Now that GM and Ford have agreed to fit their EVs with the hardware required for using Tesla’s ever-growing charging network, it’s clear that the Palo Alto company isn’t lagging behind in this era of market-wide electrification. And while the company has yet to introduce models like the electric van teased in the Master Plan 3 presented earlier this year, aftermarket conversions already deliver Tesla vans to those who seek them, as is the case with this Tesla-swapped Ford van, a 1974 E100.
Some of the most prominent Tesla-swapped vans around involve old Volkswagen Buses, many of which enjoy a new lease on life as camper vans. The unit we have here is different, though, as this is a workhorse, albeit one that can also play thanks to its new electric heart.
While Tesla-swapping icons like a Nissan GT-R will have traditionalists frowning, there’s no need for that here. Yes, 1974 was the final year of the second-gen Ford Econoline van, which saw Ford introducing a V8 for the first time. However, the 302ci engine, which was mounted up front (not sure if this unit had it), only made 137 hp (net), which brings us to the new figures of the machine.
A Tesla Model 3 Long Range that had been taken off the road by an accident kindly donated its motor, rear subframe included, to the Ford van. Remember, the Model 3 LR comes with a single electric motor making 279 hp and 376 lb-ft of torque, with a fixed-ratio transmission.
The E100 also borrowed the Model 3 Long Range’s battery pack (79 kWh, assuming this is a pre-2021 unit), the brakes, and even the wheels.
Tesla-swapped Ford E100 van acceleration and range
The build is handled by Idaho-based Conductive Classics, which hasn’t said anything about the acceleration, but keep in mind that the 4,000 lbs factory E100 is only 200 lbs heavier than the Model 3. And since the latter only needs 4.4s to hit 60 mph, this is one quick van.
As for the range, the Tesla offers 374 miles per charge, and yet the distance between the two should be greater, as dictated by the serious extra drag of the van.
So, even if this ’74 Ford Econoline doesn’t feature the full muscle of a Tesla Model S swap—it’s a utility vehicle, after all—remains a machine that can easily surprise other drivers when heading towards the horizon.