Car Clubs Face EV dilemma

Car Clubs Face EV dilemma

The growing popularity of retro-fit EV conversions is leaving classic car clubs with the dilemma of whether owners who have stripped out their internal combustion engine and replaced it with an all-electric drivetrain can remain members.


Companies converting older vehicles to EVs continue to proliferate, with London Electric Cars, Electrogenics, Volt EV, Zero EV and Electric Classic Cars just some of the names involved, along with conversions by car makers.

However, converting a classic to electric is at odds with the FIVA definition of what constitutes a historic vehicle, a stance shared by the Federation of British Historic Vehicle Clubs. While electric vehicles manufactured in period are supported as a key part of transport heritage, those that have been converted from their original internal combustion engines to electric power are no longer considered to meet the criteria.

A show of hands at the recent FBHVC AGM suggested that the majority of clubs would be willing to allow converted classics to remain part of their club, with the Federation’s Research Director suggesting that despite such vehicles not meeting the definition of a historic vehicle, it was better that they were kept on the road than not at all. However, he also questioned that to what extent allowing such vehicles was tampering with heritage assets.

Speaking at the AGM, the Federation’s Legislation Director Lindsay Irvine stressed that, looking to the future, it was important the FHBVC’s member club’s didn’t eliminate electric vehicles. “They will become historic and part of the FBHVC’s remit. History doesn’t stand still.” However, when it comes to converted classics, he offered a counter argument. “I never like being a doomsayer but remember, if we welcome, encourage and drive towards conversions it will become more difficult to resist those saying ‘get rid of your polluting historic vehicles’, because they’ll say we have got a new route to continue using them. I can see some groups saying that we should be converting all of them.” 

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