Charlton Jones of Washington, Mo. converted a 1974 Porsche 914 into an electric car.
Jeffrey Tomich - STLtoday
- Dec. 02, 2008
Maybe I should convert my own car instead of waiting for the automakers... -- Ed
WASHINGTON, Mo. Charlton Jones is hopeful and skeptical that beleaguered General Motors Corp. can deliver its plug-in electric hybrid, the Volt, in 2010.
The retired college professor is on an unofficial waiting list to buy the car. But he's not depending on GM to kick the gasoline habit.
"If GM had been in charge in 1492, we'd still be waiting at the docks," he said.
The 68-year-old Jones is among four co-founders of the Gateway Electric Vehicle Club a small but impassioned platoon of St. Louis area do-it-yourselfers hoping to jump-start the electric car movement in the Midwest.
The club formed in April at the encouragement of the national Electric Auto Association. The Gateway club is one of at least 50 in the United States.
Today, local membership is up to 29 and interest remains strong even though gasoline prices have tumbled to the lowest level in years. Most members of the group don't own electric cars. Some have built their own or are in the process of doing so. Others drive Toyota Prius gasoline-electric hybrid cars.
Jones bought a red 1974 Porsche 914 on eBay for $5,000 and spent another $19,000 transforming it to run on electrons instead of petroleum, though electric vehicles can be transformed for much less. The makeover took a year, and he did... [Read More]