Typically when people convert older cars to electric power, it’s to gain something out of the ownership experience. Be it power, comfort, mechanical simplicity, or just a silent ride, the conversions are typically meant to improve the vehicle in some way. This 1993 Mercedes 500 SL attempt to achieve that, but falls short in a few areas.
Listed for sale on eBay, the car was converted to electric power in 2012 by a company called Electric Vehicle Concepts. The listing states that the car has 89,000 miles (143,232 km) on the odometer, but eBay’s vehicle history report indicates that that number was actually passed by the third of this car’s seven owners, and the actual mileage is about 114,000 miles (183,465 km) as of 2010 when the car was purchased by the seller. We’ll give them the benefit of the doubt on this one though, as they could have meant 89,000 miles on the electric drivetrain.
Powering the car is an 11″ NetGain motor connected to the factory 5-speed automatic transmission, but there aren’t any details on how much power it makes or if those figures are more than stock. Charge is stored in batteries sourced from a Nissan Leaf, which were replaced in 2021, and the listing mentions a rather poor range of “over 50 miles” (80 km).
If we assume the batteries are from a 2012 Leaf (the year in which this SL’s EV conversion was performed), that car had around 73 miles (117 km) of range, which would check out with the “over 50” figure. If we assume the batteries are from a 2021 Leaf (the year the batteries were replaced), that car had a minimum range of 149 miles (240 km) and a maximum of 226 miles (364 km). That would make the “over 50” claim even worse, as it would be only around a third of the range of the car the batteries came from. And while those numbers are technically over 50, we’d imagine the listing would mention higher numbers if it could.
The listing also mentions a top speed of “over 90 mph” (145 km/h). And while that’s not bad, we’d imagine it falls short of the original car’s 155 mph (249 km/h) top speed. Finally, there’s the matter of this car’s pricing. With a starting bid of $14,000, it’s around $5,000 above what other gas-powered 500 SLs with similar mileage are going for, despite arguably being worse. Granted, you are getting what the listing describes as a “one of a kind” vehicle, although uniqueness doesn’t always justify a higher price. But who knows, for the right person, this could be a quirky Mercedes EV worth snatching up.