David Beckham has taken a 10 per cent stake in a firm specialising in converting classic cars to electric power.
The former footballer, well known for his love of a fast and flashy motor, is investing in Silverstone-based Lunaz, as the firm announces ambitious expansion plans.
Lunaz launched in 2019 and is famous for its conversions of high-end classic cars such as the 1960s Rolls-Royce Phantom, Jaguar XK120 and early Range Rovers, with prices starting at £245,000 and rising to more than £500,000.
It is now launching two new arms which it says will create 500 skilled jobs developing electric drivetrains for heavy goods vehicles and off-the-shelf EV systems for customers.
Lunaz Applied Technologies will see the firm convert HGVs such as bin lorries and fire engines to electric power, which it says will extend the vehicles’ lives, reduce their long-term environmental impact and save operators as much as 43 per cent compared with replacing the trucks with new vehicles.
It says its modular approach to the drivetrain means everything from battery size to motor torque can be tuned individually to the vehicle’s requirements “meaning resources are never wasted”.
David Lorenz, founder and CEO of Lunaz, commented: “The upcycling of existing passenger, industrial and commercial vehicles presents a sustainable alternative to replacing with new. Our approach will save fleet operators capital while dramatically reducing waste in the global drive towards de-carbonisation.”
The second part of the firm’s expansion, which has seen it grow its Northamptonshire facility and bring in experts from the world of luxury cars and motor racing, is called Lunaz Powertrain and will develop a turn-key drivetrain which other vehicle manufacturers can buy for use in their own products.
Beckahm said: “Lunaz represents the very best of British ingenuity in both technology and design. I was drawn to the company through their work restoring some of the most beautiful classic cars through upcycling and electrification. David Lorenz and his team of world-class engineers are building something very special and I look forward to being part of their growth.”
Lunaz says it will double its workforce by the end of 2021 and plans to employ at least 500 skilled workers by 2024. The Silverstone site will be its permanent manufacturing headquarters for classic car conversions as well as the research and development base for all three arms of the business but it plans to develop more manufacturing facilities close to its major global markets.
David Lorenz added: “Our commitment to Silverstone affirms the United Kingdom’s status as a leader in the development of clean-air automotive technologies. Firms like ours, which operate in the principles of the circular economy show that British industry can provide potent answers to the global need to transition to less impactful industrial practices.”