Navigating the Road to Sustainable Adventure: The Evolution of Electric Vehicle Conversions in Australia

fraser island without a 4wd with ev conversion

The movement towards sustainable transportation is gaining traction across the globe, and Australia is no exception but true to our laid back Aussie tradition, we are a little too slow on the uptake for our liking. 

In recent years, there has been a growing interest in electric vehicle (EV) conversions for 4WDs, driven by a collective desire to reduce carbon footprints and embrace greener alternatives but not wanting to give up our love of off-roading in this magical land downunder. The shift marks a significant step forward in the journey towards a more sustainable future for our planet and it’s got Aussie’s excited. 

Specialised companies have emerged in Australia, like Jaunt Motors, who offer conversion services for traditional internal combustion engines 4WDs. These companies provide a range of services, including motor and battery upgrades, to transform conventional vehicles into eco-friendly EVs. Though, the industry is still in its infancy, with costs for EV conversions averaging around $135,000 per vehicle which is WAY TOO EXPENSIVE for 99% of the population. While this is steep, it reflects the early stages of an emergency industry and the investment required to pioneer sustainable solutions.

Despite the initial financial barriers, the demand for EV conversions is steadily increasing, driven by a growing awareness of environmental issues and the benefits of electric vehicles. Australians are increasingly seeking greener alternatives for their off-road and recreational vehicles, contributing to the momentum behind the EV conversion movement.

EV Conversions at Drop Bear’s K’gari Adventures

Let’s just take a minute here to reflect on why we think conversions are the best option and why we are so keen to see this happen here at Drop Bear’s K’gari Adventures. Truth be told it all started with our love of Toyota’s 80 series Landcruiser. Simply put, we love them! Why? because they are tough, sexy and comfortable. They are a beast of a truck and hands down the best 4WD for what we do on K’gari

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So converting an 80 series rather than buying a new EV obviously appeals to us but more than the sex appeal of our beloved 80 series we cannot deny the sustainability benefits of converting a trusted old beast over manufacturing an entirely new car. 

Regardless of the car we buy, K’gari’s salty sand will literally eat it away in 3-5 years, rust is a real challenge here. But, with the conversion kits you can retro fit them into a new to us but old chassis thus continuing the life of the EV fit our kit and reducing scrap waste. It’s a win win. 

Advancements in EV technology, such as more efficient batteries and motors, have also played a crucial role in driving the feasibility and performance of EV conversions for 4WDs. Improved range and power capabilities have enhanced the appeal of electric 4WDs, making them a viable option for eco-conscious adventurers once they are affordable. 

Challenges of widespread adoption of EV conversions

The road to widespread adoption of EV conversions is not without its challenges, mainly the regulatory hurdles and licensing issues. These pose significant obstacles for businesses seeking to embrace sustainable transportation solutions as we are regulated differently. The lack of simple regulations and support from government agencies complicates the process of licensing converted vehicles and raises questions about their legal and operational feasibility as off road vehicles. 

In light of these challenges, many businesses are seeking clarity and guidance from the Department of Transport. Key questions remain unanswered such as

  • How will the Department of Transport incentivise companies to choose environmentally friendlier conversions?
  • What processes are in place to navigate the regulatory landscape?
  • Will there be financial aid to help cover engineering and reregistration costs?

These are just a few of the pressing issues that need to be addressed to facilitate the transition to EV conversions.


As a small family-run business passionate about eco-conscious practices, we understand the importance of investing in sustainable solutions and would take the plunge tomorrow is we could. However, without clear direction and support from regulatory agencies, and a Commercial Activity Agreement that binds up to standard manufactured vehicles our pursuit of EV conversions remains a pipe dream. We hope the Queensland Government, the Department of Transport Queensland Parks and Wildlife service provide guidance and incentives to support businesses in their transition to sustainable transportation, paving the way for a greener future for all very soon.