Electrogenic does what, in the minds of many, would be completely unfathomable.
The Oxfordshire-based company takes classic cars, ranging from Porsche 356s to Minis, and strips out the traditional petrol engines, replacing them with electric powertrains.
However, the company, led by founders Steve Drummond and Ian Newstead, goes to significant lengths to ensure that the attitude ad character of each car is retained through the conversion. They do this by retaining the original gearboxes and making sure that the old cars aren’t given crazy Tesla-like power figures – despite the fact that they could.
Auto Futures recently visited the Electrogenic workshop in Oxfordshire to chat restomods, car enthusiasts, and business plans with Drummond before getting behind the wheel of the company’s beautiful Porsche 356 on road and track.
Despite losing its boxer engine, the 356 remains an incredible car to drive. Retaining the original four-speed gearbox but using an off-the-shelf electric motor pushing out 120 horsepower and 235 Nm of torque, it’s quick enough but lacks face-bending pace.
Of course, the original car isn’t quick by today’s standards either. It would have been easy for Electrogenic to install a massively powerful motor and a tonne of batteries but, as Drummond told us, that would have ruined the essence of the car itself.
And that, really, is what Electrogenic has done here. It hasn’t sought to reinvent the wheel and nor has it sought to rip up the rulebook with classic cars.
Instead, the company has found a way to keep iconic classic cars on the road and with a new, more sustainable electric motor. It’s a fantastic way of keeping these important historic and cultural assets moving and accessible to the coming generations, without ruining the feel or spirit of the cars. What’s more, all of the changes are reversible, meaning that owners could swap back in the original engine and petrol tank at any time – not that we’d imagine they would want to.