Still, not everyone agrees with the electrification of historic vehicles, and one of the biggest opponents of this practice is FIVA, the global classic car association. In a 2019 statement, FIVA (Fédération Internationale des Véhicules Anciens) said that “vehicles so converted cease to be historic vehicles, unless they are subject only to ‘in period’ changes.”
The organization certainly has a point, especially when talking about rare and extremely rare classics. But the temptation is strong among many owners, and we believe few classic cars are more suitable for electrification than the Citroën DS.
One of the most iconic French classic cars, the DS (pronounced exactly like déesse, the French word for goddess) was way ahead of its time when it launched in 1955. It was so advanced in terms of aerodynamics, technology, comfort and safety that it probably wouldn’t have been a big surprise if Citroën had said at launch that it came with an all-electric powertrain.
Of course, that was never the case, but if you want an all-electric DS, UK electrification specialist Electrogenic can do that for you. The company has created “the first professionally converted battery electric Citroën DS,” which retains all of the car’s technological highlights, including the hydro-pneumatic suspension.
Gallery: 1971 Citroën DS EV Electronique Electric Conversion By Electrogenic
Electrogenic managed to do that by creating an innovative electric pump for the self-leveling suspension to replace the original noisy mechanical pump, therefore preserving this particular 1971 model’s “magic carpet ride”—now in complete silence.
“Repowering classic cars with all-electric drive brings a number of benefits, from ease of use to reliability and performance gains. But with our conversions, the aim is always to enhance the original characteristics of the car. In this respect, the Citroën DS was ideally suited to an electric conversion – the silent powertrain adds to the serene driving experience and fits perfectly with the character of the car.”
Steve Drummond, Director and Co-Founder of Electrogenic
The Oxford-based specialist swapped the original 2.0-liter four-cylinder gasoline engine for a “Hyper9” brushless electric motor. Rated at 120 hp and 235 Nm (173 lb-ft), it makes way more power and torque than the original ICE, and it’s all channeled to the front wheels through the car’s existing manual gearbox.
The motor sources electricity from a 48.5-kWh battery, which offers enough juice for the DS to cover around 140 miles (225 kilometers) on a full charge. A 29kW charger comes standard, helping charge the battery pack in around two hours.
It’s worth noting that both the battery size and charger type can be customized to suit the owner’s needs. To that end, Electrogenic also offers an optional “range extender” battery that provides more than 200 miles (322 km) of range.
As with other Electrogenic projects, the distinctive design of the Citroën DS remains untouched. The absence of exhaust pipes and the subtle new “DS EV Electronique” decal on the boot are the only clues that it’s all-electric.