Sector News

Electrifying classic cars is a surging business–with a two-year wait list

February 20, 2022
Borderless Future

The business of restoring classic British cars and replacing their engines with electric motors is booming, according to Lunaz, a company that does exactly that.

Demand for its electric Rolls-Royce, Bentley, Aston Martin, Range Rover and Jaguar vehicles has been so high, the order books for 2022 and 2023 are now already closed. To cope with demand, the company has expanded its workforce by 500 percent in 12 months, to 120 employees.

Lunaz, which counts former soccer player David Beckham among its investors, is growing its headquarters in Silverstone, England (location of the Formula One circuit of the same name) so that 110 vehicles can be restored, re-engineer and electrified each year. That figure is up 50 percent compared to 2020.

The restoration and electrification facility is to expand its footprint by 400 percent in 2022 in a bid to cope with what Lunaz describes as “significant” sales across Europe, the US and Asia Pacific.

Lunaz says its electrified classic cars are attracting a new generation of buyers. “These women and men had previously dismissed the idea of owning a blue-chip classic because of issues around reliability, useability and sustainability,” the company said. “As an entirely up-cycled, clean-air expression of a classic car, Lunaz answers these questions, making classic car ownership a relevant proposition for future generations.”

Unsurprisingly, these cars do not come cheap. Prices for Lunaz vehicles start at £290,000 ($395,000) plus local taxes for an electrified classic Range Rover. Restorations of Bentley Continentals and Rolls-Royce Silver Clouds start at £350,000 ($476,000) plus tax, while the Rolls-Royce Phantom V is £550,000 ($748,000) and the latest addition to the range, the Aston Martin DB6, begins at £950,000 ($1.3m).

As well as particularly well-heeled buyers looking to make their first classic car an electrified vehicle, Lunaz has seen a resurgent hospitality industry driving demand for its passenger-focused Bentley, Range Rover and Rolls-Royce models. Silent, zero-emission classic limousines make attractive additions to the fleets of city-center luxury hotels, Lunaz says, with the first of its Rolls-Royce and Bentley cars to be delivered shortly.

David Lorenz, founder and chief executive of Lunaz Group, said: “Surging global demand for an electrified and remastered classic car by Lunaz is affirmation that clients are responding to a proposition that preserves the most celebrated cars in British automotive history while answering the pressing global requirement to transition to more sustainable practises. We are proud to introduce an entirely new and conscious audience to the pleasures of classic car ownership by answering the key questions of reliability, usability and sustainability.”

Owning an environmentally-responsible car – even if it costs more money – is high on the wish lists of Millennial drivers. Lunaz says it sees this reflected in how the “vast majority” of its customers come from younger age groups outside of the typical luxury car buyer profile.

Lunaz also offers its environmentally-conscious buyers the option of carpets that are woven from recycled fishing nets, yet match the look and feel of traditional lambswool. The company says 100 percent recycled textiles are offered throughout the cabin of its cars. Other upcycling is seen with the switchgear, which is maintained and restored but repurposed, for example indicating battery charge state instead of the fuel level.

Jen Holloway, design director at Lunaz, said: “Our work remastering these most significant automotive icons represents the essential preservation of objects with weight far beyond the sum of their parts as classic cars. We are proud to write new chapters in these most extraordinary legacies.”

by Alistair Charlton

Source: forbes.com

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