2007 will see a lot of electric vehicles coming to market (obviously, there are some available today), but for an entire network of people in Marin County, California, electric cars come from the garage out back, not the showroom floor.
At least one of the vehicles discussed in this article in the Marin Independent Journal – the Datsun White Lighting EV – has been featured here on AutoblogGreen, but I never put it together that there are so many EV enthusiasts in one area of California. Putting these sorts of stories out is one reason why I pray local media never goes loses its place in our culture.
Anyway, in and around Marin County there are people who drive speedy electric motorcycles or the VoltsRabbit. Back when Chuck Hursch converted his VW Rabbit to run on pure electricity a dozen years ago the only EV option was one you built yourself. The EV hackers described in the piece are using all sorts of unusual technologies, like rare earth magnets (which will also be in the upcoming Smart EV) or scavenging parts from electric forklifts. The DIY attitude still lives in Marin County, even as ZENN, Tesla, Zap! and other try to bring EVs to life in factories. Who says you can't work on cars anymore?