What Can SEMA 2022 Tell Us about EVs in the Aftermarket?


Nissan Sunny LEAF concept

Legacy EV is getting ready to hit the road, Dodge’s EV muscle car took center stage, and EVs become part of the landscape as the industry looks to a future of ICE and EV living side by side.

A year after SEMA first introduced the Electric Vehicle showcase as part of the tradeshow, EV announcements have become the norm.  Toyota and Nissan are old hats in the EV space, obviously, but Nissan brought two EV concepts: the Sunny LEAF project, a Sunny pickup with the electric LEAF powerplant and the Ariya Surfwagon concept, which takes the Ariya and reimagines it as a retro, electric beach cruiser.

Concepts like this from established OEMs give a strong indication as to where the market is going, as does the stunning Dodge Daytona SRT concept that was the centerpiece of Dodge’s new home in Central Hall, along with the description of how the concept will turn into reality and the forthcoming ability to add electric power to the already high “horsepower” muscle machine.

Jeep was in on the fun with its Jeep CJ Surge concept “designed and engineered to explore an efficient battery-electric propulsion system for classic Jeep models” according to parent company Stellantis, meant for people converting true 4 x 4 Jeeps. Even VW got in on the fun, with its ID.4 EV Drone Command concept, ID.4 Accessories concept and of course, bringing home the inaugural Electric Vehicle of the Year from SEMA for the regular ID.4.

Add to that, the showcase of EV builds and mods brought to the show by builders and manufacturers, including an electric Shelby Cobra from Legendary Performance,  and the “SEMA Electrified” section focusing on products and solutions for EV platforms and conversions, plus the New Product Showcase category specifically for EVs and you’re seeing the reality of electric vehicles in an industry dominated by ways to make your internal combustion engine vehicle that much cooler.

However, EV and ICE supporters CAN exist hand in hand.  And surprisingly, that statement was reiterated by none other than Rob Ward of Legacy EV who is about to kick off a road trip of sorts. Legacy, which does EV conversion kits, components and builds amongst other things, has long been a proponent of hands on mechanical education for the industry so it will be prepared for the EV expansion and growth. The company has a Certified Technician Program, which they are now about to take on the road.  The 10-city EV Education Road Show will kick off in Detroit in March 2023, assisted by SEMA, which will host two of the events at its SEMA Garage facilities in Michigan and Southern California. Detroit, Chicago, Austin, Denver, Salt Lake City, Seattle, Portland, San Francisco, Los Angeles, and Phoenix will all host a Road Show event. The program lead to an invitation for Legacy EV co-founder and President Mavrick Knoles to participate in the Biden Administration’s Infrastructure Talent Pipeline Challenge on November 1, 2022.

RacingJunk spoke to Rob Ward from Legacy EV at the SEMA show where he was holding twice daily seminars to give attendees an overview of the certification course as well as what is involved in EV conversion as part of that prioritization on education. He emphasized that more education was essential for strengthening the industry and that it does not mean an elimination of the internal combustion engine, but a look to the future. Check out the video below:

About Andreanna Ditton 311 Articles
Andreanna Ditton is the Editorial Director and Editor-in-Chief for the Internet Brands Automotive Classifieds Group, of which RacingJunk is the flagship site. She has worked in the automotive publishing industry since 2007, focusing on racing and performance issues.

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