Classic Customizers To Produce Tesla-Powered Defender

A Florida-based company that specializes in customizing classic Land Rovers, and in particular, Defenders, is getting set to build the first electric Defender in the S. powered by a Tesla drivetrain.

Curated via Twitter from Forbes Tech’s twitter account….

Now ECD has decided to give creating an electric version of a Defender a go—much more than simply a cosmetic update, but rather a way for the company to make a play in its very specialized space in the growing EV market, according to co-founder Elliot Humble. “It’s just one thing we wanted to get ahead of the game on and be one of the first to have a good electric drive train solution on one of these classic Land Rovers,” said Humble.

They found the answer by moving to the U. S. and creating ECD, starting small with one mechanic and a workspace around 1,500 square feet and have watched their classic vehicle customization building business boom to expected revenues this year of “close to $12 million,” with a team of 60 and 45,000-square foot facility near Orlando, according to Wallace. “We take a base vehicle that’s 25 years or older and we take it all the way down to the frame and turn it into a unique vehicle,” said Wallace.

It’s just another chapter in the short history of ECD, founded in 2013 by a trio of British auto enthusiasts who met at a party in their homeland, had a subsequent conversation over a case of beer, according to co-founder Scott Wallace and realized they also had a mutual affection for old Defenders. “We asked, how could you take a British farm and agricultural vehicle and create an American demand for it? ” said Wallace in a phone interview.

Rendering of an electric version of the Land Rover Defender being built by classic vehicle … [+] customizer ECD Automotive Design based in Kissimmee, Fla.

Built to exact, personalized specifications for each customer, pricing starts at around $180,000 for what Scott Wallace calls “a very kind of plastic factory spec look and feel,” to around $290,000. “When you get to the top end it’s a more personalized nature with custom wheels, different metals, touch points throughout the vehicle, Brembo brakes,” said Wallace, but he’s quick to point out, “It’s not like the lowest priced vehicle is barebones. No, indeed.

ECD Automotive Design, based in Kissimmee, Fla. is partnering with Electric Classic Cars (ECC)—a UK company with expertise in electric conversions of classic vehicles, to build the EVs.  The first one is set to roll off ECD’s production line later this year.

A Florida-based company that specializes in customizing classic Land Rovers, and in particular, Defenders, is getting set to build the first electric Defender in the U. S.

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