Boise man shows off passion for electric cars by building his own

Boise man shows off passion for electric cars by building his own

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by Stephanie Zepelin

Bio | Email | Follow: @ktvbstephanie

KTVB.COM

Posted on May 13, 2012 at 3:15 PM

BOISE -- A 50-year-old Austin-Healey Sprite was headed straight for the junkyard. Mark Hayes of Boise had other plans for the rusted-out car.

"I decided I wanted to combine two of my big interests growing up," said Hayes. "And one was classic old cars and the other was electric cars."

Hayes first got interested in electric cars during the 1970s gas crisis. This isn't just a way of saving gas, it's his passion. He works on it whenever he has a few spare hours.

"I tried to design the stripes so it looked like my mustache," Hayes said of the car's paint job. "They say that pet owners take after their pets. Well, I wanted to have my car take after me."

He's happy to share his passion with other people who stop him to get a better look at the car.

"I love people learning that electric is an option," he said.

He's especially happy when the price at the pump goes up.

"It's nice to go by the gas stations and just wave and go on by and smile," Hayes said.

The paint job isn't the only reason he calls the car 'Little Go Green.'

"I've been driving (it) about three and a half years and put about 20,000 miles on it with no gas."

The car was going to be red, but Hayes said for such a small, efficient car, only one color would do.

"After I got it built up in electric, I started thinking, 'Well, green would be a nice color,'" he said. "Traditionally, green is considered an unlucky color for cars, for racing," Hayes said. "But I think green has a different meaning now."

Hayes is working on creating another electric car for his wife. He says it takes between $6,000 and $20,000 to convert a car to electric. He can drive about 40 miles per charge in the Little Go Green.

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