FIVA Slams Historic Vehicle Electric Conversions

Historic Vehicle Electric Conversions
FIVA has slammed historic vehicle electric conversions

FIVA has released a statement saying “Conversion of historic vehicles from their original internal combustion engines to electric power doesn’t comply with the FIVA definition of a historic vehicle”.

The Fédération Internationale des Véhicules Anciens or international federation of historic vehicles (FIVA), recognises there has been an increasing number of commercial outfits offering to convert historic vehicles to run on electric power, replacing the entire drivetrain with an electric unit and batteries.

Claiming it’s possible to retain the classic appearance of the vehicle while meeting modern environmental standards and also increasing the power/performance of some vehicles.

It has also been noted that some conversion companies have even obtained permission from the type approval/certification authorities to retain the original Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) of the donor vehicle, despite more or less replacing the entire drivetrain.

Aston Martin

Aston Martin has already joined the classic EV movement with its impressive 1970 DB6 MkII Volante. Conceived as an integral part of the company’s wider EV strategy, the Heritage electrification concept has been led by their Works at Newport Pagnell. Developed around a so-called “cassette” EV powertrain, the objective is to mitigate any future legislation to restrict the use of classic cars by offering a zero emissions conversion.

Historic Vehicle Electric Conversions
Heritage EV Concept

Using knowledge acquired by Aston Martin during the final phase development of the Rapide E and future planning of the all-new range of Lagondas, the Aston Martin Works’ Heritage EV conversion employs state-of-the-art thinking and technology. Production versions of the revolutionary EV cassette will include key components from the Rapide E programme.

With interest in classic cars growing every year and values of heritage models at an all-time high, Aston Martin Lagonda has pioneered a bold new plan: to future-proof these increasingly precious machines by creating the world’s first reversible EV powertrain conversion.

FIVA’s View On Electrification

FIVA (the Fédération Internationale des Véhicules Anciens or international federation of historic vehicles) understands the motivation of some owners to electrify their vehicles – and acknowledges that subject to legislation and regulation, all modifications are a matter of personal choice.

However, FIVA – as an organisation dedicated to the preservation, protection and promotion of historic vehicles – cannot promote, to owners or regulators, the use of modern EV components (motors and batteries) to replace a historic vehicle’s powertrain.

Conversion of historic vehicles from their original internal combustion engines to electric power doesn’t comply with the FIVA definition of a historic vehicle, nor does it support the goal of preserving historic vehicles and their related culture. In FIVA’s view, vehicles so converted cease to be historic vehicles, unless they are subject only to ‘in period’ changes.

Tiddo Bresters, FIVA’s Vice President, Legislation said:
“It is not, in our opinion, the shape or body style of a vehicle that makes it ‘historic’, but the way in which the entire vehicle has been constructed and manufactured in its original form.

“Hence if any owner, motor engineer or manufacturer chooses to make such conversions to a historic vehicle, FIVA would strongly recommend that any changes are reversible, with all the original components marked and safely stored. In this way, the vehicle may – if so desired in the future – be returned to its original state and may once again become a historic vehicle.”

According to FIVA, a historic vehicle is ‘a mechanically propelled road vehicle’ that is:

  • At least 30 years old
  • Preserved and maintained in a historically correct condition
  • Not used as a means of daily transport
  • Part of our technical and cultural heritage

Who Are FIVA

FIVA (the Fédération Internationale des Véhicules Anciens) is the worldwide organisation dedicated to the preservation, protection and promotion of historic vehicles and related culture, as well as their safe use.

Since April 2017, FIVA has been a non-governmental partner of UNESCO, and continues to pursue its successful FIVA World Motoring Heritage Year programme.

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