Published March 24, 2012
By Huw Evans
“I’m not a vehicle manufacturer, I’m a publisher,” said Jack Rickard, who along with partner Brian Noto, has built a loyal audience, via their online video series, EVTV.ME.
As its name might suggest, the purpose of the series is to show enthusiasts how to convert traditional gasoline-fueled cars into electric vehicles.
Putting their money where their mouth is, Rickard and Noto perform their own gasoline-to-EV conversions at a garage facility in Rickard’s hometown of Cape Giradeau, Missouri and share their endeavors via EVTV.
Although both recognize the electric car conversion movement is embryonic right now, “there aren’t more than 15,000 lithium ion battery powered vehicles in the world,” says Rickard, electric car enthusiasts are eager to garner all the information they can about performing quality conversions on existing models. As a result, the dynamic duo see it as their mission to conduct a wide range of experiments and provide detailed analysis so fellow enthusiasts can successfully replicate the process.
Last year, Rickard and Noto went a step further, organizing their first Electric Vehicle Conversion Convention, which brought together EV enthusiasts from across the United States and beyond.
Many attendees brought along their own vehicles, which ranged from conversions of classics and iconic sports cars like Cobras, Porsche 904s and 911s, to EVs based on regular mainstream passenger machines such as Subaru Foresters, Minis and BMWs. The convention represented an opportunity for fellow builders and enthusiasts to discuss and compare their own builds, while some emerging names in the industry were invited as keynote speakers.
George Hamstra, who made his mark in the personal computer business, sees electric vehicle technology is the next big thing and at last year’s EVCC declared that electric vehicle technology will “exceed the growth curve of personal computers,” in the future.
That’s something both Rickard and Noto are banking on, the fact that these pioneers and do-it-yourself enthusiasts; many of whom believe big automakers aren’t truly vested in the concept of sustainable transportation, might just have the next Bill Gates or Steve Jobs lurking among them.
As a result, they’re organizing yet another EVCC event in 2012, one that promises to be even bigger and better. Scheduled for Sept. 26, Rickard and Noto have hired the 30,000-capacity Show Me Center for the occasion in anticipation of more attendees. Registrations for the 2012 EVCC are already being accepted, though if September seems too far away, a PBS documentary video of last year’s EVCC is now available online – and posted above – to whet your appetite.
WSIU via Autoblog Green