Dec 22, 2023
Want to enjoy the silent, emissions-free ride of an EV with your 1974 Ford Bronco? Arc Motor Company, an Ontario-based green tech startup, aims to turn your classic car into an EV using scrapped Tesla batteries.
Want to enjoy the silent, emissions-free ride of an EV with your 1974 Ford Bronco? Arc Motor Company, an Ontario-based green tech startup, aims to turn your classic car into an EV using scrapped Tesla batteries, starting at $75,000.
Sloane Paul, the first woman in North America to create a business of this kind, aims to provide better performance while contributing to a net-zero emissions future.
Before Arc, Paul was the global performance marketing lead at Microsoft. She has over 15 years of experience with major tech and engineering companies like Dyson.
“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,” Paul explained.
The startup is reportedly the first to complete an EV conversion of a first-gen 1974 Ford Bronco. As ARC COO and engineer Tom Chep explained, it “packs plenty of punch.”
The Ford Bronco EV has two electric motors, doubling the horsepower and torque of the original gas-powered version.
Startup builds ’74 Ford Bronco EV using Tesla batteries
Although you probably won’t need all that power, “it goes to show what the capabilities are.” Chep holds a P.Eng. with a specialty in electrical engineering. He also has 10 years of engineering leadership experience, having worked with companies like Rolls Royce and Toyota, to name a few.
Since you can’t just swap out the Bronco’s 5.0-liter engine, the company had to get creative. Arc says most of the powertrain is from scrapped or salvaged Tesla Model S units.
Chep sources used Tesla battery modules from a wrecker specializing in recovering battery components. Then, he uses them to build his own battery.
When all is said and done, the Bronco includes 15 of the 16 battery modules that powered the original Model S. The battery pack is stored in the engine bay encased in a hand-built steel box (pictured above). With 75 kWh of energy, the old Ford is good for about 320 km (199 miles) of range.
Although this is a far cry from modern-day EVs, most with over 300 miles of range, it is more of a day tripper anyway.
The two electric motors crank out 260 horsepower and 346 lb-ft of torque, nearly doubling the original Bronco’s 120 horsepower and 243 lb-ft of torque.
The best part — the tech is transferable. If you have a classic car, Arc should be able to electrify it. According to Chep and Paul, another big project they are considering is a “monstrous Power Wagon.”
Arc’s electric conversions start at $75,000. The company says that as parts and battery prices come down over time, they hope to offer conversions for less.
Once the parts are in, a conversion will take 2-3 months. Arc says to add another 4-8 weeks into your timeline for shipping and parts. You can learn more about Arc Motors on their website.