The electrification of old cars by Lunaz

Last week David Beckham announced his investment in Lunaz, and so we wanted to find out more.

Published: 8th June 2021

Old, classic, and vintage cars have a distinct character. They provide an exceptional feel when you sit on their seats and hold the steering wheel.

It does not matter whether the vehicle is a clapped-out mass or a fully reinstated blockbuster – it always has a captivating story to tell. If you decide to have it transformed into a plug-in electric power-based vehicle, it can benefit the car owner different ways. Apart from looking at the converted vehicle and feeling particularly satisfied with your purchase, one of its key benefits is that you do not have to fill up its tank. This environment-friendly advantage certainly contributes to the cleanliness of the globe too.

The Lunaz is a Silverstone-based company that electrifies old cars. Founded in 2018, it has been rapidly established and has become one of the most well-known and go-to places for converting old and classic cars into battery-powered electric vehicles. Its development has fascinated the ex-England footballer, entrepreneur and owner of Inter Miami CF David Beckham, to invest in this company.

In a recent deal, David Beckham procured a 10% share in Lunaz with the help of an investment company. Beckham’s stake with the funds and reserves from numerous other innovative and strategic stakeholders will contribute to Lunaz for converting classic cars into EVs. Lunaz is expanding a lot to electrify more than just old cars.

Lunaz is fundamentally into the transformation to a technology-based company. This company would also supply other corporations, including chief suppliers and automakers, with exclusive EV technology. Moreover, it will allow specified commercial vehicles to go with electric power. These commercial vehicles include garbage lorries, buses, etc. The CEO and founder of Lunaz, David Lorenz, has suggested a golden alternative – scrapping the old cars or simply replacing them with recently constructed electric equivalents. Moreover, he stated the reduction of exhaust emissions as the pursuit of this technology.

Examples of a classic car conversion to an electric vehicle

Lunaz has manufactured a branded powertrain having a modular design. The company promises that this powertrain can fit into a vehicle of nearly every size, model, make, and classification. One of the company’s innovative employees, Managing Director Jon Hilton, has been at the helm of the company’s development and advancement in technology. He supervised the power unit construction team of the well-known Renault Formula One team, who won the 2005 and 2006 world tournaments with Fernando Alonso.

Recently, Lunaz is working on the projects of electrification of old vehicles. Lunaz is renovating classic cars like the Bentley S3 Continental Flying Spur, the Jaguar XK120, Bentley S3, the Range Rover Classic, and the Rolls-Royce Phantom V to make them compatible with electric power. The engine inside the Rolls-Royce Phantom V is the most considerable and worthwhile part of the vehicle, which contributes a lot to its electrification. These classic car models are some iconic vehicles that are a firm favourite with car enthusiasts and archives of history.

As the company grows and gets further investment from people like Beckham, we should expect it to develop its team to over five hundred people by the end of the year 2024.

Working behind the conversion of old cars into electric vehicles

The first challenge for the conversion of gasoline engine classic cars into electric-powered vehicle is a technical one. A car is an collection of components and parts with connected performance and characteristics. For instance, the dimensions of the car wheels and the car weight directly influence the selection of car parts, including the suspension system and the brakes. Checking out whether these parameters comply or not is necessary for converting an old car with a gasoline combustion engine into an electric one.

The following components undergo several changes to complete the conversion procedure:

Gearbox and Engine

The gearbox is a vital component of a vehicle with internal combustion. However, it is useless for the cars that use electric motors. Keeping this gearbox might be harmful if you are converting your classic car into an electric one. So, you have to lose it to install an electric motor. Also, the removal of the gearbox demands extensive amendments to the vehicle.

Furthermore, the Lunaz team install an electric-powered propulsion unit into the chassis of the gasoline or diesel-based car chassis. This installation cultivates the problem of receiving the energy from the car engine to the wheels.

Battery and charger

The batteries of the old cars also have some drawbacks. These drawbacks start with the price of the batteries. A lithium-ion battery is tremendously expensive and can only offer a range of hundred kilometres. The manufacturers are foreseeing a suitable method for building this gigantic and hefty component in the old cars without disturbing the dynamic behaviour, volume distribution, and safety features.

The Lunaz team consider these complicated issues and fix them at the planning stage for innate hybrid and electric vehicle, for example, in the technical inventions resulting from the corporation between the fire service and Renault.

The conversion of combustion engine-powered cars to electric-powered cars also needs the setting up of a charging circuit. The wattage of these charging circuits gets limited by the heat dissipation constraints. These constraints are also complex to get around, in the case of no proper pre-designing of the electric vehicle.

 
Image Credit: Rolls-Royce Phantom V By Jiří Sedláček, CC BY-SA 4.0 , via Wikimedia Commons

Published: 8th June 2021

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