Monday, August 12, 2013

Electric Cars Show Their Stuff In Cape Girardeau

Brandon Hollinger converted this 1972 British Taxi into an electric car by watching EVTV.
Electric car owners showed off their creations at Cape Girardeau’s third annual Electric Car Conservation Convention this weekend. Convention-goers learned the inside tips and tricks about how to convert a typical fossil fuel-powered car into an all-electric machine.
The convention is the brainchild of Jack Rickard and Brian Noto, who produce the web-based show EVTV about the conversion process from their Cape Girardeau garage. Events included a drag race at the airport and a car show at Arena Park.
Fred Behning from Austin, Texas brought a replica of a 1952 MG TD. But there’s something very modern about this classic car- it’s all electric. He found Jack Rickard’s EVTV a few years ago while doing his first electric conversion.
“Watching theirs, and picking up information as I went, I pretty much built my first conversion in parallel with one of his,” Behning said. “And as he encountered things, that kind of answered some of my questions and problems. It was a real inspiration and a real help to me in getting over the hump of the first learning curve.”
He thinks electric car conversion is the future of the hot rod movement.
“I think this is going to be a grassroots thing forever,” Behning said. “I don’t think this is going to go mainstream. Frankly, the big automakers are going to have that covered eventually. But this is a great hobby and a great way to find some self-expression mechanically.”
Brandon Hollinger from Lancaster, Pennsylvania had no mechanical or automotive experience. In fact, he’s a professional musician by trade. But he has converted numerous vehicles, including this 1972 British Taxi. He said a lot of the traditional automakers’ profits come from maintenance.
“This challenges all of that,” Hollinger said. “There’s one moving part under the hood, not including the transmission. Much of what’s under there is going to last a lot longer than traditional auto parts.”
He said EVTV brings all the conversion information into one place.
“They are happy to pass on videos and display the work of their viewers to others,” Hollinger said. “You’ve got a lot of different approaches, and that’s why we’re all here. To learn from each other.”
One-hundred-and-forty participants came from 10 different countries. They brought 40 cars in all.