Electric vehicle conversions have been around for decades, though most of these early, primitive conversions didn’t last long beyond their intended useful life. This Ford Fairmont EVA Conversion is a rare survivor from the early days of electrification, and for just $1,000 it could be your little slice of electric car history. Make sure you bring your tools though.
, The Current Fare, as it was called, was built by EV conversion company EVA, who claimed their electric wagon could go up to 40 miles between charges. Makes today’s “short range” electric cars like the Nissan Leaf seem like endurance competitors in comparison. Power came from 22 six-volt batteries powering a single 29 horsepower electric motor, which made the Current Fare a woefully under-powered vehicle, even by the low standards of the early 80s. BMW put out an even lamer EV with just 19 miles of range, while Mercedes built a plug-in hybrid wagon in a bid to compete with gas-powered cars, but that project was also a dead end.
This particular Fairmont wagon EV was enlisted to serve the Navy, and could be had with either a four-speed manual or three-speed automatic transmission. While it could make a fun and interesting restoration project, methinks the lead-acid batteries have long since eaten through the floorboards of the wagon, if they’re still there at all.
EVA also converted the early Ford Escort, calling it the Evcort, as well as the Change The Pace AMC Pacer EV conversion. Alas, clever names couldn’t overcome primitive EV technology, and cars like the Current Fare never stood a chance on America’s roads, limiting them to short-range fleet work for the government or private industry. It’s taken another 30 years to get to the point where electric cars can actually work as commuter cars.
It’d take more than a fresh coat of to bring this particular early EV back from the dead, as its been sitting immobile in Southern California for many many years. That said, there’s plenty of room for a modern lithium-ion battery pack and more powerful motor. Perhaps a second life as an electric drag car is what this EVA conversion really deserves.