Where classic meets the future
Bespoke EV Conversion
Do you have a vehicle unlike any other? Maybe the engine is clapped out or you’ve been thinking of selling up as servicing costs continue to eat a hole in your pocket.
Our team specialise in bespoke, one-off conversions of classic & specialist vehicles.
We can do this for the 1971 Cadillac Eldorado Convertible with leopard print seats you fell in love with, or the fleet of commercial vehicles you’re decarbonising.
Which car can we convert to electric for you?
The types of vehicles people love always fascinate us. From an elegant Range Rover Classic bashing through farm paddocks, to a head-turning DMC DeLorean in a Melbourne laneway, the stories we hear could fill a book.
For the vehicles at the end of the conversion journey, the combination of classic cool with instant torque creates a thrilling mix of personality and performance. Anyone can buy a new electric car, but how many get to drive one that your parents once owned and which still smells like happy childhood memories?
For many of our builds, it’s this nostalgia that leads to a desire to rescue iconic cars from a scrapyard fate as the engine wears out, along with your patience for oil, fuel costs and constantly paying for servicing. We reckon it’s the ultimate recycling project. Take out the old smelly stuff, replace it with leading-technology components salvaged from wrecked EVs and voila! Electric driving heaven.
Road to Rescue
Custom Ev Conversion
Our custom configurator is coming soon! To be the first to design your own custom classic EV, please join our mailing list.
You might think we’re here to just have a lot of fun with fast moving, high voltage vehicles...and you’d be right.
But we also have a long-term vision; to save late model ICE vehicles from scrap as the inevitable move to electric vehicles continues.
An example; the Toyota Hilux is one of Australia’s best selling utes. But what happens when a competitively priced, fully electric tradie vehicle hits our shores?
Far from ruining the weekend, it’ll start a mass transition to low-emission alternatives that will accelerate rapidly into mainstream use.
Great, but what happens to the tens of thousands of diesel Hilux utes that’ll be left on the dealer forecourt? What about the thousands of others that are only a few years old, but suddenly have a far lower resale value?
What if we could design a fast and cost-effective conversion process for the Hilux – or any other popular vehicle – that can divert these ‘leapfrogged’ vehicles from scrap?
That’s the vision behind our custom EV builds.
We’re building an inventory of classic EVs
The Electric Car Café team love the elegance and style of Land Rover, Range Rover and Land Cruiser models.
That’s why we snap them up from paddocks and sheds, people’s front lawns and from under garage dust covers.
They’re transported to our Melbourne workshop, where they’re placed in workstream for repair, paint, interior restoration, new tyres and a general bit of love.
Once roadworthy, our team start the conversion process. You can purchase your classic electric Land Rover, Range Rover or Land Cruiser at this point and customise your range and comfort level, or browse off-the-shelf vehicles.
Each time we convert a custom vehicle, we’re incrementally improving the design and creating a faster, more cost efficient process that integrates latest thinking and technology. We do this in partnership with conversion experts and workshops all over the world, with the eventual aim of creating fast, cost-effective at-scale conversions.
The Electric Car Café in Melbourne build two types of EV conversions; bespoke and custom. A bespoke EV conversion is for first-of-their-kind vehicles that require a conversion design to be built from the ground up. In some cases where a vehicle may have been converted previously, new technology and components means the design will significantly change. We regularly collaborate with other conversion workshops worldwide and will share and gain knowledge and IP on bespoke vehicles to enable a smoother build process.
The Electric Car Café team specialise in the conversion to electric of Land Rover and Range Rover classic vehicles, dating from 1990 and older. Using our vehicle configurator, you can play with the right balance of age, size, range, colour and accessories to customise an electric vehicle that fits your exact requirements. When you’ve got it right, hit ‘Submit’ and our Conversions Director will be in touch.
What is an EV Conversion Engineering Plan?
It's a complete list of your requirements to help us understand how you will use your EV, desired range, an estimate of cost, timeline and a bill of materials. We'll then plan procurement of components and the project plan accordingly. An Engineering Report has to be booked with our team and costs $1750.00.
How long does an EV conversion take?
There are three timeframes to every bespoke EV conversion; design, procurement & build. As a high level outline, the process looks like this:
- Design phase, 4-6 weeks: A series of conversations between you & our team to build an Engineering Plan that determines your requirements, creates a quote and provides sign off commercial agreements.
- Procurement phase, 6-12 weeks: Once a bill of materials is created, our team works through a detailed project management plan to procure components required, or secure components we have in stock. This can include the purchase & teardown of a wrecked vehicle.
- Build phase, 6-12 weeks: As the conversion build starts, you’ll have full visibility with regular status updates & an instant chat platform where the whole team will share ideas and images to take you fully on the conversion journey.
These timeframes are indicative only; depending on your requirements and the complexity of your build, your EV conversion may take longer.
When can you convert my bespoke vehicle to electric?
The Electric Car Cafe is usually booked up 6-12 months in advance, but we can start the Engineering Plan process immediately.
Do you need to inspect my vehicle?
As part of the Engineering Plan process, yes, 100%.
How much does an EV conversion cost?
The big question we can’t answer straight away. The cost depends on your requirements & we’ll quote you once we’ve collaborated on the Engineering Plan.
Can I drop in to your workshop?
The Electric Car Cafe workshop is operational, with high voltage work being conducted during business hours & is therefore not open for walk-ins. If you’re determined to get up close and personal, register for our Green Room sessions.
What are Green Room sessions?
A completely unique opportunity to join the electric journey. For each vehicle, we hold a workshop visit hosted by the build team, who’ll outline the challenges and triumphs during a two-hour breakfast session. More details coming soon!
What’s the point of an EV conversion?
Besides the fact it’s a lot of fun, swearing and coffee, our team are recycling old vehicles by combining them with cutting edge electric technology. We’re focused on creating the knowledge base for a range of vehicles, but our long-term aim is to scale up to mass conversions. In other words, how can we save thousands of low-kilometre petrol vehicles from scrap as the transition to electrified transport accelerates.
How is the Electric Car Café different to other conversion workshops?
Currently, there are only a few of us doing this work professionally & we're linked to all reputable EV conversion workshops here & overseas.
All of us do unique builds, but our team has been carefully built to create the workshop of the future, with a great blend of project management, engineering, electrical & communications skills.
If you're booking a conversion with us, we want you to visit our workshop first, get to know us & really enjoy the conversion journey as we get stuck in, with regular updates, images & meetings.
The first step is an email outlining what's in your head, then the development of an Engineering Plan with our team. Get in touch to start your electric driving dream.