Vintage car refurbisher David Bernardo, who founded Zelectric Motors, has teamed up with EV West founder Michael Bream to create a vehicle that truly balances the beauty of vintage design with exceptional modern performance: a Tesla-powered 1968 Porsche 912.
Using Tesla’s electric motor, inverter, rear differential and throttle pedal, the duo has transformed what was once a rusty 912 shell in Vegas into a 550 horsepower EV with 4,500 pound-feet of torque. Of course, with a much smaller size than Tesla’s cars, the refurbished 912 couldn’t use the Model S battery, so the duo instead employed LG Chem to build a much smaller 32kWh battery pack, divided into two equal components each carrying 16kWh to balance out the weight of the vintage sports car. With a battery that size, Bream claims that it can still make a range of roughly 140 miles.
“[It was] a little bit of a challenge, engineering-wise because the car is much smaller than the cars that we’re pulling the components out of. A Tesla drive unit comes out of a 5,500-pound car, and we’re trying to shoehorn into about a 2,300-pound car,” says the EV West founder. “So there’s a lot of engineering challenges there.”
While the Tesla-powered Porsche 912 build was a one-off by Bernardo and Bream, those interested are nonetheless in luck: EV West plans to take the project and develop a 912 conversion kit that will be available for interested buyers for around $50,000 USD, so you can re-create this fantastic EV yourself.
Elsewhere in the automotive world, Indian Motorcycle and Traeger has converted a sidecar into a barbecue grill.