Silicon Valley’s role in the electric vehicle revolution

A recent Scientific American article, San Jose’s Electric Car Revolution, was disappointing because it only covered the work of Coulomb Technologies. While they’re doing wonderful things, Silicon Valley and the San Francisco Bay area has so much more electric vehicle activity happening than just Coulomb Technologies and Tesla Motors (the other local EV star).

This is Silicon Valley, home to many high technology developments in software and electronics. It’s natural, then, for Silicon Valley to have a role in electrifying transportation.  Silicon Valley doesn’t have much history of building vehicles, other than the NUMI plant in Fremont.  But the local expertise in electronics and software can, and is, translate into developing the innards of electric vehicles.

The following is a non-comprehensive list of local companies doing work related to electric vehicles. The companies are of all sizes from small conversion shops to a large defense contractor. I wish to credit the members of the local Electric Auto Association chapter for some assistance. It’s worth noting, according to the former EAA historian, that the Silicon Valley Chapter was the founding Chapter of the EAA, although then it was known as the Santa Clara Chapter. The EAA has a long history of publicizing knowledge of electric vehicles, and many members have done their own electric vehicle conversions. The EAA co-founded Plug-in America, one of the principle organizations lobbying for plug-in hybrid vehicles. The other EAA has something to do with airplanes.

Some of these companies are startups being incubated at the Environmental Business Cluster in San Jose.

  • EV CONVERSIONS
    • eeVee Motors – EV conversion shop specializing in converting Honda Civic’s.
    • Green Rides – Electric vehicle dealer selling a range of NEV’s as well as EV conversion of a Spyder replica.
    • Electro-Automotive – Electric car conversion kits, parts, training, and books.
    • ElectraDrive – Designers of an electric vehicle conversion kit meant for EV conversion shops.
    • Green Gears – PHEV (plug-in hybrid electric vehicle) conversions
    • Luscious Garage – PHEV (plug-in hybrid electric vehicle) conversions and service
    • 3Prong Power, Inc. – PHEV (plug-in hybrid electric vehicle) development and service
    • Thunderstruck Motors – An R&D and manufacturing company selling electric vehicles, performing electric vehicle conversion, and selling electric vehicle parts.
  • EV COMPONENTS
    • Plug-In Supply Inc. – PHEV (plug-in hybrid electric vehicle) conversion components
    • OEMtek Inc. –  PHEV (plug-in hybrid electric vehicle) conversion kits for Toyota Prius and Ford Escape
    • Atieva – Designing battery pack monitoring circuitry, and aiming to develop a range of basic components for EV’s. (Tesla Alum Takes on Battery Tech at Startup Atieva)
  • EV MOTORCYCLES AND SCOOTERS
    • Mission Motors – Developers of the fastest production electric motorcycle in the world.
    • Electric Motorsport – Long term experience in electric motorcycles, and recently launched the GPR-S production electric motorcycle.
    • GreenEMotor – Electric scooters
    • Lightning Motors – Pre-launch company developing a range of electric scooters and motorcycles.
  • EV CARS
    • Tesla Motors – Designer of a rather fast sports car based on the Lotus Elise.
    • WrightSpeed – Designer of a rather fast sports car based on the Ariel Atom.
    • SABA Motors – Progressive XPrize contestant developing green performance vehicles
  • EV CAR-LIKE
    • Green Vehicles (Triac etc) – EV developer, manufacturer and supplier. They’re developing a range of three wheeled EV’s.
    • ZAP – Designer and seller of a range of electric vehicles from bicycles up to three wheel car-like vehicles.
  • EV BICYCLES
    • Ultra Motor (A2B) – Designer of a rugged high quality electric bicycle
    • ElectroRide – Distributor of a wide range of electric bicycles, recumbents, conversion kits and batteries.
  • OTHER EV’s
    • Kleenspeed – EV Race vehicle R&D based at Ames Field???
    • Proterra – Developing drive systems and other components for electric powered transit bus’s.
    • BAE Systems – The world’s third largest defense contractor – converts military vehicles to Hybrid
  • EV INFRASTRUCTURE
    • Project Better Place (Wikipedia) – Designer of a fast swap battery exchange system meant to facilitate electric vehicle infrastructure.
    • Couloumb Technologies – Designers of electric vehicle charging stations.
  • OTHER

 

About David Herron

David Herron is a writer and software engineer living in Silicon Valley. He primarily writes about electric vehicles, clean energy systems, climate change, peak oil and related issues. When not writing he indulges in software projects and is sometimes employed as a software engineer. David has written for sites like PlugInCars and TorqueNews, and worked for companies like Sun Microsystems and Yahoo.

About David Herron

David Herron is a writer and software engineer living in Silicon Valley. He primarily writes about electric vehicles, clean energy systems, climate change, peak oil and related issues. When not writing he indulges in software projects and is sometimes employed as a software engineer. David has written for sites like PlugInCars and TorqueNews, and worked for companies like Sun Microsystems and Yahoo.

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