Ashton Stark was too young to drive when media caught wind of his coup back in 2010, but the Oregon teenager had figured out how to combine nine golf-cart batteries with a motorized shaft and transform the trusty old Beetle into an electric car. He told National Public Radio his electric vehicle could reach speeds of 45 miles per hour with a full charge and said, “You can convert almost any lightweight vehicle to electric. VWs and Porches work the best for electric, though.”
Stark rigged up the vehicle with an onboard computer to gather performance data, but I didn’t find any update on his findings. Still, I am struck by this young man’s green thinking and innovative tinkering. Ingenuity, a few thousand dollars, and an old Beetle turned a high school project into a clever DIY scheme.
If more do-it-yourselfers started engineering low-cost electric cars, the future of affordable, lower impact vehicles might actually start bringing them, and other kinds of transportation solutions, within reach of people without deep pockets.