: David Beckham takes stake in electric-vehicle company powering vintage cars

United States

Niche electric-vehicle company Lunaz announced on Thursday soccer star David Beckham has purchased a stake in its business.

The privately owned British auto maker, which coverts petrol-powered vintage Range Rovers, Bentleys, Rolls-Royces and Jaguars into clean-energy autos, said the former Manchester United striker had taken 10% equity. The company didn’t say how much Beckham paid for the stake.

The company is based in Silverstone, home to Britain’s Formula One circuit and an automotive technology hub.

Lunaz started production of its first cars in 2019 and markets itself as upcycling existing passenger, industrial and commercial vehicles to offer a sustainable alternative to replacing with new.

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Beckham, whose investment arm already owns equity in startups connected to esports and products that help muscles recover after workouts, said in a statement: “I was drawn to the company through their work restoring some of the most beautiful classic cars through upcycling and electrification. Lunaz represents the very best of British ingenuity in both technology and design.”

Funds from the new investment round will be used to expand Lunaz’s business upcycling and electrifying industrial vehicles such as refuse trucks, fire engines and commercial vehicles.

It claims a municipal authority could save more than 43% in the total cost of owning an upcycled and electrified refuse truck versus replacing their existing fleet with new equivalent electric vehicles.

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David Lorenz, founder of Lunaz said: “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.”

Its Lunaz Design business restores, re-engineers and electrifies classic cars. A converted Range Rover costs £245,000 ($ 347,000)) while its electrified Rolls-Royce Phantom V starts at £500,000. These are significantly more expensive than a $ 114,000 brand-new Model X from Tesla TSLA, -3.01%.