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Lunaz doubling staff as classic EV demand climbs

The 2035 ban is bad news if you like engines, but it's great for those that electrify classics...

By Matt Bird / Wednesday, February 5, 2020

If yesterday's announcement on the ban of combustion engine sales being brought forward caused worry in some quarters, it's good news for some. One of those claiming to profit from the industry's rapid move to electrification - for both new cars and old - is Lunaz, a Silverstone-based electric classic car company that says it needs to double its staff base by the end of 2020 to satisfy demand.

Any talk of recruitment in the industry is good news at this moment, even if you suspect it was underway before yesterday's announcement and the press release arrived. Having been founded in 2018 and based at Silverstone, Lunaz works at "electrifying the most beautiful classic cars in the world so that they can be driven and enjoyed by future generations." Currently standing as a 35-person operation, with recruits from McLaren, Jaguar, Ferrari and VW, the aim is for the that number of engineers, designers and craftspeople to be at 70 by the end of December.

The car you see here, a 1953 Jaguar XK120, is the first Lunaz project; following an "exhaustive period of testing and proving", a limited production run will now begin. Equipped with an 80kWh battery and motors that produce 380hp/516lb ft, Lunaz believes its reworked machine will have a 0-60mph time of less than five seconds and a range "to match a new electric car." That's in addition to the fast charging and regenerative braking we've come to expect from EVs. It'll cost £350,000 plus taxes, though it's not yet clear whether that includes the acquisition of a donor car or not. Early adoption never was a cheap endeavour.

The new recruits will be required to work on Lunaz's upcoming projects, based on - wait for it - Rolls Royces. Yikes. Both its 1961 Phantom V and 1956 Cloud are approaching the end of development, soon to enter limited production. As larger cars they will be powered by a bigger 120kWh battery. And, would you believe, they're the first electrified examples of their kind.

While it's clear that this sort of work will take some getting used to for purists, reports of burgeoning demand from companies like Lunaz prove that the classic electrification concept is gaining traction. Which inevitably leads us into the debate about whether a classic is still a classic if its engine is replaced by batteries and motors. But that's probably one to leave to the forum...

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