EV conversions divide classic car community as 70 per cent of enthusiasts feel conversions should be re-registered in new vehicle class

With electric powertrain conversions for classic cars rising in popularity, a recent poll states 70 per cent of classic car enthusiasts want the Government to create a new vehicle class solely for EV conversions as enthusiasts suggest DVLA’s not keeping up with demand or proper documentation.

Converting classic cars to run on electric power and stripping their internal combustion engine and running gear has risen in popularity in the last decade. With TV shows dedicated to the conversion process, major UK companies upcycling classic cars into EVs, and with the average cost circa £20,000 – £40,000 for the conversion alone, it’s a growing theme and profitable business case.

As it stands, modern electric vehicles have their own DVLA classification and classic vehicles are given the historical class when they hit 40 years of age. But what should happen to electric classic conversions? Should they be recognised independently on a V5C, as a new class of vehicle?

•   70 per cent of respondents say electric vehicles (EV) should be recognised independently on a Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) V5C certificate, as a new class of vehicle
•   1,355 people voted via Footman James’ poll. Of those, 942 people voted YES to a new vehicle class (69.52 per cent) and 413 people voted NO (30.48 per cent)

To date, however, only modern EVs are classed as an EV on their official registration documentation (V5C), and the classic car community, through a poll by specialist insurance company Footman James, voted that this naming and documentation should change. Instead of classic cars continuing to have their internal combustion engine and designation, 70 per cent of (more than two out of three) respondents said that the DVLA should class them as a new class of vehicle.

Managing Director of Footman James, David Bond said: “EV conversions are dividing the classic and collector industry and our [Footman James] clients. With modern EVs counting for 64,000 in registrations this year alone*, electric power is a small but growing sector. This is spilling out to classic owners who are also choosing to swap from petrol power to battery power. Classic cars by their nature are increasingly restored, modified and upgraded but interestingly, from the majority of our responders, converting from the internal combustion engine (ICE) to electric requires more official recognition.

From the results of this poll, it looks our audience [at Footman James] want there to be a change and move to recognise EV-converted classic cars by the DVLA on the V5, and look at the green marking on the registration plates to show that they are powered by electricity.”

The poll, conducted by specialist and collector car insurance provider, Footman James, saw over 1,300 respondents. The official question asked was:  As it stands, modern electric vehicles have their own DVLA classification and classic vehicles are given the historical class when they hit 40 years of age. But what should happen to electric classic conversions? Should they be recognised independently on a V5C, as a new class of vehicle?

1,355 people voted via an email poll. Of those, 942 people selected YES (69.52%) and 413 people selected NO (30.48%).

Source: * www.rac.co.uk/drive/electric-cars/choosing/road-to-electric

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