BRANDON HOLLINGER: Lancaster, PA
Converted his own car and is hooked on conversions for good
"Driving on electricity and all that it entails is finally taking
center stage as the obvious prescription for many of today’s global
challenges and I feel honored to be even a very small part of it.
Already harboring unrest over the environment in its decline, viewing Chris Paine’s documentary, 'Who Killed the Electric Car?' made it painfully clear to me that there is no moral imperative in business nowadays. With their sickening display of might in literally crushing this hopeful technology, 'Big Auto' also exhibited their biggest fear: this disruptive technology promises to de-centralize power. No oil or gas, minimal maintenance, minimal replacement parts.
When the nausea subsided, I found myself endlessly curious and motivated. We’ve been indoctrinated with the premise that transportation must, and always will be, dirty and inefficient. It’s all we know, or knew. Instantaneously, the internet offered up volumes of testimonials documenting successful electric vehicle conversions posted by people in every other country, with every imaginable background. The automobile, for me, had been redefined.
After about 6 months of research, I was convinced of the viability and accessibility of an electric car conversion and set out to convert a classic 1970 SAAB. Propelled by a DC motor and flooded lead-acid batteries I hoped to achieve a 50-mile range. As my background is anything BUT automotive or electrical, I was very fortunate to discover Electric Vehicles of America, based in New Hampshire, and the decades of experience and expertise in electric conversion they offer. As I approach 2 years and 9000 miles with my EV, I am happy to add my positive testimony to their list. And I can think of few things as empowering as building my own car and being able to profoundly reduce my oil consumption.
As an 'early adopter,' it’s been an interesting couple of years. Acceptance of the car has been nearly 100%. If I open the hood in town, it could be an hour before I get it shut again. It seems people are hungry for alternatives and good news, in general. The car has been well-received in shows and competitions, made the front page of the local Sunday newspaper and recently the TV news. It performed well this year winning awards at Penn State’s '21st Century Automotive Challenge.' I have even been asked to speak publicly at churches and schools about my electric car. What a trip!
Most converters seem eager to do it again and I'm no different. At the moment, there is a 1992 Mazda Miata in my garage well on its way to becoming electrified for someone else - this time with an AC motor and lithium-ion batteries. Based on similar conversions from others in the EV community, I estimate an 80-mile range and a top speed of more than 100 mph. And of course, the buyer will also enjoy heat and air conditioning.
To further 'clean' my ride, I have begun acquiring photovoltaic solar panels: I simply can’t think of a better marriage of two technologies. I've also been chronicling my EV adventures at www.ampREVOLT.com."