Does Zelectric Motors sell complete vehicles?
Occasionally, yes. Sometimes we have something available and turnkey ready to go, or an excellent candidate that’s ready for commission. Mostly we build to order.
What if I already have the car? We work with client-owned vehicles. But if you don’t already own it, we can help locate the ideal air-cooled VW or Porsche you envision. We specialize in finding exceptional candidates, or may have one currently available.
We offer classics a new life: reborn electric, meticulously hand-rebuilt to order. Drivetrain conversion from fossil fuel is the hallmark of the Zelectric rebuild. But in addition, select upgrades and modifications ensure a dramatically improved driving experience. We use only proven components from world-class suppliers.
Do you restore cars? No. Restoration is an art in itself. A different discipline. So we stick with what we know and do best. Other than engine condition, vehicles should be in exceptional condition prior to a Zelectric rebuild. If restoration or cosmetic fixes are needed, they should be addressed beforehand.
What’s a typical total project cost?
Including purchase of the vehicle, a Zelectric Beetle sedan base price would probably start at $75,000. But every car is a midcentury classic and is priced according to its unique characteristics. Less common sunroof (ragtop) models generally run $10,000 - $15,000 higher and rare highly desirable convertibles can add an additional $20,000 or more.
Base price for any stock vehicle varies according to the model and year. For a ballpark cost estimate on your whole project, consider the current (excellent condition) market value of the "core" vehicle you have in mind. For the retrofit of Beetles, Karmann Ghias, and VW Things - add approximately $56,000. Microbuses - $63,000. Porsche builds can be more. Extra options are available.
Got a kit so I can do it myself?
No. We don’t sell parts. Our build is in a constant state of evolution. It's complicated. Individual components we currently use in the basic drivetrain conversion cost close to $25,000 USD and do not come with instructions for assembly or installation. A full Zelectric rebuild also includes select mechanical and proprietary modifications.
Will you zelectrify my air-cooled VW, Porsche or Microbus?
Yes. But other than its engine, your vehicle should be in excellent condition. Including our proprietary upgrades, modifications and conversion, the base price for retrofitting your Beetle, Karmann Ghia, or VW Thing is $56,000 USD. The Microbus retrofit starts at $63,000. Shipping will be your responsibility; all work takes place at our San Diego shop.
Which years? Which models?
Air-cooled Volkswagens and Porsches exclusively, mostly pre-1979. Beetles, Buses, Ghias, and yes - even ZelectricThings. Porsches 911, 912, 356 and 914. Tech evolved, design preserved. Turnkey air-cooled classics: rebuilt, reborn electric, and made road-ready for the 21st century.
What's the range?
The basic Zelectric retrofit for Beetle and Karmann Ghia provides a range of 100 miles on a full charge. Less aerodynamics means the Microbus and Thing will be less, but in some cases range can be extended with the use of additional batteries, depending on the model. In order to preserve the investment quality of the stock vehicle, we avoid cutting and welding.
What about charging? Where to charge up, and how long does that take?
Zelectrics come with a Level 1 charging cord. Both Level 1 and 2 chargers work in a typical garage or carport, no special installation required. If you drive 50 miles, on a level 1 charge (110 v) it will take about 6-8 hours. A Level 2 charge (220 v) works twice as fast. Basically, you'll plug your car in overnight, like your cell phone.
The ZelectricBug is capable of 100+ mph. Horsepower is more than doubled. Instant, selectable torque means fast feels faster.
All of the new electrical components have individual warranties from their respective manufacturers. The rest of the car, like every classic, is sold on an "as is" basis, but subject to our verified 100+ checkpoint first, to ensure that all systems are in top-flight working order prior to delivery.
How much will fuel cost to drive 100 miles?
On solar power, of course the cost = zero. Otherwise, it will depend on electricity rates where you live. Here in San Diego, rates are the most expensive in California. Even here, driving 100 miles costs less than $3.00 - that's like getting 116 miles on a gallon of gasoline.
What about exporting? If I'm outside the US, is that a problem?
Regulations concerning the import and registration of a vintage electric-converted vehicle vary by country. We can't take responsibility for compliance, but will adapt the build to suit your requirements within the scope of our capabilities. We will be happy to work with your customs import specialist and coordinate delivery with the transportation services you select.
What's the payment schedule?
A $7,500 holding deposit reserves your place in the Zelectric production schedule. 50% of the total project is due when scheduled project work begins. This allows us to place the order for specific parts required to begin the build. If purchase of a vehicle is involved, that is handled separately, with the seller.
If I order a car from you, how long until delivery?
The timetable varies. Generally no more than 6 months after work on your project build begins. Sometimes less. Safety is our main concern. Every detail is checked and rechecked.
After my production order and initial payment, how will I track progress on the car?
Once your vehicle goes into production, you will be updated every 30 days. You will receive digital photos of work accomplished to date, along with billing for any client-approved labor and material costs exceeding the initial deposit. Your vehicle will be built strictly according to your original purchase agreement's build sheet.
Zelectric Motors offers the finest re-configuration and electric propulsion of vintage VWs available today. Our re-engineering design is the product ofthe same specialized team that built the record-holding fastest street-legal electric at Pike's Peak Hill Climb in 2012. Zelectrics have been featured at a number of Concours d'Elegance events, won various awards, and have been reviewed and celebrated internationally by worldwide media - from the Wall Street Journal and CNN to Robb Report.
Ok. Let's do it. What's the next step?
Call us at 619-709-6155 or email David Benardo, our #1 Zelectric retrofuturist. We'll talk about options, pricing, and discuss current availability and/or build times.