After the visit ECD Automotive Design initial footprint in Florida earlier this year, the custom EV conversion specialists invited us on a tour of their new 100,000 square foot facility on the street. It’s here that the company is installing a second assembly line to assemble all-electric versions of the Jaguar E-Type to join all the classic Land Rovers it has converted over the years.
ECD Automotive Design is a custom car manufacturer headquartered in Kissimmee, Florida, founded by three Brits whose love of British classics such as the Defender and Range Rover has made the company one of the most renowned custom Land Rover manufacturers in the world.
As we demonstrated in our first visit to the original facility Last February, ECD’s emphasis on top quality, luxury and a willingness to never say no to customer requests garnered a loyal customer base, some of whom buy two or three custom cars worth hundreds of thousands of dollars each.
As a company that works on constant improvement and development, ECD Automotive Design has started to offer more and more electrified versions of its line. As the backlog grows, so does the demand for all-electric designs, including the Jaguar E-Type – ECD’s latest all-electric offering originally announced in June.
The custom car builder is currently working on its new facility around the corner from the single garage that the three founders opened ten years ago, so the team took us on a tour of the new space to see where the electric Jaguars will be assembled and experience some of the technology it uses , to provide excellence to our customers. Check it out.
ECD Automotive Design is getting a major upgrade with new hardware
While my most recent invitation to Florida was a joy, I’m glad I was able to visit the original ECD facility earlier this year for comparison. Nothing against the old building, but it’s a colossal upgrade for the custom car specialists in every department, and its founders wouldn’t disagree.
After my first visit, I reported how impressive ECD’s keen attention to detail is and that the detail goes far beyond the quality of the cars throughout the manufacturing process from the very beginning. Since my last visit, ECD has set up its own UK logistics center where it locates Land Rovers and Jaguars and then ships them to Florida.
As ECD co-founder Scott Wallace showed me around the 100,000-square-foot facility, he explained that ECD is now completely self-sufficient and, thanks to its UK hub, has cut overseas shipping times from 100 days to around 24. Wallace explained, “We now we control everything. Every single aspect of our builds. Other suppliers just couldn’t keep up with us.”
ECD leaders enable their employees to work in a way that makes them happiest while they are also most productive. Wallace explained that this freedom allows his staff to work hard and strive for the consistent quality assurance the brand demands, especially as he continues to raise the bar for his customers with each custom build.
Wallace noted that ECD is partnering with 3M for the new facility, which provides equipment for sanding and other body work. Dust is reduced by 95%, providing a safer working environment as well as being much cleaner. Interestingly, the employees chose 3M over Wallace or his partners. He explained that the team members who work with these materials and machines every day know best, so they were the ones who talked to the respective company representatives to decide which one to work with. The winner was 3M.
The same goes for the new state-of-the-art PPG Paint and custom ECD booths. Again, designed by painters themselves, not owners or industry professionals. As we passed the new assembly lines, all the air-conditioned rooms for wiring and upholstery, and paint, I was surprised when Wallace opened the booth door to me and explained that it was time to paint myself.
Thanks to my mentor John who guided me through the entire mixing, spraying and finishing process, giving me a final score of 92/100. Scott Wallace was impressed with my score and told me I was hired. As you may recall, Wallace suggested I try a dip in the water last time I was here, now I’m painting. I joked that he was grooming me to join the team and the next visit I might be thrown onto the assembly line of the new electric Jaguar E-Type.
Speaking of which, the upcoming Jaguar was the focus of my recent visit, and it’s already setting the stage for ECD’s next leap forward in quality electric vehicle conversions.
Most Jaguar E-Types ordered are electric
The following company news Jaguar E-Type application to its lineup, I got to see the assembly line where the electric versions will be produced and got a close-up look at some inspiring models. As you can see above, the new South Line at ECD headquarters will be dedicated to Jaguar E-Type production, and most of them will be electric to begin with.
Co-founder Tom Humble took me for a ride in the combustion engine version of the E-Type, which will also be available to customers, but explained that there is more appetite for an electric version. Before ECD Automotive Design officially broke the news about its custom Jaguar, Humble emailed a couple of dozen of the company’s top customers to gauge interest.
He explained that ECD received 10 or 12 orders for the Jaguar E-Type from this group alone, and seven of those were requests for an electric version, including the very first customer build. Jaguar’s assembly staff are currently familiarizing themselves with the E-Type inside and out before production begins, and it will be a slow start.
Scott Wallace told me they expect Jaguar to spend 30 days at each station on the assembly line. By comparison, the custom Land Rovers being built on the Northern Line spend four days at each of the 20 stations, compared to five days per station at the old facility. Although Jaguar will start slowly, production is expected to increase as staff become more confident in the assembly process. Wallace explained that they’ve all learned a lot over the past ten years, and the team will apply that know-how to the E-Types as well.
Like the current Land Rover, the electric versions of the Jaguar will be converted using the 450 hp Tesla Model S engine. and a battery with a capacity of 100 kW. However, due to the design of the E-Type, ECD reckons it can use one solid battery instead of splitting it 40/60 like the Land Rover does.
The team expects the electric Jaguars to provide a range of 180-200 miles and will be equipped with the J1772 plug. Looking ahead, ECD Automotive Design is exploring additional EV features such as DC fast charging and dual motor powertrains – the two options I mentioned could really help attract even more customers, especially as demand for electrification grows in orders.
Looking ahead, ECD has plans to create a third assembly section next to the Jaguar South Line, which will be dedicated to ready-made models for those customers who don’t want to wait for the 2,200-hour design and assembly process.
At the new facility, the team expected to be able to produce about 120 custom builds a year, but Wallace explained to me that it’s more like 180 and could be even more once the Jaguar lines start humming.
On our next visit to ECD, we’re going to take the all-electric Jaguar E-Type for a spin and document it for you. Until then, you can check out live camera feeds throughout ECD Automotive Design to see what one-of-a-kind cars the company is currently working on.
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