Toyota’s Akio Toyoda has nobled but flawed vision of retrofitted EVs

The idea of ​​retrofitting EVs is not new. California’s EV West is part of the Volkswagen Group and sells several classic cars, from the 1955-1974 Karmann Ghia ($8,734) to the 1965-1986 Porsche 911 ($11,594) and the 1971-1979 VW. We sell conversion kits for Super Beetle ($18,695).

Legacy automakers are also joining the movement. For example, Ford Motor Company unveiled his 2021 Ford F-100 Eliminator Concept. This pickup is styled like his 1978 F-100 and he has two motors from his 2021 Mustang Mach E GT Performance Edition. In addition to the concept, Ford has announced that customers can purchase his Eluminator Mach-E electric motor online or through dealers. Listed at $4,340.

Presenting his vision at the Tokyo Auto Salon, Toyota showed off two carbon-free concepts derived from the Toyota AE86 compact sports car. One has an EV battery and the other has a hydrogen combustion system.

These are great ideas for enthusiasts with the financial means, but I’m having trouble seeing this work on any meaningful scale.

For starters, seeing how wary many are of brand-new EVs with the latest technology and construction, how much consumer appeal is there in turning aging Corollas and Land Cruisers into EVs? See? Sure, a minority may dig into it, but the public does not.

If I’m correct in interpreting what Toyoda said — he didn’t provide a timeline or costs — a major impact on air quality would transform a large portion of the roughly 1.5 billion cars on the planet. means that

It also means figuring out how to make these conversions on a scale that is economically viable for modders and consumers. It’s an expensive proposition. Does the added installation cost make it affordable for consumers?

Passenger cars come in many shapes and sizes, and how many variations of conversion kits are required? Do the vehicle bodies and frames need to be in their original condition for retrofitting, or do they need to be repaired and added? does it cost?

Another consideration is that the conversion to EV can significantly change the vehicle’s physical configuration and driving dynamics. Given that such vehicles are likely to represent a significant portion of traffic, automakers, dealer service departments, body shops, and other refurbishers will welcome stricter government regulations in the United States and abroad. do you want?

Perhaps this could be a potential new revenue stream for dealers looking to replace the routine maintenance associated with ICE vehicles. Will there be enough business to do so, and will those dealerships and other modders be held accountable if a problem arises with a customer’s vehicle?

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