Would you guess this classic car is an electric vehicle?

July 16th, 2012 Posted in Electric Vehicles

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.

Morris Minor 1000

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.


  1. I am a member of the Las Vegas electric vehicle assoc. I have a 1965 Mustang fastback I have converted to all electric and have been looking for others that have done classic cars. If you check the January edition of Current events you will see some pictures and info on page 16. The facebook page is titled SPARKEY. Great job on their project and I am hoping to see more. Thanks for bringing it to our attention.
    Larry G.

  2. jim steil says:

    Hi – would you mind if I used a pic or two of your Morris for my website? I am starting a business up here in Canada converting classic cars to electric.

    Jim Steil
    GoElectric Group

    • Gary says:

      Hi Jim, I don’t mind personally but I should again point out that the vehicle belongs to a member of the Knoxville Electric Vehicle Association (KEVA), Mr. Mark Bishop. If you want to be careful not to offend the owner you might want to try and find him through KEVA. I haven’t been to their meetings lately and don’t have a personal connection with Mark so you’d need to start with the KEVA website to try and reach him.

      I’m glad you found my site and like the content, though a bit embarrassed that I haven’t posted in some time now. Good luck with your EV conversion business. Send me a link if you have a website!

    • Jean Blackstock says:

      I am very interested in having a car I own converted into an electric vehicle and am wondering if you could give me a way of contacting you.

      • Gary says:

        Hi Jean,

        You just did contact me! 🙂 I don’t personally work on EV conversions so I wouldn’t be able to help you. If you were trying to reach others who’ve commented on this post I could send your contact info their way giving them the option to respond if they choose to. I wouldn’t want to give out their contact info, or yours, publicly.

        Thanks for reading!

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