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Images courtesy of Electrogenic

Clean Transport

Electrogenic Expands Its Range Of Drop-In, Plug-And-Play EV Conversion Kits

The transition to electric mobility is well underway, with record market shares of EVs now a constant feature in new vehicle sales updates from a lot of markets around the world. For example, Norway increased its plug-in electric vehicle market share to 91.1% in April 2023, up from 84.2% year-over-year. This was the third consecutive month this year where the plug-in share was over 90%, and the first time this has happened in Norway’s history. In China, the world’s largest auto market, plug-ins scored over half a million sales in March, up 23% year over year (YoY), pulling the year-to-date tally to over 1.3 million units. Plug-in vehicles hit a 34% market share in March. Full battery-electrics (BEVs) alone accounted for 24% of the country’s auto sales.

It’s great to see the pace of electrification of the new vehicle market accelerating. However, with over 1 billion ICE vehicles on the roads today, one other way to accelerate the transition of the global fleet to electric is to convert part of the current fleet to electric in segments that are more feasible. EV conversions in the heavy truck segment look like one of those segments, and already several firms are stepping up efforts in this area, including Janus Electric from Australia and Lunaz from the UK

Another area of focus that could be feasible and could also result in a significant fleet of converted vehicles is the development of standardized conversion kits for popular vehicles that could provide a large addressable market, thereby improving the business case and value proposition for owners of these vehicles. This market could be further catalyzed through incentives for conversions such as those offered in France, along with things like exempting the vehicles and kits from VAT and other taxes.  

UK-based Electrogenic wants to make this process faster and more seamless, thereby helping to quicken the pace of conversions, by offering drop-in, plug-and-play kits for popular vehicles such as the Land Rover Defenders, Porsche 911s, and Jaguar E-Types. Electrogenic made a big technical leap in 2022 and was able to package its tech into sophisticated drop-in plug-and-play kits. The kits are being supplied to partner installers globally for installation in their customers’ vehicles, and have sparked worldwide interest.

The company is now expanding to add more popular models for the wider market and not just the more premium Porsche and Jaguar models. Electrogenic has just launched drop-in plug-and-play kits for the classic Mini.

Here is a summary of the Electric Mini Kit:

  • A complete plug & play system — it simply bolts in
  • £15k including VAT
  • Pre-assembled on front sub-frame
  • Bolt in & wire up dashboard
  • 45kW Motor
  • 20kWh battery pack
  • 80 miles range
  • Optional battery extender doubles the range

Electrogenic says the average journey for any car in the UK is under 30 miles, so most people’s daily commute, school run, or shopping trip is easily accomplished by even the smallest battery pack. These Electric Mini Kits will be available starting in Autumn of 2023. 

The conversion kit will ensure that the Mini will have a similar horsepower rating to the Minis from the 1990s. The electric Mini even has a battery pack that is slightly larger than an entry level Wuling Air/MG Comet, as the Wuling Air has a 17.3kWh battery pack.

These drop-in kits make the whole process of doing conversions a whole lot simpler. They will allow technicians from around the world to quickly get in on the action in terms of performing conversions by removing quite a large barrier of specialized training to integrate all the different parts involved in a traditional conversion process, as well as cutting the time it takes to do conversions. Hopefully, the next step will be to establish a much larger production line for mass production of kits for some other popular vehicles such as the Ford Fiesta, Ford Focus, VW Polo, VW Golf, Opel Corsa, and other small hatchbacks. With economies of scale, the price of these drop-in conversion kits could end up being not that much more expensive than a traditional ICE engine replacement and associated services in the near future. 

A look at the UK vehicle landscape shows that this small hatchback and small family vehicle segment has been the largest market for purchases over the years, and hence there should be a large addressable market for conversion kits once the conversion market reaches maturity and has the ability to meet demand for kits for these types of vehicles. There are now over 40.7 million vehicles on UK roads. Super-minis and small family (lower medium) models account for nearly 6 in 10 cars in service, at 11,620,116 and 9,214,039 units, respectively.

Electrogenic is also working on developing an app for your phone or tablet that can also be used safely while driving, giving you key metrics on your car, such as range, voltage, nearest charging points, and more. This means you get all the modern features that come with an electric car, but you don’t have to modify your beautiful period dashboard. 

Let’s have a look at some of the other drop in kits from Electrogenic:

Land Rover Defender HV Kits

Electrogenic says the Land Rover kits deliver a real off-road capability. All the kits drive like an “automatic,” but retain the transfer box so you still have full four-wheel drive, high and low ratios, and the transfer box differential lock. The battery boxes are dense and carefully designed, so the cabin space is untouched. All kits have CCS charging and a fast cabin heater.  The control system supports different drive modes (e.g. sport, eco, and town) and regen-delivered “engine braking” for controlled off-road hill descents. 

Land Rover Defender Agricultural Kit

Electrogenic says the Land Rover Defender Agricultural conversion kit has been designed down to a price to give a farmer or landowner everything they need in an everyday utilitarian vehicle and an average investment payback of 4 years or less. The electric conversion kit was developed in partnership with Innovate UK, Cardiff University, and Worthy Farm (host to the Glastonbury Festival), where its electric Agricultural Defenders have been working since November of 2020.

The drop-in kit suits all Land Rover 90s and 110s pre-1989, and also works well with 200tdi and 300tdi vehicles (1989-1998), though with slightly reduced torque compared to the original.

The kit is designed to be fitted by the landowner’s local garage. It is simple but performs well, including taking trailers into situations where the original vehicle would have stalled or burnt out the clutch. It includes a 52kWh battery pack, which is more than enough for average farm use — simply plug it in to charge every night. 

Electrogenic lists some testimonials from farmers:

“They’re good little Land Rovers. We use them on a daily basis and they do everything we want them to do. Financially they’re great: each one saves about £6,000 a year in fuel, plus there’s no road tax and less maintenance. There’s no worrying about driving to a petrol station — just unplug and off you go — and on cold frosty mornings, there’s a little switch and you have instant heat.”

The conversion is a simple one, with a low-voltage Hyper9 electric motor replacing the diesel engine, and driving the 4WD system through the original gearbox. An electric vacuum pump, power steering, and heating are added, together with LED lighting. The 52kWh battery pack simply lifts into the engine bay. Range is about 100 miles on-road, and further off-road, though of course it depends on hilliness, trailer towing, etc. The charge point is located in what was the carburetor air intake. The charging system is air-cooled, and as with a standard, it will not deal with rivers deeper than the driver’s footwell.

Electronic “engine braking” for controlled descent of off-road hills is provided by means of a 3-position rocker switch. This is an important feature for towing. It improves sustainability — reducing carbon emissions, and recycling instead of replacing a useful farm vehicle

Series Land Rover Conversion Kits

There are two electric conversion options with a Series II or III Land Rover — conversion with a manual gearbox or without.  The manual version retains the original driving experience of the Series Land Rover — including no synchromesh in second gear on the Series IIa. The direct drive version drives like an automatic. Both retain the four-wheel drive and high/low gear options for on- or off-road. Electrogenic says either option combines exceptional drivability with great off-road performance — you can’t stall an electric motor, and the ready torque will get you up anything. 

The battery boxes are dense and carefully designed, so the cabin space is untouched. The E62 kit includes CCS charging.  The control system supports different drive modes (e.g. sport, eco, and town) and regen-delivered “engine braking” for controlled off-road hill descents. 

Images courtesy of Electrogenic

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