DeLorean DMC-12 Could Make Comeback as an Electric Car
The DeLorean DMC-12 sports car, known from the Back to the Future franchise, could celebrate a comeback as an electric vehicle. A Texas-based company currently owns the rights to the stainless steel sports car and has been working to bring it back for years. The original plan was to use a traditional gasoline engine, but now an electric DeLorean is a real option, the company said in a blog post.
DeLorean production ended in 1982, and bringing back a car from that time would normally be impossible as it would not meet current safety and emissions standards. However, the new DeLorean Motor Company has advocated the Low Volume Automobile Manufacturers Act, which is part of the FAST (Fixing America’s Surface Transportation) Act, which allows boutique companies to build a limited number of replica vehicles. The rules were just finalizing, but that still left the revitalized DeLorean company with a problem.
Delays in finalizing the rules mean that DeLorean will not be able to use the engine that was originally planned. The company began lobbying for the adoption of the FAST ACT in 2015 with the aim of restarting the DMC-12 in 2017 with an engine that was emissions-compliant by 2022. While the company believes this unspecified engine could be extended through 2024, the engine is still too close to the end of its life cycle.
Hence an electric drive train. The company is considering this option but has not made a final decision. An electric powertrain would remove the bureaucratic hassle of emissions testing, the company said, noting that an electric DeLorean prototype was shown back in 2012. At that point, the company claimed a range of 200 miles and a zero under 5.0 seconds-to-60 mph time. Stanford University engineers even developed an electric self-drifting DeLorean.
However, an electric DeLorean is far from safe. The company’s blog post noted that the coronavirus pandemic and associated economic collapse can make it difficult to find funding. Even if the car goes back into production, you will have a hard time finding one. The FAST Act rules limit production to 325 vehicles for the US market per calendar year.
The electrical conversions of vintage cars are becoming increasingly popular. From the modest Volkswagen Beetle to the Rolls-Royce luxury car, everything is treated with zero emissions.