Electric vehicles: The future of car modification

Electric vehicles: The future of car modification 1068 601 Wojciech

Electric vehicles: The future of car modification

The automotive world has gotten used to a specific type of car modification over the last several decades: mods for fossil fuel-powered vehicles.

But with the advent of electric vehicles, and the likelihood that they will eventually come to dominate, the landscape is changing. Already various countries, including the UK, have said that they plan to phase out the sale of internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles by the end of the decade, meaning that EVs are likely to take centre stage very quickly.

Differences between ICE and EV modifications

There are, however, big differences in the way ICEs and EVs are tuned. Every petrolhead understands that.

For example, ICE and EV vehicles have totally different drivetrains. There’s virtually no similarity. What’s more, they get their energy from different sources. One uses a fuel tank, the other a battery.

When upgrading ICE vehicles, owners focus on things like superchargers, turbos, cylinder heads and exhaust manifolds. But with EVs, it’s a totally different story. While there might be “superchargers” that hook up to these vehicles and replenish the battery quickly, they’re not the same as the components found in regular cars.

Of course, you can change both types of vehicles in cosmetic ways. A new paint job or bodywork is entirely possible, but that’s the case for virtually any vehicle, including boats, bicycles and bin lorries.

Challenges of tuning electric vehicles

Electric vehicles can be modified; there’s no doubt of that. However, the problem in the market right now is the lack of experience. There’s a limited knowledge base out there for how you would go about EV customisation.

We provide electric car modifications in London, but we are a rare commodity. Most of the industry still hasn’t caught up. Right now, the vast majority of tuning shops aren’t set up to service electric vehicles. Since they only make up around 1 percent of the national fleet, there’s no economic incentive for them to switch over right now.

When that changes, which it will soon, the rush will be on. Shops will need to learn about overclocking, coding, electrical engineering and computer programming – entirely different skills from conventional vehicle modding.

There are other challenges too. In ICE vehicle production, each component is a separate entity. Manufacturers often source parts from various suppliers and then cobble them together to produce a completed vehicle.

That’s not the case with EVs. Manufacturers typically make them as a complete package, a little bit like how Apple makes iPhones. Electronics, transmission, chassis, cooling, motor and battery all work together in unison, with the specification of each relying on the other. You could potentially strip the unit down and swap out components, but it is challenging.

EV upgrades

Of course, as we make clear, there are numerous EV upgrades still available. However, these issues underscore the importance of going to an experienced tuning shop. Taking an EV to a regular automotive modification centre would be like trying to take your horse to a mechanic: it just wouldn’t work.

There are many modifications available for EVs. Perhaps the most obvious is to increase the size of the battery. With simple circuit modifications, it’s actually quite easy to improve a vehicle’s range, particularly over time as battery energy density increases.

There are also options for installing higher voltage computers. Owners are getting motor swaps, rewound motors that offer higher performance, and adding new, better materials to their chassis.

We’re also seeing firmware and software upgrades. Owners are doing this to improve the in-car experience and, in some cases, reduce the risk of hacking. They are also taking ICE vehicles and transforming them into fully-electric alternatives.

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