Motortopia - EVERYTHING Automotive!
Exciting News! Motortopia App Now Available on Apple App Store!  
Close Ad

SEMA A New Power Surge!

TIM CACHELIN February 13, 2024 EV Builders Guide

Future Tech Steals the Spotlight in Sin City

Photos by Tim Cachelin

The SEMA Show in Las Vegas has always been a playground for gearheads and automotive enthusiasts, but 2023 was different. It was like walking into a sci-fi movie, but better because it was real. The Future Tech area, set in the Main Hall, was an e-revolution on display. Over 50 vehicles ranging from sleek classics to the latest models, all converted to run on electric power lined the area, making it a veritable electric avenue.

The SEMA  2023 show was a celebration of the evolving landscape of automotive passion, and it showcased that through the praise of  electric and  gas-powered vehicles alike. The core of the automotive world remains unchanged – it’s all about passion, innovation, and the joy of driving.

Old School Meets New Cool

SEMA 2023’s Future Tech area was buzzing non-stop for four days, and not just from the hum of electric motors. RJ de Vera, SEMA VP of Marketing, summed it up perfectly: “People love to tinker, modify, and personalize. And what better way to do that than by turning your beloved ride into an EV?” It’s like giving your car a heart transplant, but the heart is a battery, and it beats with electric power.

For those who cherish the classics but are keen to keep pace with the times, the availability of modular EV Drive system kits has been a game changer. LegacyEV, Hypercraft, and Ampere EV are just a few of the big names who’ve jumped into the EV conversion pool. While the current price point for complete systems starting around $55,000 might seem steep, Ampere EV CEO Matthew White anticipates a decrease in costs as efficiency improves and demand grows. “It is feature-rich, and it does have a lot of stuff, but we understand the average person probably won’t consider that at the price point, so our goal is to get more efficient and get our prices down,” White explained, highlighting the balance between innovation and affordability.

EVTEC’s visionary debut: Setting new benchmarks in EV technician education.

OEMs and Aftermarket in the EV Era

The automotive world is at a crossroads, with OEMs scratching their heads. They’re juggling strategy, investments, and the hard truth of consumer interest. But in this dilemma lies a silver lining for the aftermarket industry. It’s like discovering a new continent of opportunities, especially in the EV conversions department. We discovered Tier-1suppliers, such as GKN, now offering e-motors used in current production models to the industry, which hasnever been seen before. Also, Ford came with force onto the EV area with a fully prepared F-150 Lightning, an  awesome Super Van and Neil Tjin’s Mach-E off-roader.

Hot-Rod legends Meet EV: Chip Foose and Richard Rawlings dive into electric conversions.

Future Tech, the EV Industry Townhall

The Central Hall at SEMA 2023 was a melting pot of ideas on EV technology, policy, and the future of automobiles. Here, the discussions weren’t just about shiny new cars; they were about shaping the industry’s trajectory. LegacyEV played a crucial role, highlighting their focus on training by announcing new EV Technician standards in collaboration with EVTEC (see sidebox), setting the rulebook for the next generation of EV wizards.

The Blending of Auto Cultures

Imagine a room where Chip Foose and Richard Rawlings and his Gas Monkey crew rub shoulders with the YouTube auto vlogger brigade in  the EV conversion epicenter! That was the scene at the Legacy EV RePower stand. V-8-mad content creators such as Tim ‘Shmee150’ Burton, Freddy ‘Tavarish’, Rich Benoit of Rich Rebuild, Sam Hard, and Ben ‘the Stig’ Collins all had their jaws on the floor seeing the Gas Monkey Garage Testarossa and the E-Rod build converted to electric, which generated many dedicated videos on their respective channels. This really shows a shift in perception within the automotive world. Electrification is not just a fleeting trend; it’s the new norm.

From Gasoline to Gigawatts

This year’s SEMA Show threw a wrench into the old belief that only gas guzzlers could deliver adrenaline-pumping performance. EVs and converted-to-EV machines flexed their muscles, showing off torque and power that would make any V-8 blush. It’s a pivotal moment, proving that sustainability can sit in the driver’s seat alongside raw power.

The vibe at SEMA 2023 was clear: the future for EV enthusiasts and the automotive industry is bright. We’re riding the crest of a revolution where electric meets classic, and the thrill of driving is being reimagined. As this edition clearly illustrated, the future for EV enthusiasts and the automotive industry is incredibly promising. We are part of a revolution where innovation meets tradition, and where electric propulsion is becoming as exciting and desirable as traditional powertrains. This transformation is opening up new horizons for creativity, performance, and environmental responsibility in the automotive world.

Influencers were amazed by the Gas Monkey Garage Testarossa’s electric conversion.
James Fleischman at Flash Drive brought the most fun (and shortest) E-VW bus to the show!
Fellten’s powering E-Rod: Showcasing their advanced UBP55E battery pack.

Four Days to Change the World – Or at Least One Car!

A Ford Model A’s Electric Rebirth

What happens when you take a 1930 Ford Model A to SEMA and give it an electric heart? LegacyEV and Fellten showed the world in a dazzling four-day transformation—they rolled in with a classic, and rolled out with the future.Their mission was to enter the show with a roaring gas engine and leave it with the hum of an electric motor. The original 348ci Big-Block ICE engine and T-5 manual transmission were shown the door. In their place, the team installed a Zonic 180 electric motor and a Torque Trends TorqueBox reduction gearbox. But the star of the show was the Fellten 55 kWh universal battery pack – a powerhouse that snugly fits under the hood of most classic cars – yet was installed here in the back of the cab.

The Zonic 180 and Fellten UBP55E: A Perfect Match

The 180 kW Zonic motor combined with the 2:1 reduction Torque Trends TorqueBox and fed by a mighty Fellten universal battery pack (UBP55E) give the Model A super burnout powers it never had before.). This four-day adventure at SEMA was more than a showcase; it was a testament to what’s possible when expertise, passion, and cutting-edge technology come together. LegacyEV and Fellten completely turned back the clock and catapulted a classic into the future.

Award-Winning Universal Battery Pack

Fellten’s UBP55E universal battery pack not only turned heads in the E-Rod, it also took home the prestigious Global Media Award. With its 55kWh capacity and built-in CCS charging, top-notch thermal management, and power delivery that’s built for speed, this pack is truly an integration wonder. It’s like the perfect puzzle piece, designed to fit seamlessly under the hood of your favorite classic—be it a muscle car like the Mustang or an off-road champion like the Land Rover Defender and Toyota Land Cruiser. After a year of rigorous development and testing, the UBP55E is now rolling off the production line at the Fellten facility in the UK. This isn’t just a UK story, though, with distribution channels including LegacyEV in the USA. Here are its key features at a glance:

  • Capacity: 55kWh
  • Nominal Voltage: 350v
  • Peak Discharge: 330kW
  • CCS Charge Rate: 70kW
  • Weight: 320kg
  • Protection: IP67

Shaping the Future of EV Technicians

EVTEC’s Grand Debut at SEMA 2023

The SEMA 2023 show wasn’t just about the glitz and glamor of electrified classic cars; it was also about the people who make these electric dreams a reality. Enter the Electric Vehicle Technician Education Council, making its grand entrance at the show.

EVTEC is establishing EV technician standards. This initiative,championed by LegacyEV’s president and co-founder Maverick Knowles, and Baily Soto, the mastermind behind the Certified Technician Program, is poised to revolutionize the industry. It’s not just about learning the ropes; it’s about raising the bar for safety, accessibility, and the adoption of EV technology. They aspire to be the lighthouse guiding the way in EV technician education bysetting unparalleled standards in EV product safety and retrofitting practices. Their vision? To create a world where EV technicians are not just trained but are masters of their craft. The 2023 Certified Electric Vehicle Technician Standards are the building blocks of EV expertise. Categorized into seven key ideas and eight essential skills, they provide a thorough framework for understanding and excelling in the world of EVs.

EVTEC’s approach to learning is hands-on, fostering innovation and problem-solving skills. This practical training covers everything from EV maintenance and diagnostics to charging infrastructure and battery management. It’s about equipping the next generation of technicians with the skills they need to thrive in a rapidly evolving industry.

Visit for more information and access to the 2023 standards.


Share your EVENT!
Official Motortopia Event Schedule
There was a problem with your
There was a problem with your