About E-V Concepts History
I remember back to my early preteen years and my interest in building and racing electric slot cars. Spending my spare time soldering copper tubing for chassis's and rewinding the electric motors for higher RPM's. On the weekends a friend and I would load our electric race cars in the baskets of our bicycles and ride a few miles to spend the day racing at the slot car tracks. Still today as an old man I am entertained designing and building full sized electric race cars.
After college I went on to building my construction companies and racing stock cars in what is now called the NASCAR series. Maintaining my construction company vehicles, race cars, pleasure boats and all the support vehicles was a full time job. I found I spent more time maintaining my gas powered vehicles than I did enjoying them.
Back in the early 70's I was inspired by an elderly lady who would drive by my home a few times a week in her old electric golf cart on the way to the grocery store and back . It was safe for her and everyone else. No one ever complained when she took advantage of her preferred parking space in front of the grocery store door. I became envious over time as she drove by in her silent, no maintenance transportation. At the end of her journey she plugged the cord to the battery charger into the garage wall electrical outlet and seemed very content and secure it would be ready, all tuned up for her next journey.
The price of gas had skyrocketed from 30 cents to 75 cents in less than a year and the gas companies where taking all the high octane poisonous lead out of the gas. How was I going to race to the corner store and back in my big, heavy, high compression, gas guzzling, noisy, American dream car. The world was looking pretty grim. I had a wonderful wife and a 2 year old daughter to be concerned for. It was time to take things into my own hands.
I had a new vision of the no maintenance, no gas vehicle. I knew I wanted to go faster and farther than the elderly lady's golf cart. A short time later I found an older aerodynamic sports car that needed the gas engine replaced. The people I bought it from were happy to have it out of their yard and I was happy to have it in mine. This was my first adventure with building a full sized freeway speed electric conversion. Lead acid battery technology was all we had in the 70's. There was plenty of steel fabrication. Higher volt motors and controllers were harder to find in those days. A few months later in my spare time we were ready to hit the streets.
I was pleased with my new family transportation. It seated 4 passengers, cruised the fast lane of the Los Angeles freeway. I felt safe with a row of solid lead running across the front and back of the little sports car. I liked replacing the gas tank with batteries. The car was quite and didn't vibrate as I sat parked on the freeway during rush hour. It never over heated and I wasn't smelling the fumes from the gas or oil burning.
I was never concerned if the car would start. I didn't have to wait for the engine to warm up so it didn't stall out in the middle of the street like my gas cars. I no longer spend time waiting in line for gas or smelled like the gas I spilled on myself. I was enjoying the new peace of mine the battery powered car gave me.
There were some interesting differences I enjoyed about my new electric vehicle conversion.
The electric motor is round and spins on roller bearings on both ends. There is no compression or friction. When the car comes to a stop so does the motor. Once the car gets rolling it just coast along. It was easier to find an electrical outlet to charge from than a gas station. Every business and every home has the ability to recharge an electric vehicle. Charging my electric vehicle at work meant I was driving for free. By driving (discharging the batteries) and recharging the batteries I was stirring the chemicals in the lead acid batteries and making them work better and last longer.
Even in their time they where capable of 80 MPH and a 40 mile range before needing to recharge the lead acid batteries. With the powerful 220 AC charger in the trunk it took about twenty minutes to get another forty miles of driving range. This was just the kind of car the gas companies and car manufactures didn't want me to own.
With a fiberglass body modeled after the early Berlinetta Ferrari and the Italian Fiat chassis this seemed to be the dream car to spend hours a day parked on the Los Angeles freeways. This was the start of Electric Vehicle Concepts. In the late 1970's along with one of our sister companies, Spherical Fiberglass Designs we began creating our own original Electric Vehicle Concepts designs.
In the 1980's the Spherical Designs Organization along with Electric Vehicle Concepts relocated from the polluted Los Angeles, Californa area to Charlotte, North Carolina to be closer to the NASCAR racing hub and build our own car building facility. It has been the ideal source for chassis and suspension components designed to handle the weight of lead acid battery powered high speed electric vehicles.
In 2003 I retired from racing gas powered vehicles and relocated to Charleston, South Carolina where we turned our interest to electric propulsion for sail and power boats.
We continue today to design and build electric vehicle concepts for companies around the world along with electric conversions of cars, yachts and motorcycles.