Vancouver Island firms put a unique jolt into classic car production

An iconic 1957 Chevrolet Bel Air convertible that has an e-Crate electric motor. (canEV photo )An iconic 1957 Chevrolet Bel Air convertible that has an e-Crate electric motor. (canEV photo )
1957 Chevrolet Bel Air e-Crate electric motor bay. (canEV photo)1957 Chevrolet Bel Air e-Crate electric motor bay. (canEV photo)
1957 Chevrolet Bel Air rear-battery. (canEV photo)1957 Chevrolet Bel Air rear-battery. (canEV photo)
A 1932 Ford Deuce Coupe with an e-Crate powertrain. (canEV photo)A 1932 Ford Deuce Coupe with an e-Crate powertrain. (canEV photo)
A 1969 Camaro Z/28 features Webb Motorworks e-Crate and canEV electric powertrain components. (canEV photo)A 1969 Camaro Z/28 features Webb Motorworks e-Crate and canEV electric powertrain components. (canEV photo)
1969 Camaro Z/28, illuminated flair. (canEV photo)1969 Camaro Z/28, illuminated flair. (canEV photo)

Owners of vintage cars and avid hot-rodders will now have an option to make their vehicles environmentally friendly.

A partnership, involving Parksville-based Canadian Electric Vehicles Ltd. and Webb Motorworks in Victoria, has designed electric engines that can fit into standard engine mounts of popular classic cars with minimal integration. They will still produce high-power performance, only with zero emissions.

canEV and Webb Motorworks produced e-Crate motors that were recently unveiled at the popular SEMA (Specialty Equipment Manufacturers Association) trade show in Las Vegas.

The innovative electric powertrains will provide decades of trouble-free performance with virtually no maintenance. The beauty and styling of iconic cars will no longer feature exhaust pipes spewing untreated particulate emissions and climate damaging greenhouse gases.

“These powerplants are state-of-the-art systems with performance and driveability that is well beyond the engines they replaced,” said Todd Maliteare, president of canEV. “This first run of three cars was a challenging project for our team, and we’ve gained incredible experience that we look forward to utilizing for future high performance EV projects.”

The three iconic show vehicles showcased at SEMA included a 1932 Ford Deuce Coupe, a 1957 Chevrolet Bel Air convertible; and a 1969 Camaro Z/28. They were the result of six months of research, development and refinement.

READ MORE: B.C. electric vehicle sales charge ahead in pandemic 2020

“This combination of components sets a new bar for EV conversions,” said Maliteare. “We have surged through the low voltage and horsepower barriers of the past. Our new approach rockets the conversion market to the performance level expected from high-end OEM electric vehicles.”

Each of the three vehicle features a customized electric power plant housed in Webb Motorworks’ e-Crate designs. The prototypes that were on display at SEMA21 are expected to be taken into production in 2022.

“Finally, hot-rodders and classic car fans can maintain their vehicle’s power and performance without having to compromise the aesthetic of their engine compartment.” said Chris Webb, owner of Webb Motorworks.

— NEWS Staff

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