Meet Jan Karlander, a Swedish car and driving enthusiast who converted his 1966 Chevrolet Impala crop-top into an electric vehicle. It looks completely standard from the outside, but it’s actually running the electric motor out of a Tesla Model S with a measured 550 horsepower and a custom 47 kWh battery pack that’s actually made up of Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid cells, 18 modules in total.
According to its builder, the electric Impala should be able to sprint to 100 km/h (62 mph) in around 3 seconds, comparable to what the donor Tesla could do. Jan also points out that the vehicle isn’t that much heavier than before and the weight distribution is also more or less the same, and this has a positive impact on how the vehicle drives and handles - it just dips below the 2,000 kg (4,400 lbs) mark without driver.
Interestingly, Jan points out that the big block 427 cubic inch V8 that was put in the Impala from the factory (along with the gearbox) was actually heavier than the battery pack that now lives in its place. The pack is still a bit heavier than the 327 cubic inch V8 that this particular Impala came with, but based on this information, we don’t expect its handling to be compromised.
When doing a conversion such as this one, under the hood seems like a very logical place to put the heavy battery pack. In the engine and gearbox’s absence, it helps balance the vehicle out and preserve its weight distribution and it looks like this one is really fun to drive (and extremely quick to accelerate), as per Bjorn Nyland’s experience in the video posted above.
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