Since its beginnings in 2013, E.C.D. has always strived to push bringing Land Rover classics into the 21st century. Starting with simply upgrading and repairing the original Rover V8 engine, E.C.D. now offers six additional engine options for its custom Land Rover lineup. In its earlier years, the founders often joked about the day they’d make the world’s first Electric Defender, up until a few years ago when it became a serious goal. Having installed our first LS3 engine, Project Beast, in a custom Defender, the Electric Defender officially became the next level of achievement for E.C.D.
Finally, after searching for engine options and accommodations, E.C.D. finally got in contact with some very like-minded individuals in our founders’ home country, the U.K. The land where the Defender was originally produced, and its first home also happens to be home of the company that collaborated to bring electric Land Rovers to the forefront of the industry with E.C.D. Electric Classic Cars is an electric conversion shop based in the U.K. They offer electric conversions and kits for classic as well as full-out classic rebuilds. Combined with E.C.D.’s impeccable ability to produce the most custom Land Rovers here in the U.S., where they are rare, the partnership was a match made in classic car heaven.
E.C.D. and ECC finally tied the knot in the early summer of 2020, and we shortly announced our bid for bringing the very first Electric Defender to the U.S. Selecting an exclusively built Tesla Direct Drivetrain conversion kit from ECC, we had already started offering the electric option to several clients. The electric drivetrain option is available for any vehicle in our lineup, regardless of the model. So we were ecstatic to see that our next Range Rover Classic off the line was to be a custom-built RRC, but with the new Tesla electric engine.
With the Electric engine option, the entire process of the build was different. The wiring, while miles from the original setup, was slightly easier due to everything being easily adaptable with our schematics. As we waited for our Tesla kit to arrive, we began our rebuild process the same as always. We sourced a base RRC and meticulously took it apart piece by piece. Unlike our Land Rover Defender builds, the RRC reuses a majority of its parts since it is a bit more rare, and there aren’t as many parts dealers for replacement parts. With the chassis bare and on its way to repair, the body of the vehicle went to our paint facility, The Lab, for body repairs and paint.
In December, our Tesla kit had arrived, and the rolling chassis was fitted for the engine. The result was simply beautiful. A clean, beautifully built engine box sat neatly on the rolling chassis, ready to be fitted. As the surrounding body parts made their way back onto the RRC, the vehicle came together bit by bit. Attaching the Tesla battery kit and additional electrical wiring was a first here at the Rover Dome, and clearly, this build was different from our previous new engine builds. We were able to plug everything in. It sounds simple, but of course, we have been engineering the plans for our builds and this kit for quite some time.
Finally, the vehicle was finished coming together, and with all the cosmetics fitted and finished, the Electric RRC looked… normal. On the outside, our first Electric RRC was beautiful in the traditional Land Rover color of Alpine White with a warm tan colored interior and the usual E.C.D. modern upgrades of a new sound system. It looks fresh from 1995. You’d never guess that once you popped the hood, a clean white case holding the electric Tesla drivetrain kit would be looking back at you. The build is a world first, and it is the perfect summary of E.C.D.’s ability to bring the British classic into modern times. A spectacular combination.
While some classic RRC lovers feel indifference for the conversion, one must admit, it’s pretty badass. As one of our coolest builds to date, our Electric Range Rover Classic makes us excited to offer an amazing sample for future clients. Hopefully, we’ll soon be announcing our first Electric Defender coming onto the line.
Interested in one of our Electric Land Rover vehicles? Get in touch at email@example.com.
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© 2022 ECD Automotive Design. All images are the property of ECD Auto Design and cannot be used without our consent. E.C.D. Automotive Design is not affiliated, associated, authorized, endorsed by, or in any way officially connected with Jaguar Land Rover Limited, or any of its subsidiaries or affiliates, including Jaguar Land Rover North America, LLC. DEFENDER and RANGE ROVER are registered trademarks of Jaguar Land Rover Limited.