David Beckham Invests in Lunaz Electric Car Conversion for Garbage Trucks

David Beckham was not in the original business plan.

When Lunaz Group said on June 3 that the celebrity footballer had purchased a 10% stake in its business converting Rolls-Royces and Bentleys into electric vehicles, the company had already announced backing from Jamie Reuben, the son of British billionaire investor David Reuben; Alistair Barclay, the son of David Barclay, who’s one-half of the British billionaire “Barclay Twins”; and Alexander Dellal, the grandson of Jack “Black Jack” Dellal, who at the time of his death in 2012 was one of the wealthiest men in England. In April, Lunaz’s 63 employees had moved into a 44,000-square-foot space, five times larger than its original facility.

Beckham’s investment company, DB Ventures, already owns equity in startups connected to e-sports and cannabis

Source: Lunaz

But at a brief meeting in 2020 at company headquarters in Towcester’s Silverstone Technology Park, Beckham got a glimpse of what fellow Brit David Lorenz has planned for the future of the company he founded in 2018. It wasn’t the Bentleys, Jaguars, and Rolls-Royces running on batteries that clinched the deal. It was the trucks.  

“When David was down at Lunaz, I couldn’t really not mention [the planned commercial applications], because we had a lorry sitting right there,” Lorenz says. “I started discussing the wider applications of what we were doing with industrial vehicles, and that got around to a discussion about investment.” (Beckham was unavailable for comment.)

Lunaz produced its first converted car—a Jaguar XK120—in 2019, selling itself as an “upcycler” that offers a sustainable alternative to the often finicky conventional engines found in beautiful vintage vehicles. 

relates to With Electric Car Investment, David Beckham Did It for the Trucks

The electrified vintage Jaguar and Bentley models by Lunaz.

Source: Lunaz

“My wife was constantly telling me, ‘Please don’t take [our daughter] Luna out in the car,’” Lorenz says, referencing the family Mercedes-Benz 190SL that would inevitably break down carrying the company’s then-4-month-old namesake. “I had to put in that awful call to my wife, [and] it really was then when I took the viewpoint that something had to be done with the usability of these vehicles, as well as the sustainability.”

Electric car conversions have been around since at least the 1960s, when free-thinkers and tech nerds used old airplane generators and golf cart batteries to power their Beetles and hippy vans. Starting in 1979, Electro Automotive near Santa Cruz, Calif., sold thousands of converted EVs until founder Mike Brown retired 30 years later. But it remains a doggedly niche market, with no more than a few dozen boutiques around the world specializing in renovating old cars with new electric technology. Oz Motors does it outside Tokyo; EV West does it in San Diego, Calif.; Electric Classic Cars does it in Newtown, Wales.