The Porsche 911. A driver eases behind the wheel of this classic 1980s sports car. While shifting gears, the engine roars its approval. At the Current Exchange in Salt Lake City, it is the same clean-lined Porsche, but with an electric engine that will purr its approval.
Martin Prouty and Kyle Palmer started The Current Exchange to convert Porsche roadsters into electric vehicles. The two entrepreneurs have known each other since their college days in Arizona. After both held stints in the corporate world, they decided to follow their passion for Porsches.
They chose the Porsche 911 because it is ideally suited for conversion. A Tesla motor nestles into the rear engine compartment and the batteries sit in the front. But most importantly, a devoted following already exists for the car. “An electric-powered Porsche will be the next cool thing for a collector,” Kyle says.
They estimate their prototype will be road-ready this summer. The convertible’s interior will have the look and feel of the original. Porsche power will remain, and the car will have a 100 to 150 mile cruising range on a single charge. “The Porsche is meant to be driven. Most 911s have reached the lifespan of their original engines, and by converting them, they can be enjoyed well into the future. It’s the perfect car to tool around with on Sunday,” Martin says.
The vehicle will have a price tag of “150,000, well within the range of collectable cars. The two hope to convert up to 10 cars a year by 2025, obtaining originals through specialty brokers and auctions. A goal is to utilize local auto specialty shops along with the electric vehicle program at Weber State University.
The shop on Richards Street is start-up spartan. But on the wall is a surrealist picture dating back to the duo’s college days. It features a table surrounded by figures drawn as light sockets. A play on words ensued — electric current, current dreams, Current Exchange. It is indeed a picture worth a thousand words.