Legacy EV knows ICE-to-EV swaps. It’s the focus of the company, so its confident in its products and abilities. Hence, the company demonstrated a complete ICE-to-EV swap of a 1930 Ford Model A at the 2023 Specialty Equipment Market Association show in Las Vegas, Nevada. Legacy EV says the goal of completing the swap live at the show was to demonstrate how amazingly easy an installation can be when working with the right company. “From the birth of hot rodding, enthusiasts have blazed their own path by replacing their drivetrains, modifying bodywork and customizing the interiors,” said Rob Ward CEO and co-founder of Legacy EV. “SEMA connects companies who supply the ideas and parts they need realize those dreams. Our 1930 hot rod conversion, done in over only a few days, shows how EV’s fit into the picture.”
Here’s the backstory of the swap and a look at Legacy EV.
About Legacy EV
Arizona-based Legacy EV notes it is “The one-stop solution for EV kits, components, education, and build support.” That’s more than just a slogan. For example, the company offers fully integrated EV systems from top manufacturers. This means the company offers all the parts necessary to transform a classic vehicle from internal combustion to electric power. The company’s product line includes everything from complete kits to an EV Shop Starter Package. At the time of this writing, Legacy EV offers five kits that cover a wide range of power output. Furthermore, Legacy EV also offers charger systems, motor systems, high-voltage electrical components, and battery systems. Additionally, controllers, thermal management systems, low voltage electrical components, hardware, accessories, and more. The company has also built a network of 43 authorized installers across the globe.
Legacy EV Certified Technician Program
In the automotive world, the transformation from internal combustion power to electric power is happening fast. This has created the need for knowledgeable technicians that can make electrification happen. “We estimate that 660,000 automotive technicians in the U.S. alone will need EV training,” notes Mavrick Knoles, co-founder and president of Legacy EV. “To answer that call, Legacy created a Certified Technician Program. Schools, dealerships, manufacturers, and individual mechanics are leveraging this program to build a qualified workforce ready to lead the next evolution of transportation.”
The five-part course includes topics such as electrical circuit training; how to choose an EV kit; and training in motors, batteries, and chargers. Moreover, the course includes training in safety measures and bench testing along with much more. Upon completion of the course, students will be a part of Legacy EV’s authorized installer network. Students will be able to complete an ICE-to-EV conversion, successfully build a custom electric vehicle, and speak knowledgably on the topic of EV tech. At the time of this writing Legacy EV has trained nearly 500 technicians.
Legacy Wins MEMA’s Aftermarket Startup Challenge
Legacy EV’s multi-pronged approach to EVs has made an impact in the industry. Most recently the company was declared the 2023 Aftermarket Startup Challenge Winner by MEMA, an organization which represents the vehicle supplier industry. “The Challenge’s objective is to identify new technology and innovations that will change the future of the aftermarket industry, and the impact that Legacy EV has already had and will continue to have does just that,” commented Chris Gardner, Senior Vice President, MEMA Aftermarket Suppliers. “They are solving two problems at once: upskilling our current workforce and expanding opportunities for burgeoning technicians. Legacy EV is a very deserving winner of the inaugural Challenge, and we look forward to seeing the impact of their growing influence in the industry.”
ICE to EV in Four Days
With Legacy EV’s vast credentials the company set out to sweep into the 2023 SEMA Show in memorable fashion. Thus, it set a goal of completing a complete ICE-to-EV conversion within the parameters of the four-day show. The swap took place on a 1930 Ford Model A. The plan: drive the car into the show under ICE power and drive it out four days later under electric power. The swap included removing the car’s 348 cubic inch big-block ICE engine and T-5 manual transmission. These items were replaced by a Zonic 180 electric motor, Torque Trends TorqueBox gear reduction box, and Fellten 55 kWh Universal Battery Pack, among other things. The Zonic 180 is a very compact 180 kW (peak) motor. The Torque Trends TorqueBox offers 2:1 reduction. The Fellten 55 kWh battery pack fits under the hood of most larger classic vehicles.
Six Legacy EV-Trained Technicians Completed the Swap
Fun fact: The swap was completed by a team of six technicians that had completed Legacy EV’s Certified Technician Program. Sure, the company could’ve had its staff complete the swap, but the SEMA Show offered an opportunity to showcase the knowledge accrued in the Certified Technician Program. Each day of the SEMA Show two to four technicians worked on the car at a given time.
Four Days and Done
By the end of Day 1 the ICE engine, as well as the car’s transmission, fuel tank, and other items were removed. The Zonic 180, TorqueBox gear reduction unit, and driveshaft were installed by the end of Day 2. At the close of Day 3 the Fellten battery system, battery management system, and charging system was installed. On Day 4 the team completed the swap with the addition of controls, programming, and testing. As a matter of fact, the car was ready to drive on electric power shortly after lunchtime on Day 4. And drive it did. The EV-swapped hot rod was driven in the big SEMA Cruise that afternoon.
The Bottom Line
Legacy EV’s ICE-to-EV swap at the 2023 SEMA Show was a great demonstration. “We showed the world what can be accomplished by pairing Legacy EV’s in-depth product line with the knowledgeable Certified Training Program graduates,” says Ward. “Innovation continues to drive the automotive industry and we intend to lead the transition to electric vehicles for those who embrace this new technology.”