Rich Rebuilds Checks SEMA Show Options for Seamless EV Conversions

Rich Rebuilds Shows EV Conversion Option at the SEMA Show 9 photos
Photo: Rich Rebuilds
ICE-T, the V8 Tesla, Burns Some Gas Before Being Transported to SEMA Show 2021Alice Visby Presents the ICE-T at the SEMA Show 2021Rich Rebuilds Shows Webb Motorworks Conversion Option at the SEMA ShowRich Rebuilds Shows Electric GT EV Conversion Option at the SEMA ShowRich Rebuilds Shows Electric GT EV Conversion Option at the SEMA ShowRich Rebuilds Shows Hypercraft EV Conversion Option at the SEMA ShowRich Rebuilds Pretends to Steal Hypercraft EV Conversion Option at the SEMA ShowRich Rebuilds Shows EV Conversion Option at the SEMA Show
Rich Benoit had loads of fun when Fox 5 reported the SEMA Show focused on electric cars while presenting his ICE-T (Internal Combustion-Engined Tesla). In his newest video, he confessed he also felt a little guilty about the situation. If his car stole attention from real electric cars in the tuning show, it was only fair that the YouTuber presented what was available for them there. And we are glad he did so.
Instead of converting an electric car into one powered by a V8 – as he did with his Tesla Model S – Benoit presented ways to invert that logic. In other words, he showed companies with exciting solutions for EV conversions – not before making an accurate and sarcastic profile of ICE and EV lovers. One of the most interesting EV conversion propositions came from Webb Motorworks.

The shop from British Columbia used to work with engine cases to make them look like something else. When Chris Webb’s daughter Emily asked him for an electric hot rod, they started to work together on a solution for that. In a case that may look like a flathead, a big block, a small block, or a Hemi, they stuffed all things an electric car would need: batteries, inverter, controller, water pumps, etc.

What they sell is something that can replace a traditional engine with very little work. It has the same mounts and can be coupled with manual transmissions. That makes the conversion process something really easy to accomplish with the bonus of making the motor look like one of these iconic engines we just mentioned.

Benoit and Steven Salowsky also presented the work done by Electric GT. They have an electric crate motor that is not limited to the motor. Brock Winberg rightfully argued that a crate engine already has everything it needs to run, so why doesn’t the same happen to electric motors? This is why his company created the 413 eGT Motor.

Winberg compares it to a V8 on Electric GT’s website. At SEMA Show, he also showcased the 913 eGT system for the Porsche 911 and multiple other solutions that the Electric GT founder promises to be plug-and-play. It is a similar concept to that presented by Webb Motorworks but without nostalgic looks.

The last tuning/conversion solution Benoit introduced was from Hypercraft. With 500 hp and instant torque, it could be matched to a Corvette if people found where to put the battery pack necessary to make it run.

Matt Hauber described that it can run on 400V or 800V without major changes and that its cooling system is what makes it stand out from the competition. Its price also contributes to that: the electric crate motor (motor and inverter) costs $28,000. The motor alone would cost $12,000, which made Benoit pretend to steal it from the Hypercraft’s stand since it was also so light.

These new solutions prove that people will not have as much trouble converting a combustion-engined car to electric as the other way around. Benoit and his team got a first-hand experience on that with the ICE-T. However, Benoit should still feel guilty: he is yet to show us how his V8 Tesla runs. Perhaps in his next video, right?

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About the author: Gustavo Henrique Ruffo
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Motoring writer since 1998, Gustavo wants to write relevant stories about cars and their shift to a sustainable future.
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