STEVE LOUGH: Seattle, WA
Brings electric cars to his family's truck dealership and serves as EV association president
"I guess it all started for me when my dad gave me an electric train set, at age 6, which led me to teach myself basic DC circuits. Or did it start in High School with the teacher who taught Electronics and got all his students FCC Ham Radio Licenses? Or maybe it was as an electronics teacher myself, in front of a classroom full of young Army recruits at Ft. Monmouth, N.J. during the Vietnam War?
Whenever it started, by the fall of 1979 at the end of the last Gas Crisis, I was ready to bring our family’s GM Truck Dealership into the age of the Electric Cars. That year we offered a line of electric cars from a little company in New England by the name of US Electricar, for sale next to that year’s V8 suburbans.
In early 1981 I joined the Seattle EV Association (SEVA) and was soon voted in as their President, whereupon we started to 'Educate, Demonstrate, and Proliferate' the use of EVs through rallies, long distance EV Contests, EV Car Shows, Public Speaking, and basically teaching the benefits of electric cars to anyone who would listen. Today, SEVA is the largest of all the Electric Auto Association Chapters, and very active in state-wide EV matters.
My favorite electric car to date was my 'ION-1,' since I didn’t buy it but built it, in 1981. It was to be the calling card for a new 'Eco Motion Electric Cars' business: 48 Kw, 20 lead acid batteries, 40 freeway miles per charge, and 75 mph. However, with changes in the White House and low oil prices at the time, the dream of an EV business ran out of juice and I sold the car in 1992 for half of my investment.
But later I saw the trailer to 'Who Killed the Electric Car?' and after watching Chelsea Sexton fight back tears speaking at the mock funeral for the EV1, I couldn’t seem to hold back my own. I later met Chelsea at an EV event and I asked her, 'are you the gal who brought me to tears when I watched the trailer for "Who Killed the Electric Car?" on the Web?' She gave me a hug, and we’ve been good friends and EV Comrades ever since.
That movie, the EV Associations like ours, their members, and the many people who have converted and built their own electric cars have kept the dream of the Electrification of Transportation alive these many years. I am grateful, and thank my lucky American electrons that I have been a small part of this movement."