London EV show: Insightful Q&A Session With Laurent Frugier, Co-Founder Of Fuel2Electric, LLC.

We are delighted to present a Q&A session with Laurent Frugier, Co-Founder of Fuel2Electric, LLC. Laurent brings a unique perspective to the electric vehicle (EV) industry, combining his extensive experience as an IT engineer specializing in electricity and project management with his lifelong passion for classic cars. Fuel2Electric caters to those who want to breathe new life into their beloved vehicles by converting them to electric power. In this session, Laurent will address the growing trend of EV adoption, the benefits and challenges of converting gasoline cars to electric, and the future of this exciting field.

#LEVS: With rising EV sales worldwide, what's the current state of electric vehicle adoption globally?

#Laurent Frugier: The world’s got its eyes on electric vehicles (EVs), and the game is changing fast. The numbers are there to prove it; China and the United States are out in front, breaking records like they’re nothing. Last quarter, China hit over two million battery electric vehicle (BEV) sales—that’s a first. In the US, they’re not far behind, with annual BEV sales topping a million for the first time last year.

We’re talking over ten million BEVs sold worldwide in 2023 alone. That’s a 28% jump across the board, while those old-school internal combustion engines (ICE) are crawling at a 5% increase.

There are hurdles getting in the way of total EV adoption—politics, incentives drying up, supply chain messes, and the uncertainty of what the next US president has planned for EVs. No matter what happens, this train is not stopping. The EV market is set to keep smashing it in 2024.

The whole car business is feeling the heat, and the parts market is blowing up just to keep up.

At Fuel2Electric, we’re not about choosing sides between gas guzzlers and shiny new EVs. We’re playing a different game—acting as the ambassador between classics and EVs. We’re about giving those classics on the road a clean new electric kit—getting the best of both worlds.

The numbers speak for themselves. In 2024, the EV market’s looking at a cool $623.3 billion globally. And the auto aftermarket? It’s on track to hit $619.6 billion by 2033. We’re riding both waves.

That’s why we’re all in, pouring our know-how and fire into helping folks breathe new life into their rides, whether it’s a vintage beauty or a whole fleet.

#LEVS: Many entrepreneurs are looking towards electric vehicles. What motivated you to focus on converting gasoline vehicles to electric, rather than entirely new EVs?

#Laurent Frugier: We’re motivated by a central mission, split into a three-pronged approach:

The Earth: There’s a certain pride in knowing that you flipped your old set of wheels into electric instead of grabbing a new pair off the lot. EVs are symbols of a movement set to cut down the carbon mess emitted from our ICE vehicles. Conversion projects even more so—we immortalize stylistic icons from the past with sustainable technology from the present.

The Cost: Converting to electric might hit the wallet hard at first glance—there are labor costs, component prices, and the headache factor. But if you stick it out with the long game, the picture changes quickly. Electricity runs cheaper than petrol—miles cheaper. And with fewer bits that wiggle and wear out (sayonara, oil), the pennies you save start piling up. Throw in the government sweeteners and rebates, and it becomes clear as day – going electric is a downright steal.

The Drive: The first time you get behind the wheel of an EV, it’ll rewrite everything you thought you knew about driving. These modern marvels, have a kick, a surge of power on tap that feels like you’re blasting off to the stars – without a drop of gas in sight. The fanciest gas guzzlers out there can’t hold a candle to them. That punch, paired with the savvy weight distribution of the batteries, gives you a ride that’s agile yet sturdy. But it offers more than thrill; it’s the calm, the hush. These converted beasts run silent and smooth –  it’s not just beating the others; it’s falling in love with the road all over again, every single time you push that pedal.

#LEVS: Is converting your existing car to electric a budget-friendly alternative to buying a new EV, and what other benefits might it offer?

#Laurent Frugier: Converting your existing car to electric is no small feat, and budget considerations have a broad spectrum. Here are some factors to consider:

- The pedigree of car you’re looking to flip

- Your distance needs for a single charge

- The battery recharge speed you’re looking for

- The power and top speed you need

- How much you save on taxes and incentives

As with all things automotive, the costs will vary. You’re looking at a tab that could run from $16,500 to a steep $100,000-plus, contingent on the bones of your beast and your choices along the way. Some folk will start to see immediate returns on their money down, while others will see their returns down the line—once their vintage beauty is future-proofed.

At the end of the day, this process can cater to both camps: those seeking to save a dime and those craving distinction on the road.

#LEVS: Converting a gasoline car to electric presents technical and regulatory challenges. Can you elaborate on these hurdles and how we can overcome them?

#Laurent Frugier: In the United States, the regulations are generally on our side. The aftermarket industry, led by the Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA), cherishes hotrods and customization. We’ve been performing engine swaps since the boys came home from World War II, sparking a fire of innovation, passion, and love for the automotive industry. Now, EV conversions are nothing other than the next LS swap.

Every state in the stars and stripes gives the green light to EV conversion. But, there’s a catch: your ride has to have enough miles to be considered “used,” and all the juice must come from onboard batteries. Take California, leading the charge—once you’ve flipped your car to electric, it’s gotta pass the inspection of the California Bureau of Automotive Repairs. They'll produce a DMV Statement of Facts, which allows you to register your car as an EV. Then, you'll only need to turn in the form to the DMV, the vehicle will be removed from the periodic smog inspection program, and just like that, you’re in the clear. You might even snag the golden ticket—the carpool sticker. However, the regulations fluctuate with the state. In Virginia, it’s a mere 15 bucks to get your project titled a Converted Electric Vehicle.

#LEVS: Events like the London EV Show aim to promote electric vehicle adoption. How do these events contribute to this shift, and what other strategies can be implemented to further accelerate EV adoption?

#Laurent Frugier: We’re at a crossroads in automotive history, where the shift to electric is as extreme as the leap from steam to gasoline. It will change everything eventually, but for now every little gear shift makes the leap from gas guzzler to electric a steeper climb.

Events like the London EV Show are the first step to EV adoption,  akin to the Electrify Expo or the Fully Charged Show stateside.

We’ve boiled the formula of EV adoption down to three potent points—See, Buy, Feel.

The more EVs take over the road, the quicker every Joe and Jane can picture themselves at the wheel of one. To see one is to covet one.

Next up, affordability. When EVs don’t break the bank (and still pack a punch on safety and sustainability), they become more accessible. EV conversion plays an exciting role in the aftermarket industry, where some vehicles are irreplaceable, or simply too dear to ditch. There’s also the utility angle, with conversion to electric often being the best way to silence your pizza delivery hotrod or fleet of custom utility trucks. Some states are already greasing the wheels with incentives, making that upfront cost less of a high hurdle.

And then, the heart of the matter—emotion. EVs are swift, silent, scentless, and nearly self-sustaining. It’s high time everyone took the wheel of an EV, and that’s why shows like the London EV Show or your local Cars and Coffee are so important. The first time I took a Tesla Model S Dual motor for a spin, it planted the EV seed deep. That’s when I realized the tech is not just here, it is ripe and ready to revamp any classic ride, truck, or forgotten four-wheeler.

In the end, it’s the feel that fuels the fire of the EV conversion world. The feel of your project is a symphony of sentiment, style, recollection, green living, and one-of-a-kind flair, all without a drop of compromise.