Less Than ZeroLabs Aims to Turn Old Broncos Into EVs
ZeroLabs Automotive is re-engineering 1965-77 Ford Broncos as electric vehicles, with the mantra of “the past we love” and “the future we need”. Net-zero emissions aside, Hawthorne, California’s latest tech start-up, ZeroLabs envisions themselves as the savior of tens of thousands of classic cars that would otherwise be rendered obsolete and left behind.
ZeroLabs is calling for a classic-vehicle electric revolution, asking drivers who want to go green to turn their classic cars, trucks, and SUVs over to the company for rectification. Supported by the assumption that the world is moving away from vehicles fueled by fossil fuels, ZeroLabs has built or is building an EV platform to transform classics into electric ‘clean energy heroes’. Does this inspire the Iron Man within you?
Adam Roe, the founder, CEO, and product architect for ZeroLabs Automotive was previously the founder and CEO of a royalty-free video library called Reelhouse, and later, the founder and CEO of Lunchbox, a pioneer in digital shopper engagement. Is this the resume of someone you’d entrust with a classic Land Rover Defender, Porsche 911 SC, or ’53-’56 Ford F-100 pickup? Yet this is exactly what Roe is asking, and he’s not interested in enhancing what’s already there, but to instead allow him to shoehorn his EV chassis under it. In what ZeroLabs touts as a 30-day gestation period, this Frankenstein creation will be reborn. Neither a new EV nor a restored classic, your guess is as good as mine how it gets titled where you reside.
ZeroLabs is betting the farm on their EV platform, hoping that a global ban on fossil fuels goes into effect, and with it the sale of vehicles powered by fossil fuels. At this precise moment, ZeroLabs is hoping to capitalize on its ability to produce four different configurations to accommodate classic 4WDs, muscle cars, 2-door coupes, and pickups. Keep in mind at this point in time, these are all projected platforms, as they are attempting to gin up enough fervor and cash to make the virtual into reality.
On their website, ZeroLabs states that they have already started manufacturing, and expect delivery to begin in late 2020 and delivered in the order received, yet below an image of a Bronco and their EV chassis, it states that limited availability begins in Fall 2021. They say the plan is to deliver them in groups, not one at a time. ZeroLabs’ first project is transforming a limited number of original 1966-77 Ford Broncos into fully restored and rebuilt 100 percent electric-powered vehicles.
As they say, no one is under any obligation to buy this or anything else in the world, and if it speaks to you, great. No company can make enough of everything for everyone, so ZeroLabs wants to make them only for those willing to buy into their concept. Somehow the idea of spending between $200,000-$300,000 for an EV remake of timeless classic vehicles may enthrall Ed Begley Jr., but for most aficionados, we think they’ll pass on this proposition.
[Images: ZeroLabs Automotive]
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Instead of buying a classic Ford Bronco at today's inflated prices, wouldn't it be cheaper to build the chassis, then obtain (easily obtainable, from what I hear) the necessary aftermarket Bronco body panels to put around it?
You're seeing something more than a restomod here, thats just the start. Project forwards and there will be a few skateboard electric platforms, any style of sort of body can be placed on top. In the electric world the mechanicals are not a differentiator, theyre all going to be hyper fast, brake and handle well and near silent. maybe shocks an springs differentiate ride. The same essential platforms can be made longer or shorter wider or narrower depending on application. The point of differentiation then is what goes on top of the platforn. A return if you will to the era of coachbuilders. Putting a retro body on top is one answer and maybe an easy entry to the market, you could also do a 50s looking car or a spaceship looking car, ultra luxury inside or somethign else. The bronco body could be a metal one, or done in CF, or the body could be someones fevered imagination of something from the 50s like cadzilla, really the list is endless, the body is pure styling, its like changing the wheels on a car to change the look. So if they have the platform concept mass produced inexpensive enough or the oems do it, were rally talking about a future where styling and interior features becomes a product differentiator, that could lead to a golden era of beautiful transport pods of multiple designs. My guess is these guys need to get their platform costs low enough over time to stay in buisness. But whoever cracks that code is the future Henry Ford, cause the workd is going to be platform makers and coachbuilders, that will make it tough for an oem doign the whole package with a limited selctions of body styles.