Washington could soon host the world's most comprehensive – and quirkiest – electric vehicle museum. The Historic Electric Vehicle Foundation, based in Port Townsend, WA, wants to build the world's first International Electric Vehicle Museum, displaying plug-in vehicles from around the world.
The Foundation has been set up to educate the public on the story of EVs, all the way from the late nineteenth century to beyond the early twenty-first century. Its founder, Roderick Wilde, has been obsessed with EVs since 1993 when he earned the the nickname "Wildman." That year, he entered the first EV race held at Phoenix International Raceways. His converted electric Mazda was short on safety equipment – saving his own life took his attention off winning the race and he had to settle for second place - but he was hooked.
Founder Roderick 'Wildman' Wilde has been obsessed with EVs since 1993.
Wilde thinks that the time is right for a museum like this. For the past 20 years, he's been dedicated to promoting electric vehicles as a "viable part of our transportation mix." He's been featured in the Wall Street Journal front page and has made appearances on two Discovery Channel TV shows. He runs two businesses in Sequim, WA, focused on EVs – one selling parts and the other dealing in vintage electric vehicles like golf cars and and the electric "people movers" manufactured long ago by Harley-Davidson.
For a taste of what the museum could look like, check out the foundations' photo gallery to view EVs such as the 1888 Flocken Electrowagen (which looks like a horse and buggy cart). The Auto Red Bug, a 1912 commercial truck, and the Elwell Parker baggage tug are owned by Bob Olfather, the museum's archivist. In the photo above, Wilde is standing next to a 1902 electric Studebaker owned by Don Robertson of Gold King Mine in Jerome, AZ (seated to the left).
The foundation will be using crowd funding site Indiegogo for financial support for its museum. The idea is to follow the lead set by the Tesla Science Center in fundraising through Indiegogo. The Tesla Science Center honors Nikola Tesla's last laboratory and property in Wardenclyffe, NY.
Other places where there is a museum-like EV space include the Dezer Collection's Electric Vehicle Museum and temporary exhibits at places like the LeMay Museum.