If you like classic Land Rover aesthetics but want something a bit more eco-friendly (and reliable), you’re in luck. Florida-based ECD Automotive says it has created the world’s first electric Range Rover Classics powered by a Tesla motor. ECD specializes in bespoke Land Rover restorations that bring modern touches, but this is the first time the group has electrified this model of Landy. Last year we reported on, and salivated over, its Tesla-fied Defender.
The electric Range Rover was commissioned by a private client and a team of more than 50 people took more than 2,200 hours to build it — which is to say it probably wasn’t cheap. Custom electrification jobs of this sort tend to cost hundreds of thousands of dollars. ECD sourced its Tesla internals from UK-based Electric Classic Cars, a company that specializes in converting classic cars to electric, and with which ECD has a longstanding relationship.
Because the car uses a Tesla motor and battery pack, ECD says it gets an estimated range of 220 miles from a five-hour charge, with speeds of 0-60 mph in 5.2 seconds. Sadly, the owner likely won’t be able to use Tesla’s Supercharger network despite the innards as doing so requires a Tesla account with a registered vehicle. Or, perhaps, the customer already owns a Tesla and they’ve worked something out.
ECD isn’t the only company looking to put Tesla innards into classic Land Rovers, another company based in Vermont called Congleton Service is working on a similar, made-to-order Land Rover Classic it calls the EV Classic, the first of which are expected to make their way to buyers later this year. Congleton’s offering starts at $275,000.
The original 1992 Range Rover Classic has an approximate range of 237 city miles on a tank of gas and a 0-60 time of roughly 10.8 seconds. So this is a significant upgrade... the revamped interior doesn’t hurt, either.
Reliability — Land Rovers are notorious for being attractive but not always the most reliable vehicles. The Range Rover Classic was known for oil leaks, for instance. But electric cars don’t need motor oil, or a bunch of other moving parts for that matter, from fan belts to head gaskets or spark plugs. Throwing in an electric drivetrain, then, could create a vehicle that offers reliability with vintage cool and go-anywhere capability that comes with Range Rovers.
Modern touches — Besides the electrification, this Range Rover also gets an updated interior with tan leather seating, a dark wood finish, and custom vertical diamond stitching throughout. There’s also “state of the art” Infinity speakers and subwoofers, an Alpine Halo 9 infotainment system with support for CarPlay and back-up cameras, “all hand-selected by the client.” Who might that client be? Who knows, but we’ve heard lots of tech bros are moving to Florida.
This isn’t the first time we’ve seen Tesla motors used to upgrade a classic car. Last year another bespoke automotive company retrofitted Johnny Cash’s 1970 Rolls-Royce with a Tesla drivetrain, though the implementation was a bit cumbersome. It also definitely won’t be the last. With a growing number of companies electrifying classics — and the likes of Jaguar Land Rover electrifying its own vintage vehicles — this is a segment that’s just getting started. Hopefully, as it takes off, prices will fall... because for now, these sorts of conversions remain toys for the one percent alone.