Few vehicles are as important to American exceptionalism as the Jeep, and many would consider converting a 1969 Jeep CJ5 to an electric car as heresy. Thankfully in Europe there are few to protest such a conversion, which electric boat maker New Electric undertook at the behest of a customer. The end result is something I wouldn’t mind having in my own driveway.
Utilizing Siemens electric motor, the CJ5 EV can churn out a maximum of 110 kW/148 horsepower and 300 nM/220 lb-ft of torque, which is about on par with what you could expect from the stock inline-six back in the day. Battery capacity is rated at an impressive 33 kWh, which is about 30% more than you’d find in a Nissan LEAF, which should translate into more than 100 miles of driving between charges.
The conversion is reaching the final stages, with a recent video update explaining that the CJ5 had just passed local VIN inspection and needed just a few more items to be considered “road legal” according to national laws in the Netherlands. While many Jeep purists might be up in arms regarding such a conversion, frankly I don’t see any problem with it as a Jeep fan (and former Wrangler owner) myself. Instant torque would be great for rock crawling, in addition to being a lot less obnoxious and damaging to the sorts of environments one might want to off-road on. While New Electric has more experience in zero-emissions boats than cars, this conversion seems to have been with plenty of professionalism.
Still, some people just don’t see the point in taking a perfectly good classic and converting it into an electric vehicle. Remember when hot rodding was about doing something drastically different from the status quo? This electric Jeep CJ5 conversion is hot rodding for the 21st century as far as I’m concerned.
via New Electric