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City News: Start-up turning gas-powered classic cars into electric vehicles

Stephanie Henry

Dec 21, 2023

A female-run innovative start-up is working to turn gas-powered cars into electric vehicles out of Peterborough, marrying tradition with sustainability.

ARC Motor Company was established by Sloane Paul, the first woman in North America to establish a startup of this kind. She leads the team of engineers that allows classic car enthusiasts to convert their vehicles.

The company was the first to complete the electrical conversion of a first-generation 1974 Ford Bronco.

“When you electrify a car, you’re not only just making a better driving machine and more enjoyable and reducing the tailpipe emissions, but you’re also reducing the amount of waste that goes into the landfill there scrapyard,” said Paul.

Paul said it’s important to her as a woman of colour to provide representation in this industry.

“In this industry of classic cars and just auto [in general], I didn’t really see a lot of people like me, and there was also some difficulties that you’ll run into, as there’s unconscious bias,” she added.

With 340-foot pounds of torque and electric range of 320 kilometres, ARC COO and Engineer Tom Chep said the importance of preserving the essence of vintage vehicles while adding subtle touches for a contemporary upgrade is a top priority at ARC motors.

“There’s two electric motors, which double the horsepower and torque of the original gasoline engine. So it packs plenty of punch in it, which, again, you probably won’t need if you’re driving this vehicle, but it goes to show what the capabilities are,” said Chep.

The Canadian Net Zero Emissions Accountability Act, which came into effect in June of 2021, saw Canada commit to reach net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. Federal Minister Filomena Tassi said it is ventures like ARC motors that will help get Canada across that finish line.

“We can be leaders in this face. This is about making investments to create jobs for the future. So not only my children, but my great great grandchildren will have these jobs. So the federal government is making significant investments in this space,” said Tassi. “All of these investments are about attracting big companies to come to set up shop here, and then that will provide amazing jobs and strengthen the local economies, but also put us at the forefront.”

The act requires car manufacturers to make all new vehicles on Canadian roads electric by 2035.

Automakers will have the next 12 years to phase out combustion engine cars, trucks and SUVs with a requirement to gradually increase the proportion of electric models they offer for sale each year.

Source: City News

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