Ford launched its first electric crate motor, with the Ford F-100 Eluminator concept truck giving a taste of how EV manufacturers could build their own electric cars or give existing models a zero-emission makeover. . The 2021 SEMA Concept features the same electric powertrain as the 2021 Mustang Mach-E GT Performance Edition, with exhilarating 634 lb-ft of torque under pressure.
There’s also 480 horsepower to play with, making the Mustang Mach-E GT the most powerful of Ford’s production Mach-E models to date. Two electric motors are involved, one for each axle.
Earlier this year, however, Ford whetted the appetites of car enthusiasts looking to go electric by telling them it was gearing up its first EV crate motor. Rather than having to wait for a Mustang Mach-E wreck to retrieve the transmission, buyers could instead purchase the Ford Performance Parts Eluminator electronic crate motor. It’s the same 281 horsepower, 317 lb-ft of torque electric motor that Ford uses in the production car.
The electric vehicle retrofit market is ripe for the taking
Giving existing cars an electric makeover is nothing new. We’ve seen it all from classic cars to more mainstream runabouts, ditching their combustion engines and adopting EV transmissions instead, and several startups are promising to do that for you – or at least sell you the necessary parts.
These parts, however, tend to be a bit rigged by a jury. Tesla motors and batteries are a popular choice, especially because of their power and prevalence. Price and availability have also made Nissan Leaf drivetrain components a go-to choice among DIY electric vehicle manufacturers. What we haven’t seen so much, however, is an attempt by automakers to take the crate-engine approach that has become more common in gasoline-powered vehicles.
Bottlenecks in production are one of the reasons, of course. The supply of batteries, in particular, is limited and indeed limits the production plans of some automakers for their electric vehicles, but the current semiconductor crisis means that electric motors, computers and other components are hardly surplus either.
Ford’s e-crate Eluminator price is right for the general public
While specialists will happily whip up custom – and expensive – EV conversions, what sets Ford’s Illuminator apart is its relatively affordable price. Part # M-9000-MACH-E is $ 3,900 for a single engine, with the transverse orientation unit designed for everything from vintage vehicles to modern cars and SUVs. However, this is only the first step in this process.
Ultimately, Ford Performance said today there will be a longer list of components that will join the catalog. This will include battery systems, controllers and traction inverters, which will make the whole assembly process much simpler.
To demonstrate this, Ford Performance has concocted the F-100 Eluminator concept. Built in collaboration with MLe Racecars, it is based on a chassis customized by the Roadster Shop and fitted with 19 × 10-inch Forgeline three-piece billet aluminum wheels shod with high-performance Michelin Latitude Sport 275 / 45-19 tires. On the outside there is a Brand X Customs paint job with Cerakote Copper accents on top of the Avalanche Gray.
Inside, meanwhile, there’s avocado-tanned MDM upholstery leather, paired with a billet aluminum dashboard from JJR Fabrication. Granted, the Mustang Mach-E’s large portrait touchscreen feels a bit out of place in what is otherwise a pretty retro vehicle, but overall there’s a lot to like.
Sales of the e-crate engine kick off today, with orders direct from Ford parts warehouse dealers or through the Ford Performance online store. It comes with a high voltage motor-traction inverter harness, a low voltage harness connector and a vent tube assembly, and tilts the scale at 205 pounds. It should be noted that you will need to provide your own battery, control system, and traction converter, so this is still not an upgrade for the novice.