Those old-school SUVs and four-wheel-drive adventure cars are great — except for all the waste-emitting gasoline needed to fuel them on camping trips and scenic drives through nature.
That’s where Australian startup Jaunt comes in, converting old vehicles like the 1971 Land Rover Series 2a into electric road trippers. That’s the first car the company has raised enough money to revamp. The car should be available in time for the Australian spring and summer.
The company so far only has the Land Rover, named Juniper, but it wants to convert more vehicles to set up for rentals for pre-planned “jaunts” around Australia. So far an Indiegogo campaign has raised more than $10,000 (over A$14,000). Ultimately the startup hopes to receive $50,000 to provide more trips and cars.
Car rentals are available for dates starting as soon as June in Byron Bay, the Blue Mountains, and other coastal drives and scenic areas of Australia. A rainforest road trip for a day costs $142 in Juniper, the converted vehicle.
Before anyone can go on an electric trip in what Jaunt calls an “upcycled” vehicle, the first car needs to be converted. The conversion process involves removing the engine, fuel tank, and exhaust system, and putting in an electric motor, a 100-kilowatt NetGain Hyper9 AC. There’s also the batteries, charging system, and regenerative braking that goes into the old-but-new vehicle.
It’s not just older, beat-up vehicles getting overhauled with a jolt of electric energy. In February, Porsche’s Macan SUV was announced as the latest electric makeover vehicle. The Jaguar classic E-Type is coming back as an all-electric sports car as well.
Jaunt’s converted Land Rover is only a prototype (that hasn’t been finished yet), but it’ll give adventurous drivers a way to explore Australia, electrically.