If there’s one vehicle the Philippines is famous for, it’s the jeepney. But aside from the one often seen for public transportation, there’s also a jeep available for private use. Often referred to as the “Owner-type”, these have been a staple mode of transportation for Filipinos in the past and even present. Though not as popular as before, you will still find a bunch of them on the road.

This Owner-type Jeep has the electric heart of a Tesla image

These Owner-type jeepneys are usually powered by surplus engines and make use of old chassis. Sometimes, however, they are fitted with more powerful engines such as the Toyota 4A-GE or Nissan SR20. But over in the US, someone decided to put an electric powertrain into one.

Built by a company called Ai Design, the electric Owner-type jeepney is based on a World War II-era Willys Jeep. That said, it’s not a complete ground-up build like the newer Owner-type jeepneys assembled locally. However, this particular model has been extensively modified and only a few original parts remain, two to be exact.

Interestingly, Matt Farrah says that the stainless body on this jeep was made in the Philippines. That's because the original owner was a soldier that was stationed in the country years ago. Sometime in the 60s, the stainless steel Owner-type shell was fitted onto an original Willys chassis. He then decided to bring it back to the US after his tour of duty was completed.

This Owner-type Jeep has the electric heart of a Tesla image

It wasn’t until his son decided to restore the jeep did the EV conversion happen. The electric powertrain used was sourced from a wrecked Tesla. With that, it’s possibly the cleanest and quietest Owner-type jeep in existence. Aside from a 25kW motor and five batteries, no details regarding power, specs, and range were mentioned.

This Owner-type Jeep has the electric heart of a Tesla image

Ai Design ensured that EV Owner-type jeep could still go off the beaten path. Even with the more sensitive electric powertrain, the company said it's fully weather-sealed, allowing the driver to do “Jeep things”. Unlike an original Willys 4x4, however, the EV conversion has rendered this jeep as rear-wheel-drive only. There was no mention of costs, but it’s safe to assume that converting this Owner-type jeep into an EV wasn’t cheap.

This Owner-type Jeep has the electric heart of a Tesla image

Given the ingenuity and talent of locals, we won’t be surprised if we see electric Owner-type jeepneys, similar to this one, roaming the Philippines in the future. You may check out the full detailed build in the video by Hagerty above.