Irish Electrifi signs €40m deal to build electric Jaguar E-Types
450hp battery-powered classic will be in direct competition with Jaguar’s own plans
Electrifi has signed a €40 million deal with UK-based Evolution, which has been supplying both fully-rebuilt and upgraded original E-Types, and parts for those cars, for some time now
Electrifi, the Wicklow-based company that made quite a splash last month by revealing it had converted a classic Ferrari 308 to electric power, has announced a deal to build a series of electric Jaguar E-Types.
The E-Type is still, almost 60 years on, Jaguar’s most totemic car. A low-slung two-seater which could (sort of, if you cheated a bit) beat 250km/h in 1961 and whose styling was described as ‘the most beautiful car in the world.’ By Enzo Ferrari…
With demand for restored and upgraded E-Types still running hot, Electrifi has signed a €40 million deal with UK-based Evolution, which has been supplying both fully-rebuilt and upgraded original E-Types, and parts for those cars, for some time now.
The cars will keep their original structure, but the 3.8 and 4.2-litre ‘XK’ straight-six engine, and its four-speed Moss gearbox, will be removed. The battery pack and electric motor slot into the space vacated by the old oily bits, so in theory it will be simple to restore the car to petrol power if you ever want to bring it back to its original status. Power is expected to be in the 450hp range, giving the car the ability to sprint to 100km/h in around four seconds, and on to a top speed north of 280km/h. No figure for one-charge range has yet been given.
Each electric E-Type will be given power steering, air conditioning, upgraded brakes, and uprated suspension. Electrifi also says that the cars will be available with an aluminium body, which would be quite the upgrade on the original E-Type’s all-steel structure.
The price? Better sit down for this one - €850,000. Norman Crowley, founder and chief executive of Electrifi’s parent company Crowley Carbon said: “It’s like the old adage, quality is remembered long after the price is forgotten.. With the partnership of Electrifi and Evolution E-Types, we are just helping breath life back into these classics by building modern and sustainable technology into the very heart of these cars for the twenty-first century.
“There is also a special link closer to home with this amazing car. Fellow Corkman, Duncan Hamilton, best-known for excelling in the golden age of motorsport in the 1950s, pulled off a sensational victory in the iconic Le Mans 24-hour race in 1953 as part of the Jaguar team of the day.”
Electrifi expects to have its first electric E-Types on sale early next year, but that’s going to put it into direct competition with Jaguar itself, which has its own battery E-Type plans. Beleaguered by financial difficulties it might be right now, but Jaguar has announced that, following an ‘overwhelmingly positive’ response, it’s going to put an electric E-Type sports car into limited production.
The electric E-Type, or E-Type Zero to give it its proper name, has already made a name for itself, thanks to a cameo role in the most recent royal wedding. Harry and Meghan drove away from their wedding ceremony at Windsor Castle in Jaguar’s prototype E-Type Zero.
“We’ve been overwhelmed by the positive reaction to the Jaguar E-type Zero concept” said Tim Haning, director of Jaguar Land Rover Classic, the restoration and recreation arm of JLR, which will build the cars. “Future-proofing the enjoyment of classic car ownership is a major stepping stone for Jaguar Classic. E-type Zero showcases the incredible heritage of the E-type, and the expertise and craftsmanship at Classic Works, while demonstrating Jaguar Land Rover’s dedication to creating zero emission vehicles across every part of the business, including Jaguar Classic.”
Outwardly, the prototype is a 1968 E-Type Series 1.5 (the 0.5 denoting that it has more interior space, improved brakes and cabin switches, and is slightly longer overall) and looks perfectly restored. As well it might, because it has been restored by Jaguar itself, as part of the ‘Reborn’ programme which is currently setting about rebuilding classic Jags and Land Rovers to original (actually, somewhat higher) factory standards.
As with the Electrifi cars, the E-Type Zero bins its original petrol engine and uses a 40kWh battery stack, driving a 220kW electric motor, which is about 300hp, lifted more or less directly from the I-Pace electric car. The Zero is actually some 46kg lighter than an original E, which means it can sprint from 0-100km/h in 5.5secs.
Jaguar says that it’s working towards a useable range of around 250-280km on a single charge, and that the Zero’s 40kWh battery should fully charge in around 6-7-hours from a domestic socket.
Apparently the lithium-ion battery pack is the same weight as an XK straight-six engine, and sits in the same position, so the E’s handling and ride should be more or less the same as that of an original. From the outside, the Zero is indistinguishable from an original car, although the interior is much-altered - the shapes (and gorgeous wood-rimmed steering wheel) are the same, but there’s now a carbon-fibre dash, digital instruments, infotainment screen, and a circular gear selector. Presumably, owners will be able to specify a more traditional cabin if they please.
The price? Well, while it’s certainly not going to be cheap, it could well be significantly less ‘not cheap’ than the Electrifi version - something in the region of €400,000 was spoken of when the prototype was unveiled.
Fancy something other than a classic Jag for your new electric car? That’s okay - Aston Martin has also announced that it can provide an electric-for-engine swap out for virtually any of its classic models too. Mind you, those are going to make even the Electrifi E-Types look cheap…