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Hagerty Employee

The new crate motor by EV West and Revolt fits just like a small-block Chevy

One of the biggest hurdles to EV swaps has been for builders to construct a driveline that can withstand the capable torque of an electric motor, along with the big question of how to mount it in between the frame rails. The solution for a while has been to make custom motor plates under the hood from which that the motor can hang. Then, building a drive adapter to match a motor's output shaft with a driveshaft yoke usually involves spinning off custom-machined parts, which is both expensive and raises the barrier of entry.


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120 REPLIES 120

I have to admit, for my 57 Bel Air wagon, which I only drive to shows, would make something like this be quite a novelty. Reduced maintenance, gas & oil changes sounds good to me but a package like this is incomplete without some way to provide power steering, AC & heat, not to mention 12 volts for other accessories like fan, wipers & radio. A lot to finish on your own at such a ridiculous price. I'll wait for Danchuck to come out with a conversion kit.


So, folks are being asked if they'd throw out their bowtie boat anchors for this EV pride and joy? 😉 If I had suffered repeated head trauma while eating from aluminum cookware and was moving to California, heck yeah, I'd jump at this. 😉


No thank you, I'll stick with my SBC!

Hagerty Fan
Not applicable

EV is most definitely the future no question,Iam the past and quite happy to put fire in the hole of my BBC.Cheers

They can put one in my car for promotional and real world installation information value. 😉

Intermediate Driver

I can't find it listed in my JC Whitney catalog?


" but “crate engines” like this go a long way toward introducing zero-emission solutions".

Really? What are you using to recharge the batteries, a windmill? 

New Driver

Wait, don’t tell me...

when you buy one, there is a core charge. 

Intermediate Driver

I'd rather hear about Eustace Conway's wood burning pick up truck.  What you say Hagerty?  Can you make that happen, please?

Intermediate Driver

If you install this in a car that is covered with solar cells or mini wind turbines,

that has no charging port,

THEN you will have a "zero-emission" vehicle.

Pit Crew


Intermediate Driver

Too expensive? Of course it! I remember looking at a big screen plasma TV back in the day. $12,000.00! Too expensive? Of course it was...then! 

Intermediate Driver

$25 - $30,000?  N. F. W.

New Driver

Why would anyone ruin a classic by swapping in one of these hideous things? The sound and feel of a classic V8 is what makes old Chevies special (ditto for most other classics). 

Mystifying to me why Hagerty would run this kind of a puff piece on EV West (they already got one in R&T recently).


Just shoot me now!


Intermediate Driver

where do the batteries go. where do you recycle used batteries when they eventually (3-5 years) die. how much does it cost to build the battery...where do the raw materials come from.  There are too many questions above and beyond the cost of an electric motor.


As long as batteries are produced from raw materials that are either strip-mined or collected via slave labor you can count me out.

Advanced Driver

"This design reduces the barrier to entry significantly because the most difficult engineering and fabrication has been taken care of, leaving the matter of building three mounts, two for the motor and one for the tail shaft, to you."  I'm sorry, apparently I misread/misunderstood this, as I thought that you would be able to bolt this right up?! So, apparently, IF I were to consider this swap, I'd still be faced with some fabrication. No thanks!


Never have I seen such response to an article. Electric? Cool! This is obviously as quality unit as the price range suggests. Me? If I was intent on going electric I would find a wrecked/totaled Tesla or some other wrecked fully electric vehicle and adapt my classic whatever to the existing wrecked electric chassis. Now you have all the required hardware including running your A/C. power steering and related items. Heck, you may even have semi-autonomous capability. That's what I would do. Just sayin'...

Intermediate Driver

You could buy a showroom new Tesla Model 3 for less than the total cost of this EV project.
Pit Crew

500 horsepower, cool.  800 foot pounds of torque, tell me more!  $35k, never mind....


Well done, Phillip.

It was inevitable. Someone would come up with this idea and design. What has to happen now is a method of manufacture that will allow pricing to get into the real world.

I'm not particularly excited nor neurotic about enviornmental issues but what I have been doing for a long time is this: If the car doesn't pass smog, or is otherwise not clean it goes to the junkyard. I've done it three times or more. I won't sell the car, nor give it to anyone, or anything. It goes away. Period. That's my contribution. My lady is very much more alert and sensitive in this area than I am, so at least I am not a complete troll.

Back to EV: I have a '66 Chevrolet sitting in the barn waiting for renewal. It's not a hell of a lot, a 283 with Power Steering and Brakes, a normal Chevy of its time. It has hard starting and other issues. A perfect place for the EV but the point is I'm suddenly driving a car I am drastically over market in. And then the rest of it should be done.

Peter Kumar (Gullwing) in New York had a Corvette, a '57, one of my favorite years, in black with a tan interior and a mess. If I wanted to put a big number on that car, then EV would be interesting and probably worth doing if I wanted to keep the car forever.

If you have something like the Corvette I speak of and would keep the thing for a long time look seriously at doing this.



i am going to be the cranky old guy who refuses to get with the times. Cars are machines. EVs are upscaled golf carts. I realize more people are going to start driving these upsized golf carts, and it is all for the greater good, but what makes a classic car a classic car is that it has the classic stuff in it

Intermediate Driver

Interesting, but pricey. If it was cheaper it might be good in an old T Bucket.

Article could be improved by some ball park costs of what else you’d need.


Those articles also mention the emissions from manufacturing the batteries to begin with.

Which also add about 600-700 pounds of freight and cost.  There is no panacea, but more importantly - listening to the whir of an electric motor versus an accelerating small block - no comparison.

New Driver

Very interesting!  I actually own a 1967 Camaro that was purchased new by my uncle that still has her original 327.  Would I convert to electric - no way, no how, never in a million years!!! 🙂

Intermediate Driver

A few years ago I was seriously thinking about buying a motor from EV West to replace the Super Flying Scot engine in my 1958 Rambler American, but I decided against it because of cost, and the fact that I would only drive the car occasionally. A rebuilt ICE and transmission is still a fraction of the cost of an EV powertrain - not just a good 3 phase motor, but also the batteries and a way to charge them. EV West put out some really good videos on youtube, which I used to watch, so I'm familiar with what they offer, but the cost is no where near competitive to traditional engines.


Uh, no!

Pit Crew

For that price, I'll be running gas for a long time.  The difference in price would pay for more petrol than I'll use in the rest of my life in a vehicle that is a toy.

New Driver

I have been thinking about such a conversion and was interested in this until, like most all of the other commenters, I saw the price. Way too expensive! And why 500+ hp? Some of us don't need to shred tires and twist drive shafts.


So an easy 50k realistically?  I'm sure Leno and others in his circle will jump right on it but one of the great things about the small block chevy was left completely out of this equation.


The better question would be; who will be the first to produce a kit to put an LS Chevy in a Tesla, or an Ecotec in a Prius?  How about a Cummins 2.8 Crate in, well, ANY Battery Barge?

In California, where we live under threat of PSPS during Wildfires, and even under High Wind Conditions without, where are the AC/DC cars gonna go? San Onofre (Nuclear, SoCal) being decommisioned, as well as Oil Fired Plants like Hunter's Point (SF) already dismantled, and no new Dams for Hydro having been constructed in 2 Generations, where will the requisite Electrical Power come from?  Solar? Wind? I worked in the Solar Industry, twice, and while effective as an adjunct, the current (pun intended) yield is far from meeting current (2x) needs, let alone fleets of RC cars roaming around.  Oh, and BTW, our roads are maintained by Fuel Taxes; without sustaining Fuel Sales, where will that $$$ come from?  I bet I can guess!


As others have commented, the price is not practical for most...but a few wealthy early adopters will buy in, then a handful of discretionary-capable enthusiasts, and on down the chain all while economies of scale inevitably work their magic on production, just like we've seen countless times in the tech field.

Advanced Driver

This is very interesting to me after spending nearly 50 years in the business.

A. I expect the price will have to drop fairly quickly as the tech develops.

B. A "controller" should be able to dial back the "horsepower" and extend useful range.

C. Electric drivetrains are not "0" emissions unless they are charged by solar, etc.

I imagine that the easiest vehicles to convert would be older pick-ups as far as battery install. What would be the average cost of batteries and hardware to power this thing? With a charger and cables it could be a serious addition to the $25-$35k number?


Knowing that most American classic car people don't like a slush box they might change there minds if this unit were connected to a torque converter. Not knowing much about torque converters, and even less about electric motors, I look forward to some comments.

Pit Crew

Why would you connect an electric motor to a torque converter and lose efficiency? There may be some advantage in a drag racer, but in a daily driver, as the article mentioned the software in the motor controller can be used to control the torque output.

Where are the batteries going exactly?    Center of gravity will be elevated with this after thought and handling in the corners will be far from stock.  The jist of this article is directed to straight line runners and racers.  Hardly practical for daily drivers!  A marketers spin and sway; don’t be duped!

Pit Crew

With the Li-Ion batteries coming in multiple form factors, it is an engineering exercise to figure out how to package the battery packs. It appears that most EVs are going for under the floor battery packs. In most older cars, if you don't have exhaust systems and fuel lines why couldn't you design a battery packs to go under the hood, on each side of the driveshaft and in the space vacated by the gas tank? There was a show on Motortrend about a group in Wales that is converting older cars to EVs - they were fitting them with battery packs that got around 150 miles of range, it would be too hard to double that in a larger American car.
New Driver

The single biggest hurdle in the ev conversion market isn’t building adaptor plates or fabricating motor mounts, It’s the 25 to 35 k price tag. To start getting this type of set up to the masses the cost is going to have to go wayyyyyy down. 

Pit Crew

At this cost and problems installing very expensive batteries that also would need be safe from fire, collisions, and the cooling needs, this is a candidate for those that want to race at the track.  Someday there will only be EV racing vehicles. How cool would that be without ear splitting roars that damages your ears. 

Pit Crew

I'm not for or against but nothing beats the sound of dual exhaust.


You have anything smaller because I like to put one in my little ford ranger 1991  ! I have solar on my house 🏡 ! Since I don’t drive that much , I thought it might be something that I would like ! 

Pit Crew

With silent burnout's i will name my car the ......Ghost maker . 


Let’s not forget to add the $8-10000 in batteries that you will also have to replace in 4-5 years. 

Pit Crew

While is it true that older EVs that used lead acid batteries had to replace their packs every four or five years, the current batteries being used by Tesla and other manufacturers are being designed to last the life of the cars. At this point in time, there are several Tesla Model S sedans that have traveled over 500,000 miles on their original batteries. This is no longer a valid reason to avoid EVs.
Intermediate Driver

It's coming. Unfortunaly.


Norway, if I remember correctly, is banning the sale of new fossil fuel cars in 2024, Caifornia in 2035. Others will do similar things. The dates will probably slip, but within a couple of generations the fossil fueled car will go away like the steam train. Battery Technology is getting better. Fusion looks like it will be viable by mid-century, and Solar and Wind are gaining share.


And so it should. Forget global warming and the endless Middle East Wars and the millions of dead and the torrent of immigrants they unleash 


It's unfortunate for those of us who are in love with internal combustion -- the biggest concern with fossil-fueled cars is that they use up the World's Fossil Fuel, which is used for many purposes we have no alternatuve for. We make plastics, jet fuel, fertilisers, solvebts abd industrial chemicals and a hubdred and one other necessities from Oil. Our civilisation depends on it, and yet we are burning it up in cars like there's no tomorrow.


The best we can hope for is that the electric car technology becomes as fun and interesting when it matures, as its forebear has turned out to be. 


In my opinion electric cars are today's fad and soon will be replaced with hydrogen fuel cell.  The electrical grid can not sustain a future of electric vehicles.  Many of those grids are already stressed to unreliability.


I've always enjoyed driving my vintage vehicles, each one providing their own unique handling and performance. However, I too realize that the time has come to rethink and welcome the transition to cleaner energy (both input and output). This EV conversion is certainly a palatable means in the right direction. As with any new technology, the cost of doing business for some can be overwhelming. Although in time, the ability to mass produce and make these units mainstream, will ultimately allow folks more affordable options. The idea that you will be able to retrofit the vehicle of your choice with this type of energy is certainly a strong driving force for myself...Continue to innovate not duplicate.


Fossil Fuels are yummy......

Advanced Driver

Strip mining 10's of thousands, maybe 100's of thousands, maybe 1,000's of thousands, of third world acres for materials to build electric cars is not environmentally friendly.  Replacing base load with green power makes this even more of a joke.  Hello rolling blackouts, as Calipornia is well acquainted with.  Build more batteries to store green power?  More of the same.  Are their experts out there that can quantify that?  This country is micro-focused on clean energy and clean cars.  No one that I am aware of has examined the true impact.  If so, let's see it.  We can all gain additional information and learn something informative.  I can be convinced, but it is not without looking at this in its entirety.  The problem?  No one has what it takes to do it.  No one wants to hear it.  No one wants to swim upstream.  I suspect we we will be much better and quicker at substantially cleaning up present technology than launching a new industry as dirty as green power and electric cars.