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1965 All-Electric Mercedes-Benz 230SL Convertible

Green  /   /  By Bradley Berman

In 2014, Mercedes-Benz will begin selling a new small electric car, the B-Class E-Cell, in the United States. The car will use electric components supplied by Tesla Motors, and should display some of Tesla’s impressive high-power acceleration. But eBay shoppers don’t need to wait that long for a sweet all-electric Benzo. This 1965 Mercedes-Benz 230SL has been converted to run purely on batteries.

The pedigree of this EV is impressive. According to the listing, it was converted by a master Mercedes mechanic, who created electric car prototypes for General Motors. The seller personally hired the engineer/mechanic to do the conversion. The project took about 600 hours. The result is gorgeous—all the style of a 1960s Mercedes convertible coupe, with the innards of a 21st century emissions-free EV.

“It was very important to me that the car look exactly the same as it did before the conversion (dead sexy) and it does,” he writes. “I even went through extra pains to retain the original manual transmission. It just wouldn’t feel right without a shifter.”

The top speed is governed to 55 miles per hour. And in its current configuration, the driving range is limited to in-town use, about 30 miles per charge via its lead acid battery pack. But the seller says range could be extended to about 50 or 60 miles, with the addition of another half-dozen battery cells—at an estimated cost of about $1,000.

This EV is truly one-of-a-kind. “The car gets a lot of attention and is great publicity for a business,” writes the seller. But most of all, it’s a gorgeous drive. “There is nothing on earth like riding in this car on a warm afternoon with the top down. A silent whoosh, birds chirping as she speeds along,” he writes. “There no better way to clear the mind, and heart.”

For more information about fuel efficient cars, visit eBay’s Green Driving Center.

About the Author

Bradley Berman is a leading writer and researcher about electric cars and green transportation. He regularly contributes driving reviews and technology articles to The New York Times, Fortune, MIT Technology Review, Popular Mechanics, and other publications.

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