Eh, what do experts know anyway?
There is a hotly debated topic amongst the automotive community regarding electric drivetrain swaps on vintage cars - a trend commonly known as EV resto-modding. Companies like Lunaz in the UK have formed unique businesses taking old classics and make them new again with electric drivetrains. Even the manufacturers themselves think this is an effective way to keep classics on the road, with notable examples including an electrified Aston Martin DB6 Concept and the classic Mini Electric.
While the trend seems to be taking off, not everyone is happy about it. In fact, the Federation Internationale des Vehicules Anciens (or International Federation of Historic Vehicles), an organization that supports the interests of historic vehicle owners, just issued a public statement against EV resto-mods.
FIVA says it "understands the motivation of some owners to electrify their vehicles, and recognizes that, in accordance with the law and regulations, all changes are a matter of personal choice." But the organization later goes on to say it is "dedicated to the preservation, protection, and promotion of older vehicles, [and] can not promote the use of modern electric vehicle components (engines and batteries) to replace the existing powertrain."
The Federation even outines its specific criterion for what constitutes a historic vehicle. By these FIVA guidelines, a car must be "a mechanically propelled road vehicle that is: at least 30 years old, preserved and maintained in a historically correct condition, not used as a means of daily transport, and part of our technical and cultural heritage."
"It is not, in our opinion, the shape or body style of a vehicle that makes it 'historic', but the way in which the entire vehicle has been constructed and manufactured in its original form," says FIVA Vice President, Tiddo Bresters. "Hence if any owner, motor engineer, or manufacturer chooses to make such conversions to a historic vehicle, FIVA would strongly recommend that any changes are reversible, with all the original components marked and safely stored. In this way, the vehicle may - if so desired in the future - be returned to its original state and may once again become a historic vehicle."
Aston Martin has already said its DB6 conversion would be reversible and has targeted owners in countries set to have bans on ICE vehicles in the near future (so they can legally drive in city centers). Our take: let people do whatever they want to their own cars. If swapping an EV drivetrain into a car that would otherwise sit and rot in a garage helps get more classic vehicles out on the road, we are all for it.