Football icon Beckham invests in company that restores classic cars with electric powertrains

4th June 2021, 5:08am
4 min read
Football icon Beckham invests in company that restores classic cars with electric powertrains
Image credit: Newspress
  • England ace invests 10% in Lunaz, which converts classic cars to electric
  • Lunaz aims to expand into industrial vehicle electrification
  • Over 500 ‘highly skilled’ jobs expected due to major investment

Former England and Manchester United footballer David Beckham has invested in the Silverstone-based Lunaz firm, which specialises in converting classic cars to electric power.

Beckham has taken a 10 per cent stake in the company, and joins the billionaire Reuben brothers, the Barclay family (owners of the Daily Telegraph), and Alexander Dellal as an investor. Founding investors Navid Mirtorabi and CJ Jones remain involved.

In recent times, Lunaz has converted retro Range Rover, Bentley, Rolls-Royce and Jaguar machines to full electric power, with their 1961 Bentley Continental S2 Flying Spur conversion winning a Top Gear Electric Award.

The company, founded by David Lorenz, started production of its first cars in 2019, and thanks to the significant new investment is aiming to dramatically increase its offering, particularly with industrial vehicles.

Lunaz will begin with the upcycling and electrification of HGV vehicles including refuse trucks, with 80 million of these vehicles currently on the road across the UK, European Union and USA alone.

The process should extend the life of up to 70% of the existing weight and embedded carbon within each vehicle, while offering big savings to operators compared to the cost of buying new vehicles. Lunax claims that an upcycled fleet of vehicles could offer a 43% saving compared to replacing them with new versions.

Led by F1-winning Technical Lead Jon Hilton, the firm also plans to expand through three distinct companies.

Lunaz Design will revive, re-engineer and convert classic cars to electric power, Lunaz Applied Technologies will do the same with fleet vehicles, while Lunaz Powertrain will provide the Lunaz proprietary modular powertrain as a product for OEMs, Tier 1 suppliers and independent automotive engineering businesses.

The firm hopes to double the number of jobs for engineers and manufacturing technicians by the end of this year, with the ambition of over 500 highly skilled jobs at its Silverstone base in less than three year’s time. Lunaz already boasts personnel recruited from Europe’s leading manufacturers and technology companies, including Aston Martin, McLaren, Ferrari and Cosworth.

“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,” said renowned car enthusiast Beckham.

With up to two billion combustion engined vehicles expected to be on the road by the time the 2030 ICE bans come into effect in 2030, Lunaz is hoping that most of these can be converted to electric to save them from being scrapped.

“The upcycling of existing passenger, industrial and commercial vehicles presents a sustainable alternative to replacing with new,” says Lunaz founder David Lorenz.

“Our approach will save fleet operators capital while dramatically reducing waste in the global drive towards de-carbonisation. There is evidence everywhere in the global economy that responsibility and commerciality are no longer mutually exclusive. This top tier investor commitment is testament to Lunaz’ path to defining the market for remanufacturing and conversion to clean-air powertrains.

“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.”

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Written by Richard Randle

Richard Randle is a motorsport PR professional working with the UK’s top racing circuits and the UK’s premier single-seater category, the BRDC British F3 Championship.