A crate engine is a ready to instal unit straight out of the crate. Basically, it is a plug-and-play engine replacement kit, which can be brand new or rebuilt. It makes restorations and modifications much easier. And now a company from Silverstone is getting ready to introduce an electric crate motor.
The appeal of crate engines is ease of assembly. It is basically ready to install straight out of the crate. You may need to attach some bolt-on accessories, but the engine itself is ready to be put to work. Crate engines are popular between racing enthusiasts, restomod crowd and just people with worn out or maybe even hydrolocked engines.
Swindon Powertrain, Silverstone-based company, is getting ready to introduce the first real electric crate motor. This single modular waterproof unit includes the motor, inverter, single-speed transmission and cooling system assembly. Swindon Powertrain’s High Power Density (HPD) EV system, as it is officially called, will make it easier for small-scale manufacturers to produce electric cars for niche markets. Think small electric kit cars, low-volume sports cars and even conversions.
In fact, many enthusiasts are very excited about the upcoming opportunities to easily convert vintage cars to electric power. Swindon’s powertrain unit has all major components (short of the battery, of course) but is still very compact – its dimensions are 600 x 440 x 280 mm. As Swindon Powertrain has already demonstrated, this 70 kg HPD EV powertrain fits under the bonnet of a classic MINI, but it would also suit a medium-size ATV just fine.
Importantly, HPD EV is very versatile – it can be mounted on the front or the rear axle, it can power a van or a sports car, it can be used in car production or conversions. 80 kW power doesn’t sound like a whole lot, but in many cases it will be ideal. And it’s just the beginning – soon the market will be filled with these EV LEGO pieces.
Swindon Powertrain says that if everything goes according to plan, they will have the unit in production by June 2020. At the meantime you can already buy some interesting vintage cars converted to electric power. Volkswagen is offering a modern classic eKäfer, while Lunaz is electrifying several British classics, including Jaguar XK120.