The classic rig keeps its iconic looks but gains electric power.
While it might sound like blasphemy to some, there’s a growing movement that involves converting classic vehicles to use electric powertrains. The process can be difficult to go through, but Electric GT is working on a more straightforward solution using a crate electric V8 motor. To showcase the solution, the company has been converting a 1970 Toyota FJ40 Land Cruiser since early last year.
Different high-profile electric powertrain swaps have been done by different companies in the past. While they certainly come with advantages, like instant full torque output, quieter operation, and zero emissions, the complexity of the conversion and the accompanying costs have made it out of reach for most people. In other words, such powertrain swaps were the hobby for the very wealthy. Electric GT’s solution seeks to eliminate the complexity, making it easier than an internal combustion engine swap.
The electric motor is shaped essentially like a V8 and it bolts up to the transmission in the Toyota Land Cruiser. After that, the harnesses must be connected as well as the batteries, which aren’t included. Electric GT says there are two crate motor types. One comes with a single motor, making 140-horsepower and 240 lb.-ft. of torque. The other features two motors, cranking out 240-horsepower and 340 lb.-ft. of torque.
While nobody is going to be fooled once they look under the hood of this FJ40 or any other vehicle using the crate motor, the dimensions and overall layout does look fairly close to a real V8.
After this conversion project is done, Electric GT will be applying what it’s learned with the Fj40 and using it to electrify a Toyota J60. Since these crate motors are still in development, there’s no pricing information just yet. There’s a big announcement coming by the end of the year, which could easily involve a market launch date and prices.