Back to the Future goes electric

October 18, 2011

The DeLorean Motor Co. announced it will launch an all-electric version of its Back to the Future gull-winged car in 2013, but aficionados are debating whether or not it will fly.

Texas-based DeLorean has partnered with Epic EV (and its sister battery company Flux Power) to bring to market the prototype DMC-12 EV, with a top speed of 125 mph driven by a 260 horsepower electric motor. Range is between 70 and 100 miles and the battery has an expected lifespan of 7 years.

It will sport a price tag from between $90,000 to $100,000.

Critics are concerned about the weight of stainless steel.  “I’m not sure you know the DeLorean – it is a very large, very, very heavy car and I couldn’t imagine making an EV version of it.  $100 says the range blows,” writes AMouth, one of 294 comments on the subject at techie hub

But test-drivers were impressed.

Kevin McCauley at says the gull-winged classic glides silently despite its weight, and has more than enough torque to handle the 200 extra pounds of the electric system.

“I twist the key and rotate the surprisingly weighty metal dial. Silence. I press the gas pedal, which, true to form with any 1980s exotic, has so much resistance it’s more like a piece of gym equipment.  Press harder, and we silently glide forward.”

Bells and whistles include a built-in iPhone dock, perhaps so you can run the Back to the Future Flux Capacitator app available from itunes for $0.99.

Classic DeLoreans can currently be purchased on ebay. One model rebuilt to resemble the time machine used in the 1985 film Back to the Future,  is selling for $65,000.

(Photo above shows The DeLorean DMC012 EV.  REUTERS/Handout/Epic EV/DeLorean Motor Company)


We welcome comments that advance the story through relevant opinion, anecdotes, links and data. If you see a comment that you believe is irrelevant or inappropriate, you can flag it to our editors by using the report abuse links. Views expressed in the comments do not represent those of Reuters. For more information on our comment policy, see

The main hook for the DeLorean brand name is it’s Sci-Fi cred for being “The Back to the Future Car”. Stick with that theme.

Replace the stainless steel exterior with solar panels. See if the same people who’d pay 100K for an electric sports car would be detered by the new look.

Posted by WillKiller | Report as abusive

Concerting sporty, relatively small older cars is actually an extremely good idea, primarily because the latest electric motors and batteries can be installed in cars that do not need to qualify for current crash standards. This should save companies that make such cars an incredible amount of money and R&D. Older cars may also weigh much less because they don’t have all the current safety equipment/construction. Frankly I now wonder if new electric cars have any hope at all compared to retrofitted cars. Old cars need new engines and transmission anyway, and can probably be purchased for $500, so essentially nothing. If kits can be made for specific easy-to-find models, then installation will be highly streamlined. I can see it now, the Pep Boys special, electric car retrofitting.

Posted by byrond | Report as abusive

What do electric cars accomplish? How is the majority of electricity made? OIL. Where does the oil come from? So all the money goes to mohammed. Until we start drilling our own oil, nothing changes. As for all the clean air freaks, want to make a difference, then deliver natural gas to every home in the Northeast and get them off of oil. Everyone will breathe easier and put Americans to work. We have more natural gas than the middle east has oil.

Posted by somethingstinks | Report as abusive

7:00 pm EDT

SS>What do electric cars accomplish?

Depends where you live and what you wanna do with them. For a few places, like NYC, they make a lot of sense, for a lot of places they don’t at all, but most people don’t live or drive there. Still kinda marginal of dispersed suburbs.

SS>How is the majority of electricity made? OIL.

Oil, or to use your dialect, OIL, makes about one percent of the US electricity, about the same amount as is make from burning wood and trash. It’s been decades since petroleum was a major player in the electric business; coal, nukes, natural gas, and “biomass” -waste and wood- all produce more electricity than oil. al/showtext.cfm?t=ptb0804b

SS>Where does the oil come from?

Back in the day when oil was a big part of electricity generation, we used to be a new exporter.

SS> So all the money goes to mohammed.

When did Venezuela go Moslem?

SS> Until we start drilling our own oil, nothing SS>changes.

We do drill our own oil; if we didn’t use it like it was water we’d still be exporting the stuff.

SS>As for all the clean air freaks, want to make a SS>difference, then deliver natural gas to every home in SS>the Northeast and get them off of oil.

All household use of oil is a drop in the bucket. al/perspectives.cfm

SS>Everyone will breathe easier and put Americans to SS>work. We have more natural gas than the middle east SS>has oil.

Something does stink alright; it smells of snake oil.

Posted by ANMcCaff | Report as abusive

Electrical cars are, of course, only as environmentally friendly as the the fuel that powers then, the materials that are made of, the way they’re produces, and the way that they get recycled.

Most of the focus on the fuel that the cars use, how much work is done to reduce the environmental impact of the production.

Lars Hansen

Posted by lars_hansen | Report as abusive