In recent years, the sector of converting gas-powered cars to electric vehicles (EVs) has flourished. Sales of brand-new EVs increased by 55% in 2022 compared to the previous year due to the growing demand for electric vehicles. However, there are still a lot of gasoline-powered cars and trucks on the roads, and it seems like they will be around for a while.
A new trend is revitalizing internal combustion vehicles by converting them to electric power, leading to the rapid expansion of conversion shops and the aftermarket community. One of the pioneers in this field is EV West, founded by Michael Bream in San Diego, California. Bream explains, “Being involved in electric cars right now is like being involved in computers in the ’90s … we want this transition to sustainable fuels to be fun and exciting for people that are a part of car culture and automobile enthusiasts.”
Apart from conversion shops, there is a growing community of do-it-yourself (DIY) enthusiasts who are undertaking these projects themselves. Frances Farnam, a 14-year-old enthusiast, is currently working on converting a 1976 Porsche 914 and documenting her progress on her YouTube channel, Tinkergineering. She believes that electric vehicle conversion is not as daunting as it may seem and hopes to inspire others by showcasing her backyard project with her father.
To support DIYers like Frances, the aftermarket ecosystem has witnessed a surge in EV-focused parts. Companies like Ford and GM offer components for EV conversions, and the Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) has reported exponential growth in EV-focused products in the market. SEMA’s president and CEO, Mike Spagnola, highlights the remarkable expansion, saying, “We started two years ago at SEMA with having an EV section at the show. It was 2,000 square feet. This last year it was 22,000 square feet … I’m sure in the next five years it’ll be 100,000 square feet.”
The automobile industry is changing as a result of the rising demand for EV conversions and the availability of aftermarket service. By switching from gas to electricity, car enthusiasts have the chance to contribute to a more sustainable future while also extending the life of their current vehicles. As this thriving industry expands, it reflects the continuous transition to a cleaner transportation environment by bringing enthusiasm and innovation to the automotive industry.