Interest in electric vehicles is at an all-time high, with sales of new electric vehicles up 55% in 2022 compared to the previous year. But there are still plenty of gas cars on the roads today, and they will likely be around for a long time.

The booming industry is breathing new life and power into internal combustion vehicles by electrifying them. Both the shops and the aftermarket community are growing exponentially to meet the new demand.

“This is a 1976 2002 BMW – really fun to drive but underpowered,” Michael Brim, founder and CEO of EV West, told CNBC. “This particular customer decided he wanted to go what we call the ‘whole hog,’ and he’s doing a 550-horsepower Tesla engine unit on this.”

Bream, based in San Diego, California, is an early pioneer in electric vehicle conversion and has become so popular that it has four to five years to wait for its entry.

“Getting involved with electric cars now is like getting involved with computers in the ’90s… We want this transition to sustainable fuels to be fun and exciting for people who are part of the car culture and car enthusiasts,” said Brimm.

In addition to conversion shops, there is a rapidly growing community of DIYers who take these projects upon themselves. The intricacy of electric cars can be intimidating, but that hasn’t stopped 14-year-old Frances Farnham, who’s converting a 1976 Porsche 914. She got the car three years ago and has been documenting the process on her YouTube channel, Tinkergineering.

“I’ve always wanted an electric car, and my mom has a BMW i3,” said Francis. “Hopefully what I’m doing with this is that I’m proving it’s not too hard… I’m doing this in the backyard with my dad.”

She recently finished the car to paint and is preparing to rebuild it. The online community 914 was instrumental in helping her and her father through the entire process. To learn how to work with electrical systems, I took a course with Legacy EV, an electric vehicle aftermarket, that taught her the ins and outs of making the conversion.

The aftermarket ecosystem seems to be exploding with EV-focused parts to support people like Francis who want to build their own electric cars. both of them stronghold And GM offers components for electric vehicle conversions, and there are many other companies entering the space as well. The Specialty Equipment Market Association, a trade organization representing vehicle manufacturers and sellers, said it has seen significant growth in the number of electric vehicle-focused products in the market.

“We started a couple of years ago at SEMA by having an electric vehicle division at the show,” said Mike Spagnola, SEMA President and CEO. “It was 2,000 square feet. Last year it was 22,000 square feet… I’m sure it will be 100,000 square feet in the next five years.”

Watch the video To learn about how internal combustion engine vehicles are being converted to electric vehicles and whether they could become mainstream.


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