Electric Cars Buzz Through Cape Girardeau

Sep 28, 2012

CAPE GIRARDEAU, MO (KRCU) - The second annual Electric Car Conversion Convention began this Thursday in Cape Girardeau.

Enthusiasts from across the globe gathered in the Show Me Center to show off their battery operated cars, trucks, and even boats.

According to convention producers, they expect to have forty-five cars on display this year: twice the turnout of last year.

Jack Rickard is the producer of the convention. He says they expect to see nearly 200 people from 12 countries.

While the convention offers the car owners a chance to show their work to the public, Rickard says most of them come simply to share ideas.

“They come here to see each other and see each other’s cars," Rickard said. "That’s where most of the value is. But along the way we give them some presentations on the techniques and the components and the procedures to produce the best electric car they can. And that’s what they’re all about.”

Rickard says he believes electric cars are the “future of transportation.”

Michel Bertrand traveled from Montreal, Canada to display his 1988 Porsche at the convention. He says as a car enthusiast, it was easy to get “hooked” on the techniques behind electric conversions. According to Bertrand, the conventions are about more than just showing off cars.

“We get to gather at certain places and talk shop with the people that are our peers. So we’re all talking the same language and we’re learning stuff as we go,” Bertrand said.

After converting two personal vehicles to electric, Bertrand says it is “impossible to imagine” going back to gas. He hauled his Porsche to Cape Girardeau with an electric truck.

Thursday’s events included international speakers from the electric vehicle community and informational booths from conversion shops that allowed owners to trade technology and ideas.

The convention continues Friday with a drag race at the Cape Girardeau airport and a car show in Capaha Park Saturday.