The iconic DeLorean sports car made famous in Back to the Future may return as a true electric vehicle, just like in the movies. Though the innovative gull-wing vehicle went out of production in 1982, the original company's trademark is today owned by a Texas-based company that has been working to bring the DeLorean back.
Changing landscape — Stephen Wynne, owner of the new DeLorean Motor Company, published a blog post on January 20 regarding new rules issued by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) concerning low-volume vehicle production. DeLorean spearheaded the rules back in 2015 that allow small automakers to produce limited numbers of replica vehicles under more streamlined regulations.
Because of delays in the NHTSA's release of finalized rules, DeLorean had to delay production several years, and the engine it intended on relaunching the car with in 2017 will fall out of emissions compliance by 2022.
The automotive landscape in general has also changed dramatically since Wynne bought DeLorean in 1995, with governments around the world announcing impending bans on new sales of gas cars.
Given those reasons, he suggests DeLorean is instead exploring the potential of scrapping the gas engine and raising capital to develop an electric drivetrain.
Perfect EV revival — The DeLorean has strong brand recognition even to this day, and considering that Tesla is currently working on the Cybertruck with its similar brushed steel body and hard lines, it seems like DeLorean would be a good fit for Elon Musk to either invest in or acquire. Tesla could buy the company once it figures out production for the Cybertruck's stainless steel, and maybe supply drivetrains from the Model 3.
In the movies, the DeLorean was a futuristic, and importantly, electric vehicle that even introduced the idea of the swing up doors like those found on the Tesla Model X. If any vintage car should be revived as an electric, it's the DeLorean. Surely there's a lot of overlap between Tesla and Back to the Future stans. But this time it won't probably have the 1.21 gigawatts of power needed to travel through time, sadly.