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Cars swapping vroom for volts in London garage – SUCH TV


Tucked away in a workshop under a London Underground line, cars are undergoing a green metamorphosis as they shed their cylinders, spark plugs and pistons for electric engines.

“We don’t create the associated CO2 that comes from creating a new car and we’re not scrapping a perfectly valid old car. It’s win-win,” said Matthew Quitter, founder of London Electric Cars.

London Electric Cars is one of the companies capitalising on the UK’s flexible regulatory environment and special affection for cars to help grow the fledgling sector.

In the workshop, all kinds of cars have come to be reborn: Minis, Bentleys, old ones — such as a 20-year-old Volvo station wagon — and some not so old, including a platypus-like Fiat Multipla.

Some families are turning to Quitter to save their beloved vehicles from the crusher, with places such as London expanding road charges for older and more polluting vehicles.

“They’re just keen that they don’t scrap this car because they have an emotional attachment,” he said.

“The kids grew up in it and instead want to see it reborn as an electric vehicle.”

The cost of a conversion starts at $37,500– the equivalent of a new entry-level electric car.

The renovated vehicles have a range of between 80 and 300 kilometres (50 to 186 miles), depending on the batteries.

This is more than enough when “90 percent to 95 percent of journeys inside London are under six miles”, said Quitter. The old engines can be kept, resold or destroyed.

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