The epitome of elegance, this '92 Range Rover Vogue has been rescued from death by dust in a Melbourne garage & is destined for the sedate lane of family life. The first of many builds on this platform, she'll be a well loved daily driver.
Whoever owned this piece of British engineering history before us kept her pretty schmick.
However, despite what looks like consistent maintenance, and typically for the model, our RR leaks, smells & is oily. So, a perfect candidate for a smooth driving electric conversion!
And she won't be the last. We're refining our Range Rover, Land Rover & Land Cruiser EV conversion process to enable at-scale, cost effective & fast turnaround times. Even better, you'll soon be able to order your own using our online configurator.
The new owner of this Rangie first fell in love with the model when rounding up the sheep on his dad's farm.
He's now a city slicker, so to determine his requirements we worked through an Engineering Plan process to agree on a 150-200km range with enough grunt to tow a trailer every now & then.
We're pretty excited that the lovely people at Car Advice are following this build!
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Step 1 - Plan
We worked with this Rangie's owner to build an Engineering Plan through several online meetings & a couple of face to face catch ups in the Electric Car Cafe workshop. This build is using an inventory vehicle that had been purchased in early 2021, so the first steps of vehicle procurement & measuring we could skip, fast tracking the process a bit.
She was then sent off for paint, the result being a gorgeous light blue gloss with a black roof. Internally, she's in great condition, so we're only doing some light restoration work there, including removing the LPG tank from the boot.
She's now had her tow bar removed (forcibly!) & we've begun stripping out all the components she won't need ever again...anything that rumbles, leaks oil or needs lots of maintenance.
Step 2 - Tear down
Naturally, you can't put an electric driveline in without removing some greasy, oily, smelly stuff.
This gorgeous Range Rover had the the transmission & engine removed, allowing our fabricator to measure up the front battery box position, which we initially mock up in CAD & cardboard. Now on the hoist full time, she's being checked over for rust & anything else we think will pose a risk to a fast & successful electric vehicle conversion delivery for our client.
Worth mentioning at this point is our team are creating this vehicle design with a view to repeatable builds; every small challenge we meet is noted for future reference.
We've been lucky enough to have @emmanotarfrancesco & @franktang from @caradvice join us to follow the progress of this Range Rover electric conversion. You can read about the build here - 'This one is more than just a project car, it's a journey of a man ticking things off his bucket list.' in their Project Cars section.
Step 3 - Fabrication
We have a number of very clever & important people on our EV conversion team, but one of the most vital is our fabricator Paul.
The level of precision it takes to mock up, measure, tweak & measure again can't be underestimated when it comes to perfectly fitting the battery box into any EV conversion vehicle. Not only is the battery box the heart of the vehicle, but it houses the lithium ion battery cells we've sourced from a wrecked Renault Zoe. Sitting on specially crafted engine mounts, the battery box can't experience too much movement in transit & needs to be able to take a few knocks without allowing a breach into the cells themselves...if that occurs, bad things happen!
Our Range Rover battery box is fabbed & placed, however there's still a bunch of work to do before it's finally fixed in place. Alongside this work, we've also had the seats retrimmed with heating pads (front & rear) & had the wheels colour coded for complete schmickness.
Step 4 - High Voltage Works
The amount of work to integrate 21st century technology into this beautiful iconic shape is far from straightforward. This is will probably the first Range Rover Classic to sport CANBUS. Of course, it's not Electric Car Cafe's first rodeo, the team have many years of experience between them to not only connect everything up correctly the first time but also make it look good too!
The key word here is integration. All the new components must not only talk to each other, they must also communicate and work seamlessly with the original dials, knobs and levers that have been with the vehicle since 1992.
We're especially proud of the electric drivetrain (secret sauce) solution we've developed especially for this vehicle. Not only will this Rangie be a whole lot quieter and quicker than the original but it will also be hugely power efficient.That's no mean feat given size, shape and original weight of the beast. A quick towing test around the block proves we have a hugely competent vehicle on our hands. Car Advice had a sticky beak recently too - always lovely to see mainstream interest.
We're not quite finished yet, but doesn't she look good already?