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Turning a 1965 Ford Mustang into an Electric Marvel with Inspire EV

Jerome Andre August 23, 2023 All EV Vehicles

Reviving a Classic Mustang for the 21st Century 

Two years ago, in a remarkable tale of dedication and innovation, the team at Inspire EV, based in Arvada, Colorado, embarked on an ambitious project to bring a first-generation Ford Mustang into the modern era. Their mission? To transform a 58-year-old classic car into a stunning, drivable work of art that seamlessly blends timeless styling with a cutting-edge electric drivetrain. The result is “High Voltage,” a Mustang that not only looks better than when it left the factory but also boasts a powerful Tesla-powered heart.

The range is 250 miles—if you don’t test the grip limit full-time, just for kicks!

1965 Electric Ford Mustang
Inspire EV’s 65 Mustang is a perfect fusion of classic styling and modern e-power.

The journey began with discovering a neglected 1965 coupe in a scrapyard. Inspire EV’s crew’s determination to incorporate Tesla LDU and battery packs without modifying the car presented a substantial research and development challenge, which was eventually overcome with the discovery of reVolt Systems. Then, the team wasted no time removing the internal combustion engine to make way for a beautiful reVolt Systems Tesla drive unit. Enhancements continued with installing a Ford 9-inch differential and a Mark Williams carbon fiber driveshaft.

Raw Power

To deliver an exceptional driving experience, Inspire EV equipped the Mustang with state-of-the-art components. The remarkable reVolt Systems CR-43 motor delivers over +450kW/+600hp and approximately 1.100+ Nm/812 lb-ft, propelling the Mustang from 0 to 60 in just 3 seconds. With a voltage of 400V and a maximum RPM of 8,000, the Tesla Model S Performance drive unit brings never seen raw power to the classic American icon.

Red 1965 Electric Ford Mustang

Feeding it is a custom-designed battery system consisting of 16 Tesla Model S battery packs, providing a total capacity of 85 kWh. These lithium-ion batteries, strategically placed under the hood and in the trunk, offer a range of 250 miles—if you don’t test the grip limit full-time just for kicks! The packs are monitored by an Orion BMS 2 and coupled to an Elcon charger and an EV Controls T2C controller.

Additionally, with a fivefold increase in power compared to the original straight-6 engine, a Speedway 4-link rearend and Jonny Law Motors Mustang II frontend ensure overall precise handling. More top-shelf gear, such as superb Racing wheels, was chosen to complete the built. Riken Raptor tires provide much-needed grip. The lighting system features top-of-the-line Oracle headlights, and the pitch-black interior is adorned with TMI Pony seats, Aurora Gauges, and a Retrosound stereo.

Not Easy—or Even Possible!

One of the major hurdles was the necessity of fully restoring the Mustang alongside the electric conversion, which involved painstaking bodywork and paint that was meticulously handled in-house, all the way down to applying the PPG paint. Inspire EV’s approach to solving these problems involved hard work and an unwavering attitude of never accepting failure as an option. It’s advice to those considering a similar EV build is simple: Just do it! However, it is crucial to approach powerful battery packs with caution, as mishandling them can lead to severe injuries. Taking an EV instruction class, such as those offered by Legacy EV, is highly recommended, especially for individuals new to working with electricity.

The 6-cylinder gave room to a superb split-pack system composed of Model S modules. Deep down, the reVolt Systems CR-43 motor revives the 58-year-old pony.

Furthermore, Inspire EV emphasizes the importance of starting with a high-quality base vehicle. The better the initial condition of the vehicle, the quicker one can enjoy the fun part of the project.

Converting classic cars to EVs does not come with a comprehensive instruction manual, requiring extensive research during the initial stages. As the automotive hobby experiences a significant shift, the Inspire EV team acknowledges the invaluable support they received from helpful individuals within this niche. Seeking assistance from friends in the EV world proved instrumental in overcoming the challenges encountered along the way.

High Voltage stands out as an exceptionally attractive ‘Tesla’.

Riken Raptor tires, wrapping American Racing wheels, hug the road.

Essentially, their ambitious goal was to rescue an American classic from the brink of oblivion and give it new life using the most powerful electric motor available, all while preserving the car’s original appearance. The end result is a vehicle that not only boasts impressive acceleration, but also delivers an exhilarating driving experience. The journey was undoubtedly challenging, but the lessons learned throughout were truly invaluable.

According to them, High Voltage stands out as an exceptionally attractive “Tesla” on the road, a testament to their remarkable achievement. As they conclude this remarkable chapter, the team at Inspire EV warmly invites you to witness the power and beauty of their creation firsthand as they will tour most of the EV US shows this year and next.

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Inspire EV

  • Location: Arvada, Colorado
  • Year, Make, Model: 1965 Ford Mustang
  • Vehicle Name: High Voltage
  • Time to Build: 18 months
  • Cost to Build: $100,000

Motor & Drivetrain 

  • Motor Swap Performed by: Inspire EV
  • Motor: reVolt Systems CR-43 Motor (Tesla Model S Performance)
  • Horsepower in Kilowatts: +450kW/+600hp
  • Torque in Newton Meters: 1.100+ Nm/812 lb-ft
  • Voltage 400V
  • Max RPM: 8,000
  • Peak Current: 1,520A
  • Max Continuous Current: 1,000A
  • Motor/Transmission Mounts: Custom
  • Control System and Software: EV Controls T2C
  • 0 to 60 time: 3 seconds
  • Vehicle Weight: 3,545 pounds

Battery System & Charger

  • Pack Design: Custom by Inspire EV
  • Cell Type: Lithium-ion
  • Module: 16 Tesla Model S battery modules
  • Battery Capacity: 85 kWh
  • Battery Locations: Four modules under the hood, 12 modules in the trunk
  • Highway Range: 250 miles
  • City Range: 250-plus miles
  • Regenerative Braking: Yes
  • Charger kW Charge Rate: 3.3 kw
  • Charger Location: Original fuel cap
  • DC Fast charging: Upcoming
  • BMS: Orios
  • Charger: Elcon


  • Installation Shop: Inspire EV
  • Chassis: Ford Mustang Unibody (reinforced)
  • Rear Suspension Setup: Speedway 4-link
  • Control Arms: Speedway Motors
  • Shocks: Coilovers
  • Other: Mustang II frontend with shock tower delete

Wheels, Tires & Brakes 

  • Wheels: American Racing 17-inches
  • Tires: Rikken Raptor 225/45R17
  • Brakes: Speedway Motors Disc
  • Gears/Ratio: 4.10 Ford 9-inch
  • Axles: 31-spline
  • Driveshaft: Carbon Fiber by Mark Williams


  • Paint Shop: Inspire EV
  • Color: PPG Paints Ford Race Red
  • Grille: NPD
  • Bumpers: NPD
  • Headlights: Oracle
  • Taillights: Custom LED
  • Glass: NPD
  • Moldings: Steele Rubber Products


  • Install Shop: Inspire EV
  • Seats: TMI Interiors
  • Gauges: Aurora Gauges
  • Steering Wheel: Summit Racing
  • Radio Head Unit: Retrosound
  • Speakers: Kenwood

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