This classic Ferrari swaps the V8 engine for an all-electric powerplant

By Shawn Knight ยท 22 replies
May 4, 2016
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  1. Despite the fact that they might not always be practical, electric vehicle conversions are becoming a bit more common. Such is the case with this 1978 Ferrari 308 which foregoes the standard V8 in exchange for an all-electric powertrain.

    Eric Hutchinson picked up a salvaged 308, the victim of an engine fire, for around $10,000 and worked with a company called EV West to develop an electric powertrain that utilizes three electric motors. The motors are arranged in a V pattern to fit the 308’s engine bay and are connected via a system of belts and pulleys.

    Combined, they generate 415 horsepower and 330 pound-feet of torque, or nearly 200 more horsepower and 121 pound-feet of torque more than a stock V8 generates.

    Putting the power to the pavement is a manual transmission pulled from an old Porsche parts bin. That power comes courtesy of 48 3.3-volt lithium-ion batteries. All said and done, the car tips the scales at 3,350 pounds which is just 150 pounds heavier than stock.

    Aside from the fact that you can say you own an electric Ferrari and the additional power it generates, the modified 308 is virtually silent – that may or may not be a good thing, depending on who you ask. Something else that isn’t all that stellar is range; the car is good for just 80 miles on a full charge (and far less if you’re goosing it around town, I’d imagine).

    Permalink to story.

  2. yRaz

    yRaz Nigerian Prince Posts: 2,325   +1,426

    There was probably something wrong with the car and the EV conversion was the same as the wood-be repair bills. On top of that, the EV conversion will probably make it more reliable and cheaper to repair when something goes wrong.
    Reehahs likes this.
  3. TheBigT42

    TheBigT42 TS Addict Posts: 155   +82

    "Putting the power to the pavement is a manual transmission pulled from an old Porsche parts bin"

    I did not think EVs needed transmissions.
    Makson likes this.
  4. I would really love this,I can't stand the sound of a Ferrari V8,they all sound so plain.
    The sound of silence is really what I want from a Ferrari.
    MilwaukeeMike likes this.
  5. davislane1

    davislane1 TS Grand Inquisitor Posts: 4,738   +3,757

    First I've heard someone say that.

    People in my are have taken a fancy to the Ferrari-optioned Quattroportes over the past year. The engines sound fantastic with the right set of pipes.

    That having been said, we must get to the real issues here:

    1. A Ferrari without a Ferrari powerplant isn't a Ferrari. It's an EV masquerading as something that looks better than a Tesla.
    2. The only way to fix a 308 is to turn it into something that isn't a 308.
    jobeard likes this.
  6. Nobina

    Nobina TS Evangelist Posts: 1,336   +843

    I think he was sarcastic. No?
  7. davislane1

    davislane1 TS Grand Inquisitor Posts: 4,738   +3,757

    Could go either way. Some people genuinly can't stand Ferraris.
  8. I am more of a Lamborghini man.
    I never really liked the 308,prefer the 328 but what this person should have done rather is buy a Ferrari kitted Fiero or buy a Prius and say "I have the 1st full electric Prius"
    Last edited by a moderator: May 5, 2016
    davislane1 likes this.
  9. Greg S

    Greg S TechSpot Staff Posts: 1,072   +428

    I personally never want to own a Ferrari. They are not practical cars even for motorsports because it's hard to get original new parts without paying through the nose. They make BMW and Audi look like bargains. That could be seen as irrelevant if you own a Ferrari, but some owners still want to be frugal even if they may not have to be.

    As for the sound, it depends. Some sound good, some sound awful. I've heard single cylinder engines with the right exhaust sound way better than most supercars.
  10. yRaz

    yRaz Nigerian Prince Posts: 2,325   +1,426

    Electric motors designed for torque do not have a high RPM. That, or they just like to use a stick while driving. I'd also imagine that a low RPM, torquey motor would last longer than a high RPM motor, although that's just speculation.
  11. davislane1

    davislane1 TS Grand Inquisitor Posts: 4,738   +3,757

    I prefer the Ferraris. Lambo hands down makes the biggest statement, but I like lower profile stuff.

    Passed a guy yesterday driving a dark blue 599 GTB. Zipped around a corner in the opposite lane and it wasn't till a few seconds later I thought myself, "oh, that was a 599." Mistook it for a regular coupe at first.

    By contrast, every time I roll by a Lambo it sticks out like a road flare on a dark night. Just not my thing.
    BMfan likes this.
  12. Makson

    Makson TS Booster Posts: 115   +26

    By the time electrical-drive cars hit the road there is a massive amount of coal-fire generated electricity used to build them. Add the same electricity used to make replacement tyres and batteries, add the same electricity to build the recharge stations, but, the environmentally-conned buyers/owners and drivers live in houses with appliances, ride bicycles, eat food, wear clothes, drive on roads, fly on 'planes, ride in buses and trains etc; all mined minerals produced and goods manufactured using both electricity- powered machinery and fossil-fuel powered vehicles to supply and deliver.
    dan mrkvicka likes this.
  13. Badvok

    Badvok TS Addict Posts: 174   +66

    Enzo must be spinning furiously in his grave at this.
    Reehahs and davislane1 like this.
  14. Theinsanegamer

    Theinsanegamer TS Evangelist Posts: 861   +874

    It is much easier to filter a few stationary sources of pollution then tens of thousands of individual ones.

    And you are assuming that we dont make any changes to our power grid in the next ~30 years.
  15. Bob Bitchen

    Bob Bitchen TS Rookie

    Blasphemy.... Should be called the worlds first transgendered Ferrari
  16. yRaz

    yRaz Nigerian Prince Posts: 2,325   +1,426

    Tesla's and Toyota's EV factorys are powered by solar and I think chevy's EV factory is at least partially solar powered. On top of that gas engines are only about 20% efficient where as coal power generation is about 50% efficient. This means that even though the grid power for your EV could be coming from coal, the coal powered EV still pollutes less than a gasoline engine. And that's without including the transportation and refining of patrolium, which also produces more CO2. when you include the transportation and refining processes, gasoline drops to less than 10% efficient.
    wiyosaya likes this.
  17. SirGCal

    SirGCal TS Maniac Posts: 365   +136

    All that and he couldn't put a limited slip rear-end in it? Really?

    I love the 308 myself but...
  18. wiyosaya

    wiyosaya TS Evangelist Posts: 1,935   +764

    I know some TechSpot members don't appreciate science, but this report from 2010, and authored by the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, specifically stated that there was enough excess electric generation capacity in the US to power something like 85% of all light vehicles already on the road. IMHO, it is an interesting read.
    Last edited: May 5, 2016
  19. Skidmarksdeluxe

    Skidmarksdeluxe TS Evangelist Posts: 8,647   +3,274

    I would've found the article more interesting if I could've understood the archaic imperial measurements.
  20. I do agree with what you are saying but also that is what a supercar is supposed to be.
    You must look at it and say Wow,that's how Pagani got into one of the most difficult clubs ever and I'm glad for it,If I had the choice of 1 Super/Hyper would be the Zonda F.

    Then when I get the Zonda I will throw the V12 away and stick in the engine from the Model 3 and I will paint it green. :)
    davislane1 likes this.
  21. wiyosaya

    wiyosaya TS Evangelist Posts: 1,935   +764

  22. Gaspode

    Gaspode TS Rookie

    Just think of the hundreds of pounds per year in servicing costs!
  23. jobeard

    jobeard TS Ambassador Posts: 11,168   +986

    YOU buy me a factory edition of either and I will say thank you and love it into the next millennium. Hey kids, thanks for the B.D. present!!

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