Classic EV developer Zero Labs Automotive has shared new details of its third-generation EV platform, on which its vehicle conversions will now sit. With close to 2,000 proprietary upgrades compared to its previous platform, Zero Labs has begun to deliver new EV versions of classic ICE vehicles to customers, and has shared further details about its future plans.
Zero Labs Automotive, based in Hawthorne, California, is an EV design, technology, and engineering firm that takes a unique and resourceful approach to electric vehicles. Since its founding in 2015, the company has set out to convert existing classics to zero emission mobility.
This electrified rebirth of existing vehicles is not only more sustainable, but also timely, as many countries have vowed to ban traditional ICE classics this decade. Zero Labs founder and CEO Adam Roe explained why conversions are vital for EV adoption:
Many of our customers already have an EV as a daily driver but feel new plastic electric vehicles lack ‘soul’ or any connection to a personal history. Bridging the growing gap between modern electric cars, between the past you love, and the future we need is where we come in. Our new generation of classic electric vehicles is the best there is and built to last decades while simultaneously producing an extremely safe but covert electrical drive system.
Last year, Zero Labs made headlines for converting a first-generation Ford Bronco and a Land Rover Series III into electrified versions using modern materials while maintaining each vehicle’s classic look. This includes aerospace-grade carbon fiber components, and Zero Labs’ unique electric platform.
This past April, we shared footage from Zero Labs in which it converted a 50-year-old Ford Bronco onto its EV platform in just 24 hours.
We didn’t know it at the time, but Zero Labs was testing its generation 3 EV platform during this conversion. That same platform is now being fully integrated into classic EV conversions for Zero Labs’ customers today.
Zero Labs shares new EV platform, new production model in 2022
Zero Labs today shared details of its latest-generation EV platform, delivering upgraded performance such as adjustable ride height control, auto-sensing rack and pinion steering, and one-pedal driving.
Zero Labs announced that independent front and rear suspension and the 600 HP dual motor configuration now come standard with gen. 3 (previously upgradable options). Zero Labs EVs now promise 250+ mile range, and an optional upgrade to Level 3 DCFC. Zero Labs has designed its battery and software to be upgraded, too, in anticipation of future improvements to power and performance.
These new improvements are now available to customers purchasing Zero Labs’ unique classic conversions, which currently include 1966-77 Ford Broncos, Land Rover Series IIIs, Defender 110s.
Zero Labs announced a new production model on the way in early 2022, although we don’t know what that will be yet. We asked CEO Adam Roe if there were any plans for electrified sports cars and he said yes, but not yet.
The automaker is working its way down from SUVs to pickups, to body on frame muscle cars, to unibody, then coupes. So it will be a process. Based on Roe’s words, we might expect to see an electrified pickup next – that’s sure to bring in some new customers, if so.
In addition to the fully converted EVs above, Zero Labs offers a lone platform conversion that will now feature the third-generation version. The company admitted that many of its orders for full EVs and for 2022 and 2023 have already been signed, despite their $350k average price tag.
Roe told Electrek that Zero Labs has received tens of thousands of requests, but is currently limited to produce a small fraction of that, given its current manufacturing footprint. That being said, the automaker is working with investors and manufacturing partners as we speak, working to scale the Zero Labs platform itself.
Zero Labs targets an important sector of the market by bridging the gap between everyday EV drivers and ICE drivers who love the classics but hate climate change. These conversions always excite me, and I know a lot of our readers feel that way, too.
I tend to gravitate toward retro style, so being able to drive a classic style vehicle you personally identify with that’s also emissions-free is a win-win. Unfortunately, pricing is still a huge hurdle in this segment, and these models are only available for the wealthy.
One argument I will make for Zero Labs’ high price point is its focus on quality inside and out of its vehicles. In one of the company’s Bronco photos, it explains how it re-crafted the vehicle’s factory steel on the front grill to deliver a straight, 4mm gap alignment. That’s meticulous.
Look at the images above. The tiny details, the tasteful integration of the Zero Labs logos and the minimalist design, despite being technologically advanced – this goes above and beyond other EV conversions I have seen.
Zero Labs HQ is not to far from me, either, so I’m working on a visit to see these details up close. I’ll report back soon.
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