While the big OEMs play with high-stakes vehicle electrification programs, sometimes it's a good idea to just have fun with turning your car into an electric vehicle (EV). The latest example is a project led by Wired Italy (Google Translate version) and eCars Now! Italy to convert a DeLorean DMC-12 to electric drive, and yes, the Mr. Fusion jokes are expected. The DeLorean EV made an appearance last month just in time for the 25th anniversary of the release of the original Back to the Future movie in Europe.
The plug-in DeLorean ran on li-ion batteries and a 90 kW motor all the way from the Wired offices in Milan to Rome. Traveling along the scenic highways – so as to better "enjoy the pastoral landscape along Italy's rural roads" – the trip was accompanied by Back to the Future marathons sponsored by Universal Pictures. The unofficial specs for the DeLorean EV say it can make the jump to 60 miles per hour in 4.2 seconds and has a range of around 130 miles. It's a fun trip and all, but the issues the team is addressing are serious. Wired Italy Features Editor Massimiliano Ferramondo told his American counterparts that:
This isn't the first time a DeLorean conversion project has been attempted, as a similar example was available on eBay back in 2008.If you customize your car into electric in Italy and many other countries in the world, it's illegal. If we all go electric in ten years, what happens to all the other cars that we've accumulated in the past hundred years? The eco-disaster of these cars existing now could be a bigger problem than keeping them going.
[Source: Electric Race, Wired]