Electric DeLorean – Awesome or Awful?

“Wait a minute, Doc. Are you telling me that you built a time machine… out of a DeLorean?”  As far as memorable lines from the 80s go, that one’s pretty high on the list. What those of us (yes, I too remember the 80s) staring wide-eyed at the screen didn’t realize at the time was that that gorgeous car was pretty much a piece of junk, and that the most implausible thing about the film in question was not the time machine, but that a DeLorean was actually capable of reaching speeds of 88mph.

What Do You Mean, Nothing Works?

Most of the problems with the DeLorean, according to every car person I ever asked, amounted to pretty much everything. The engine didn’t make much power (an alleged 150 HP, before US emissions regulations put cats on the exhaust), the electrical system was notoriously unreliable, it accelerated slowly, the doors wouldn’t open or close properly and so on.

So, with some reluctance, I let go of the idea of ever actually having a DeLorean.

…until I went to the Electric Vehicle Conversion Convention a few weeks ago, and realized that converting a standard DeLorean to all-electric would pretty much resolve the majority of its issues. The car handles well and is absolutely beautiful – fix the engine, fix the problem, right? I was not, however, the first person to have this idea. Apparently the DMC has been working out the bugs for years.

Classic Body + Futuristic Motor = Problem Solved?

The DMC’s all-electric DeLorean is supposed to go on sale in 2013. Although this is not quite the same DMC that built the thing in the first place, I (and many of you, perhaps?) remained skeptical of its actual performance and drivability. After all, The Car Show gave us a minivan outdriving a DeLorean just last month.

And then Kevin McCauley of Jalopnik was invited to actually drive the DMCEV and walked away with an actual positive impression. No hard numbers have been verified (although the DMC claims the car will go 0 – 60 in just under 5 seconds), but the initial “version 0.9” prototype seems to be doing quite well. Development is still ongoing, with a lighter underbody and an AC engine in the works, but I’m (knowing full well that I am quite biased) still calling this this greatest idea ever.

Feel free to agree, disagree, or tell me why I am completely out of my mind in the comments below.

Image courtesy of the DeLorean Motor Company.

Charis Michelsen

spent 7 years living in Germany and Japan, studying both languages extensively, doing translation and education with companies like Bosch, Nissan, Fuji Heavy, and others. Charis has a Bachelor of Science degree in biology and currently lives in Chicago, Illinois. She also believes that Janeway was the best Star Trek Captain.