The iconic DeLorean DMC-12 sports car that features in 1980s movie “Back to the Future” could be reborn as an electric car, in news that no doubt will bring huge amounts of joy to fans of the Michael J Fox classic, futurists and auto enthusiasts alike.
While the DeLorean Motor Company went bust in 1982 after making just 9,000 vehicles, a Texas company using the same name acquired the DMC trademark along with all remaining parts, with hopes of building replicas of the iconic vehicle under low-volume car making rules first proposed in 2015.
Those rules are finally about to be implemented some six years later, and in a post on Wednesday (US time) via the new DeLorean website, the company outlined its next steps – including its considering of bringing the DeLorean back with an electric drivetrain.
For a variety of reasons including loss of support for a DeLorean revival in, and closure of, certain supply lines, and notably the fact that the engine designed by the company will now only have a short emissions compliance lifespan of 1-3 years, it’s looking like investing in the development of an electric powertrain makes more sense than another combustion engine.
“We had hoped to get into production by 2017 and get 3-4 years out of it before having to take on the engineering for a new powertrain,” the company shared on its website.
“It’s believed that this engine has been extended through perhaps 2024 now, but it doesn’t seem like a good idea to plan around an engine so near its end-of-life.
“That said, with EV’s becoming more mainstream, we’ve been considering switching to an all-electric as the future.”
As it goes on to note, developing an electric powertrain will be not only simpler but easier to navigate through emissions restrictions (which are set to be ramped up again by the incoming Biden administration after Trump rolled back measures implemented by Obama).
“It certainly makes for an easier path through emissions maze which still looms large over any internal combustion engine,” says the company, noting they believe an electric DeLorean would attract interest.
“While an electric Cobra or Morgan may be a little extreme for their potential market, we’ve already seen that an EV DeLorean – as we displayed at the 2012 New York International Auto Show – is not such an ‘out there’ idea,” it says.
Bridie Schmidt is lead reporter for The Driven, sister site of Renew Economy. She specialises in writing about new technology and has been writing about electric vehicles for two years. She has a keen interest in the role that zero emissions transport has to play in sustainability and is co-organiser of the Northern Rivers Electric Vehicle Forum.