious win in the move away from burning fuel, but the other key aspect is preserving the embodied carbon in the construction of the remainder of the vehicle. The car has already been built and if conversion takes away the need for one new car then that too is a win.

Conversions come in a variety of guises, from the growing number of bespoke high end works by the likes of Electric Classic Cars, Zero EV, London Electric Cars as well as Fife’s own Electron Garage to the home conversions supported by the a number of companies and an amazing community, including the Open Inverter Forum.

Professional conversions are really targeted at those wishing to continue using a cherished vehicle but in electric form. Pricing varies but typically starts at around £25,000.

DIY conversions are significantly cheaper, with kits available and a keen interest in using the electrified element of hybrid power trains from vehicles such as the Lexus GS450H. These can cost just a few hundred pounds and a personal commitment to hours of rewarding work. Batteries from a variety of sources are used in both, with insurance write-offs providing some donor parts.

The comes the challenge! Engaging with the DVLA to register the vehicle as electric. Currently this is not as straightforward as it should be. The criteria and conditions are somewhat arcane and open to various interpretations. Baroness Bryony Worthington has included addressing this in her Electric Vehicle Trading Scheme and Road Usage Duty (Consultation) Bill [HL] 2019-21 (here) This Bill is currently in the House of Lords, and we would like to encourage members to write to their local MP.

A possible text for a letter can be found here, with the submission to the DVLA etc being under the OpenInverter Forum’s title.


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