August 2003, Show and Tell in San Jose

reikiman's picture

The local chapter of the Electric Automobile Association ( regularly holds events where they gather electric vehicles in a public place, place out flyers and the like, and talk to whoever goes by. In August 2003 I got to be part of one of these events, bringing my big scooter (EVT 4000).


The venue was the Tech Museum of Innovation in downtown San Jose, and it was the same weekend as the San Jose Jazz festival. This meant the downtown was absolutely bonkers with exhibits all over the place and a ton of people all over. You might think that would be good, but the people were generally too busy with the music to talk with us. The Tech Museum specifically invited us because of some environmental tie-in that weekend, representatives from the Air Quality Management District were also on hand with information about air quality.

Most of the people brought full-size vehicles ("cars"), since they are all "Electric Automobile" enthusiasts. They were willing to let me be there with my "small" EV. The full size EV's were kept on the sidewalk in front of the museum while, for the first part of the first day they had the small EV's in the lobby as you can see here.

Let me tell you, it was a real trip rolling my scooter through the front door to a museum to put it on display. But here it is, picture proof that I was there with my trusty little scooter.

Next to it are two vehicles built by Robert Lange. The near one is a dragster ( and the other a motorcycle ( Both are handbuilt with shining stainless steel, and beauties to behold. He uses solar panels to charge his vehicles.


The next vehicle to show is an Auranthetic. The Auranthetics were specifically built to be electric. It's a small mini-bike, about the same size as my EVT scooter. It as 24 volts worth of batteries. The Auranthetics were made and imported to the U.S. during the 1970's. Detailed information about the vehicles innards are here.


An electric Porsche 914. For some reason these have been popular cars to convert to electric.


And a Chevy Blazer. Notice on the front grill the grey things. Each of these are 220 volt electrical outlets. This lets the owner connect up multiple chargers each to a 220 volt outlet, presumably for quicker charging. (


Here we have a Tropica ( These were purpose-built as EV's from the ground up in an electric vehicle incubator project that had operated in Alameda CA for awhile. Only a small number of these were ever built.

Steve, the owner, the fellow in the green shirt above, uses this as his daily driver car. He says he couldn't stand to see something like this vehicle locked up in a garage all the time.

segway_0.jpgThis Segway is owned by the Tech Museum. Every weekend they offer demonstration rides on the Segway, and we talked the museum staff into bringing it out on the sidewalk for awhile in the afternoon.

It's a really cool vehicle, but then I've already said that.

Overall it was nice to spend the weekend talking with the public about Electric Vehicles.

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