Tesla’s mission is to save the world, right? So why doesn’t it push for recovering cars? Why doesn’t it sell parts to put its damaged cars back on the road? More than that, why has it canceled supercharging or fast charging even for salvaged cars that prove to be properly repaired? Rich Benoit gave up on Delores because of this. More than that, he will convert a Tesla Model S to ICE by putting a V8 under its frunk lid. Yes, you read that right.

The irony of this story is that this is an EV conversion. Better said, it is the conversion of an EV into an ICE vehicle, something that would have been tried in 2015 by the Unplugged Performance team. They would have attempted to put an LS3 V8 in a Model S, but Benoit clarifies that it was actually a reception desk.

The youtuber also mentions a video of a Model S supposedly with a V8 engine that was probably fake. It is a pity the youtuber did not bring up the April Fool’s prank some guys in Germany made about putting a VW EA 189 diesel engine – that one from Dieselgate – in the electric sedan. That said, his project will likely be the first V8 Model S in the world.


For that to work as intended, Benoit will make it a very fast machine, which should not be difficult considering how light it will be without the battery pack and with an aluminum body.

Some are probably asking right now: "Is he insane?" "How can he make such nonsense?" Yet, pay attention to the man and to his statement with that. Benoit is not claiming ICE vehicles are better than electric cars: he’s calling attention to the fact that Tesla’s speech of saving the world does not pass the test posed by the questions right at the beginning of this text.

Benoit made similar questions on Twitter recently.


The youtuber argues that, if Tesla were so much into sustainability as it says it is, it would not always answer “buy a new car” for every demand he had. If that was really the case, he would still be able to supercharge Delores and would not have bought an Audi RS7 to travel around the country. Buying new parts from the company would be easy, preventing cars that could still be driven to end up in junkyards instead. In other words, it would not be so hard to repair them.

Rebuilding matches two of the 3 “Rs” for a more sustainable world: you reuse parts and recycle a car. You also end up reducing by not having to buy a new electric vehicle. Leaf owners are trying to do this all over the world, and . That's the opposite of sustainability.


We know that burning fuel in a car conceived to be electric is not the best answer for that, but Benoit reasons that the V8 has parts available whenever he needs one. Above all, he can upgrade them to make a more powerful car whenever he wants. Would Tesla sell him crate motors for more performance if he wanted to buy them? Why is the company giving Ingenext a hard time with their performance upgrade modules?

Lucid already said it would sell parts for anyone willing to buy them. A more fitting conversion would be a Model S with Lucid parts – no pun intended. Would it be faster? Would it be more energy-efficient? We still have to wait for the Air to be for sale for anyone to consider such a conversion.


While parts – or the car itself – made by Lucid are not available, Benoit will have to make do with what is. In Benoit's opinion, that currently is an LS3 6.2-liter V8 from a Chevy Camaro, apart from the three Tesla Model S donor cars involved in the project.

Think about that for a moment: Benoit will use three electric sedans in his ICE conversion process. These would be cars that could eventually be running if they had parts to be recovered. How much CO2 could the atmosphere avoid if they were working properly? Perhaps the same amount the V8 Model S will emit when it is ready. What is left of these Teslas will be recycled when the project ends. 

More than a crazy idea or something to drive people crazy, Benoit’s new project is a statement. It is a call for coherence that all-electric car manufacturers should listen to. Aptera is already all-in for sustainability and the “Right to Repair.” If you plan to save the world, you should really be willing to do so, not just bragging about it while spending natural resources and filling up junkyards.

Source: Rich Rebuilds

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