A family project turned into an automotive environmental initiative for one Vancouver entrepreneur.
Kits Eyecare Ltd. CEO Roger Hardy has converted a 1991 Humvee into a fully electric vehicle, complete with a 75-kilowatt Tesla battery sealed in an aluminum case.
He purchased the truck from a U.S. military auction.
High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicles (Humvees) were originally primarily used by the American military in the early 1990s during the Gulf War. The bulky diesel-powered transports inspired the consumer-friendly Hummer line for the civilian market.
The labour of love, with help from Hardy's young son, took a year to complete. He also needed a hand from some local experts for the complex conversion to electric.
While Humvees are known for their imposing racket, his revamped model is virtually silent.
"It's funny how fast people get that it's electric; there's no real sound to it. They get that it's electric very fast and they don't tend to be as irate as I think they were with the diesel," remarks Hardy.
According to Hardy, as concerns over vehicle emissions rise and gas prices continue to spike, auto consumers are going green now more than ever.
"I think people are going to be converting everything, all old cars will go electric. You get a million miles out of these engines," he says.
A recent report shows over 54,400 electric vehicles are on B.C. roads, resulting in roughly 216,000 tonnes of reduced emissions a year.
Research indicates there could be more than 2.5 million zero-emission vehicles in the province by 2040, requiring about 400 fast-charging sites. As of December 2020, B.C. had 205 charging sites completed or started.