“One of the best I have ever driven:” Jay Leno tests a converted 1968 electric Porsche


A California company that specializes in custom-made electric conversions of classic vintage cars has received praise for its latest effort – a 1968 Irish green Porsche 912 – from one of America’s greatest champions of electric vehicle technology, Jay Leno.

Longtime EV champion, owner of hundreds of cars and former Tonight Show host Jay Leno showcased and tested Zeletric’s converted Porsche in the latest episode of his YouTube series Jay Leno’s Garage.

After a long and informative interview with Zeletric’s David Bernardo and Trent Wonsley, Leno takes the Porsche for a ride through the streets of LA roughly halfway through the video, at the end of which he states he’s is “one of the best electric cars I have ever driven.” And he’s driven a lot.

That’s a big praise from Leno, but perhaps not surprising, given – as explained in detail in Part 1 of the video – that the converted Porsche was fitted with a Tesla powertrain, taken from a dismantled Model S.

This, plus a 32kWh battery (you can see all the specs in the copied sheet at the bottom of the story) split between the front and rear of the car, and rear-wheel drive, packaged in a 2,500-pounder ( 1134 kg) does what Leno describes as a “fun” and authentic ride.

“You know, I have to say it’s one of the best electric cars I’ve ever driven,” Leno says after about 15 minutes of driving.

“Even better than the original … because, (a) it’s a two-wheel drive, that’s what I like, [and (b)]… I love the fact that you have all that power with two-wheel drive…[in] a 2,500 pound car. It’s incredible.

“Yeah, it’s an electric hot rod, you know,” replies Zelectric’s Wonsley, who is his co-pilot on the test drive. “It gives you all that power to play with… just like the stock hot rodders did with gasoline engines.

Leno adds, “Well you guys did a great job. It’s really fun. And it’s nice that you’ve kept the spirit and ethos of the Porsche package… by simply delivering power a little differently – and dare I say better.

Leno, who owns and loves several hundred ICE cars, has regularly stated publicly that electric vehicles are the future of mobility, especially passenger vehicles.

“I predict that a child born today is probably as likely to drive a gasoline car as people today have a car with a shifter,” he said in a recent interview. . “They will always be there. There are just not many of them.

Among his personal fleet of electric cars is a Tesla Model S, which he told the same interviewer (two years ago) that he had for three years and that he “never did anything.”

“There are no fluids to change. There is nothing. You know, for new technologies to be successful, it cannot be equal. It must be better. … There is no maintenance. They are faster than the gasoline car. So there is almost no reason to have a gasoline car.

After testing Zelectric’s converted Porsche, the love of vintage engines could be another reason that can be crossed off the gasoline car list.

Image: Zelectric Flickr

As you can see in the photos, Zelectric did an incredible job with the conversion of the Porsche, including adding a barely distinguishable solar panel to the rear of the car (pictured below) that charges the car’s 12-volt accessories. drums.

Image: Zelectric Flickr

It’s worth watching the video to hear all the fascinating details on how and why the team used the components and the steps they took to take the old Porch to electric, including its strong appreciation. from Tesla powertrains and battery technology, which Leno describes as “eight years ahead” of the rest of the industry.

As for what Porsche devotees might think of converting a 912 to an electric, Leno notes that Zelectric’s very respectful and non-invasive approach to conversion means it can be easily reversed and a gasoline engine is falls.

“I have a lot of modified cars here, and I’m going to put disc brakes on it and do a few other things. If you really wanted to go back to drum brakes, of course, I guess you could if you wanted to. “

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