There are several avid fans of the iconic Willys Jeep from the bygone eras. The old-school charm and simple mechanicals of this pure off-roader are second to none. In recent times, demand for restored Willys Jeeps has astronomically shot up, which has led to a sudden increase in their prices. However, an India-based startup named ‘Ewillys’ has come up with a more affordable, economical and cleaner solution to this.
Ewillys is a brand which makes customized scaled-down versions of the iconic Willys with electric powertrains, in place of IC engines. The owner of Ewillys, Sohan, has described his brainchild in a YouTube video from Rajni Chaudhary. In the video, he explains the features and mechanical details of the EWillys electric Jeep and gives us the visuals of the final product.
This electric version of the scaled-down version of the Willys Jeep has smaller dimensions which are proportional to the Willys CJ3B Jeep. The scaled-down dimensions make the Ewillys look smaller but completely identical to the original version. At the front, the Ewillys has the same seven-slat vertical grille and round-themed headlamps. However, the headlamps here are aftermarket all-LED units, assisted with small rounded pilot lamps, which are the same ones available in the Royal Enfield Bullet 350. The almost-flat horizontal hood of the Ewillys gets the same wooden-finished ornaments, similar to those of the original Willys Jeep.
The side profile also looks much similar to the original Willys Jeep, with squared and flared wheel arches, knobby tyres over 16-inch wheels, an open-themed design for the doors and rounded rear view mirrors attached to the front fenders. At the back, it has a spare wheel and an additional battery mounted on the back door, with the latter shaped like a jerry can, which adds to the nostalgia of the vehicle.
Basic cabin layout
The cabin of this Ewillys electric Jeep is kept simple and basic with 16-inch wide front seats, a two-spoke steering wheel, a centrally-placed fully digital instrument console and a switch between the front seats for forward and reverse motion. The rear cabin of the Ewillys has forward-facing seats for two additional passengers. The Jeep is equipped with old-school and simple leaf spring suspension at both ends.
While the battery is placed beneath the front hood, the motor is positioned between the rear wheels. The battery takes 4-5 hours for a full charge and drives 100 km in a single charge, while the motor enables it to reach a top speed of 45 kmph. The Ewillys is on sale by its manufacturer for Rs 2.50 lakh.
Such cars are not road legal. Any vehicle needs clearance from RTO to be roadworthy and road-legal. However, such vehicles can be used on private properties like a race track or farmhouse. Such homemade vehicles can be seized by police if spotted on the roads.