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Vancouver Island enthusiast building electric hot rods

Vancouver -

When you hear the words "hot rod," a certain image likely comes to mind: A souped-up, gas-guzzling classic car, possibly with an exposed engine that can shoot flames.

Fossil fuels are a key part of that image, but a Vancouver Island man has decided to take them out, after his daughter told him it's time to go green.

Chris Webb started out making gas engines look vintage, but his latest creations are battery-powered.

Initially, it was a tough sell, according to Chris' daughter Emi.

"(She said), 'Hey dad, let's make an electric hot rod,' and I was like, 'Pfft, forget it,'" Chris recalled.

The problem, for Chris, was that electric engines just don't look as cool as gas-powered ones.

"It's all about the looks in hot-rodding, right?" Chris said.

The thing that led him to embrace electricity? Getting creative with the look.

"The cool thing about our electric crate motors is they look just like vintage gas engines," Emi said.

Earlier this month, Webb Motorworks took their designs to SEMA - the Specialty Equipment Market Association's car show in Las Vegas - and came home with three major awards, as well as some interest from prospective buyers.

Webb Motorworks electric hot rods sell for between $50,000 and $70,000 - about the same range as a middle-of-the-road Tesla.

It's a premium price, but one that collectors seem willing to pay, Chris said.

"(They said) '60 grand? When can I get one?'"

The experience has turned Chris into an EV believer.

"I'm never going to go back to gas," he said. "The electric is the only way to go. It's so cool."

With files from CTV News Vancouver Island's Jordan Cunningham Top Stories

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