Classic car community divided over electric conversions with majority wanting new class introduced


Electric powertrain conversions for classic cars are on the rise, with many people seeing them as a fantastic way to keep the community alive while remaining eco-conscious.

However, the classic car community has called on the Government to introduce a new class for such vehicles, suggesting the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) is ‘not keeping up with demand or proper documentation’.

Under the current rules, only new electric vehicles are given an EV designation on their documentation, with conversions retaining the internal combustion engine and designation.

However, 70 per cent of over 1,300 classic car enthusiasts polled by insurance firm Footman James said that this should change, with official recognition of classic electric vehicles on documents and the use of the green number plates.

Introduced in late 2020, the plates have a green block on the left-hand side, indicating that the vehicle has zero emissions. It is currently only available for new EVs.

David Bond, managing director of Footman James, said: “EV conversions are dividing the classic and collector industry and our clients.

“With modern EVs counting for 64,000 in registrations this year alone, electric power is a small but growing sector. This is spilling out to classic owners who are also choosing to swap from petrol power to battery power.

“From the results of this poll, it looks like our audience at Footman James want there to be a change and move to recognise EV-converted classic cars by the DVLA on the logbook, and look at the green marking on the registration plates to show that they are powered by electricity.”

The insurance company says the market for classic cars being converted to run on electric has grown in the past decade, driven by TV shows dedicated to the process. Conversions are said to cost between £20,000 and £40,000, providing a profitable business for some.


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