One of the things we tend to struggle with here at Gearbox Magazine is keeping up with all the stories we come across over time. It’s something we’re going to be making an effort to change, but today, we consider ourselves lucky that Richard van Wyhe of EV4U Custom Conversions – whom we spoke with back in September 2010 – thought highly enough of us to let us know about their latest creation – a Karmann Ghia.
Why should people consider converting older models like these?
The reasons for converting “older models” vary from individual to individual, but my reasons follow.
- I’m not fond of the styling of OEM electric vehicles.
- I want a simple reliable vehicle for the everyday commute.
- I don’t want the liabilities regarding trim, gadgets, etc. that break and don’t work or that I can’t fix and maintain myself.
- The value proposition. The classics are easy to maintain (when electric) and hold their value.
- Compare what a Nissan Leaf is worth today versus 5 years from now. The Karmann Ghia will still be a sought after vehicle.
- As will a Porsche.
We’ve all heard the saying “fast-right-cheap: pick any two.” Looks like this conversion was all three. How would you advise someone who ultimately wants this sort of conversion to prepare in order to minimize costs, but maximize seat time?
Bottom line is that electric conversions can be safe, simple, and reliable. Have a lower operating cost than a new EV, and you can do it yourself or have a company like EV4U Custom Conversions do it for you.
In order to minimize costs, do your homework before you spend. EV4U offers consulting and assistance for those who want to do it themselves or that just want to be better informed. We also offer 3-Day Hands-On Conversion Workshops, which give one the tools needed to build a top notch conversion.
What’s the next big challenge for your team?
The current and continuing challenge is public awareness and education. It is the reason we built B.O.B. and the Karmann Ghia. The Bug (B.O.B.) has been to many events, schools, and shows in attempt to get the public’s attention regarding electric transportation, which it has.
With the Karmann Ghia, we are sharing the experience of riding in an electric vehicle, by taking the public for rides and showing them it is no different from any other vehicle. Well, except that you get more attention.
Our hope is that those who cars we convert are spreading the word too, and not just driving to and from work. The goal is the promote the adoption of electric transportation, and we appreciate your assistance in that endeavor.
We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again: We love the ingenuity and attention to detail seen in EV conversions. And it’s people like Richard van Wyhe and his team at EV4U who are really leading the way into the future.
It should be telling to those of us who still prefer internal combustion power that there’s enough interest in EV conversion today to make going into the conversion business worthwhile. Our friends at EV4U do it up right.
- How often do you spread the word about being a gearhead in your community?
- What “old school” ride would you convert to electric power like this?