View all news

Electric car conversion company wins Clean Energy Hackathon


Sharlene King
23 November 2018

Amped Classics, a startup business that converts classic cars to battery operated electric vehicles, took out the winning place for the most innovative and novel idea at the Southern Cross Enterprise Lab’s first Hackathon.

Held on November 16 and 17, the Hackathon was an opportunity for local innovators to gather together to create clean energy startups for a greener future.

Andy Naughton, founder of Amped Classics, has a passion for classic cars but wanted to make this niche market more sustainable for the clean energy future of Australia. Naughton, along with a range of successful applicants, will now go through to the EnergyLab Pre-Acceleration Program where they continue to develop their startups.

“Amped Classics focuses on pre-1980 vehicles, enhancing performance, driveability and reliability. Battery electric vehicles deliver in reducing greenhouse gas emissions through highly efficient electric motors and utilising increased uptake of renewable energy sources for electricity,” Mr Naughton says of his startup.

“We draw on experts in their field to create outstanding levels of engineering in a quality package utilising the latest conversion component technology.

“The days of making do with a smelly, noisy, underpowered and unreliable classic are finished. Amped Classics battery electric conversions take your loved machine and give it a whole new lease of life. With Amped Classics you really can have your classic car and drive it too!” 

Mr Naughton said the Hackathon was a valuable experience and platform.

“EnergyLab’s Hackathon in Lismore was truly a worthwhile experience and we really are lucky to have this level of support for clean energy startups in our region.”

Tanya Egerton, manager of the Enterprise Lab, said these programs were a vital stepping stone in the entrepreneurial process.

“It’s a unique opportunity for startups to be able to access expert mentors to rapidly help develop their idea. Teams were able to spend time with a range of experts who provided mentoring in engineering, legal, marketing, finance, business modelling, tech, pitching and environmental sustainability to help refine their ideas in the hopes of moving to the next level.”

The EnergyLab Pre-Acceleration Program will deliver a range of workshops and act as an additional pathway into the EnergyLab Accelerator Program. Teams who meet additional criteria in the Acceleration Program may be eligible for $50,000 in seed funding.

The EnergyLab Pre-Acceleration Program at Southern Cross Enterprise Lab will kick off in December. For more information on EnergyLab, go to