With what feels like an interminable wait to endure till the eventual delivery of our new Chevy Volt one thing I decided to do was to see what kind of groups might be around where people interested in electric vehicles might be sharing experiences and information. After a little Google searching I found a small website for the Knoxville Electric Vehicle Association (KEVA). This group meets once a month and I decided to go to see what it is all about. Their meetings are open to all comers.
It was a small group of about 5 or 6 people with varying interests in electric vehicles. The better part of the group had at one time or another either built or converted their own electric vehicle. Way beyond my skill set! The fun part was seeing one members recent project, a Morris Minor 1000 which had been restored and converted to electric power.
I am wishing now I had grabbed a photo of the car with all doors closed for a better look at it, but I was more focused on the electric conversion at the time. This conversion was done by KEVA member Mark Bishop (I hope I remembered his name correctly) who started with a rather run-down and rusted car. He told us the car will run at normal highway speeds quite easily and he has had it running as fast as 82mph at one point. The electric range for the car is roughly 70 miles. More than the Volt and on par with what some owners report their Nissan Leafs give in real world use. Pretty impressive.
I was truly impressed with the workmanship on the whole restoration and conversion. From the outside you would never guess this car was converted to electric propulsion and the craftsmanship under the hood was beautiful. It was really cool though, when he pulled it out of the parking spot and it rolled away, you couldn’t hear anything at all except the tires rolling on the asphalt surface of the parking lot. It was like it was coasting away… but it wasn’t!
I am glad I took some time to visit with the people at the Knoxville Electric Vehicle Association. I met some nice people, learned a few things and had fun. I look forward to going back to a future meeting.
The Knoxville Electric Vehicle Association is a chapter of the national Electric Auto Association (EAA). The EAA is a non-profit educational organization formed in 1967 in San Jose, California to promote the widespread adoption of Electric Vehicles.