Oswald is a 1953 black Morris Minor. It’s as quiet as a mouse now that its fossil-fuel-burning heart has been replaced with a recycled electric motor. Electric cars (EVs) are starting to lose their sleek, futuristic appearance. Oswald was converted to battery power by Matthew Quitter, who formed London Electric Cars in 2017 to save old gas guzzlers from the scrap heap.

The firm, which is based beneath a railway viaduct in Vauxhall, replaces combustion engines in vintage cars with electric motors and batteries that would otherwise be scrapped. These parts are typically removed from electric vehicles with working motors and batteries that have been written off by insurance companies, such as Teslas and Nissan Leafs. The organization currently charges around £20,000 for each conversion, which is not cheap. However, the company claims that it plans to lower the price to £5,000 to make it more accessible to a wider market.

While the UK government now offers a £2,500 subsidy for the purchase of a new electric vehicle, Mr. Quitter feels that conversion incentives should also be considered. “Wasting millions of old petrol and diesel cars on our roads is absurd, and the governments’ EV discounts encourage scrappage,” he claims.