HEVF Press Releases


Six Significant Additions to Route 66 Electric Vehicle Museum

July 12th 2017. Kingman, AZ – 

The Historic Electric Vehicle Foundation has recently added six new vehicles of significance to it’s Route 66 Electric Vehicle Museum located in the Powerhouse Building on Route 66 in Kingman, Arizona. Two more Custer vehicles were added giving the museum one of the largest Custer displays anywhere in the world according to our HEVF Curator, Larry Fisher. One more Custer from Larry’s collection will be coming soon. One is a Custer “Cootie” Car. This tiny EV is the smallest known licensed electric vehicle ever made. The license plate is wider than the body of the car. In the early 1920s these cars could be seen on the streets of New York City and Washington DC. Levitt Luzern Custer, the creator, was good friends with another Dayton Ohio inventor named Orville Wright. Orville and his brother Wilbur shared a passion for flight. Levitt was an avid balloonist. His first patented invention was the Statoscope which determined whether a lighter than air vehicle was ascending or descending. You can read more about Custer on our web page under Aquisitions and Arrivals, http://www.hevf.org/acquisitions The other Custer addition was an additional Custer Chair of another period.

The museum also received a bright red 1993 Danish built City-El donated by Karl Knapp of Palo Alto, California, According to Karl it could be the only surviving all original Danish Eltrans1 A/S City-El in the U.S. City-El are now manufactured in Germany by CityCom GmbH. Another City-El will be coming soon. It is being donated by Sara Yerkes, wife of the late Bill Yerkes who some have referred to as the Henry Ford of Photovoltaics. 

Two more U.S. made electric micro cars were also added to the museum from the Larry Fisher collection. The museum now has the largest collection of U.S. manufactured electric micro cars anywhere on the planet. One is white 1954 Autoette. This vehicle was quite popular back in the day. The August 11th 1954 edition of “People Today” stated that Perry Como called it “The greatest thing since sliced bread”. For you younger folks out there this was a popular saying back then here in the U.S. Other notable owners of the Autoette brand included Bing Crosby, Bob Hope, Lucille Ball, and her husband Desi Arnez, Groucho Marx, President Dwight Eisenhower. Other owners included band leader Phil Harris, economist Bernard Baruch and millionaire Lawrence Rockefeller. This particular Autoette Cruise About was in the 2012 David Chase movie “Not Fade Away” and also featured with Felicia Day in the 2012 Microsoft X-Box advertisement.

The other micro car addition is 1958 Mobilette. Mobilette was founded originally by Harry Bennison in 1948 and the company was named Bennison Electric Car Sales & Service. The 1956 Mobilette is of significance as it is one of the first to bear the name Mobilette as Harry changed the name of his company in 1956 to Mobilette Sales & Service. This particular Mobilette was also in the David Chase movie as was another acquisition. A 1953 Autoette that was also in the movie was added to the collection but it is not in the museum at the moment as it is in for restoration. It is unique in that it has a wheelchair access door on the right side. Another recent acquisition installed on July 11th is a teal colored 2000 Corbin Sparrow number 32 donated by Yvette Subramanian of Orinda, California. It just crossed Route 66 from “Dream Machines” a custom body and paint shop located conveniently across the street from the museum. It received a glistening fresh coat of of the original teal blue paint due to some minor body damage and scratches.  

Our Historic Electric Vehicle Foundation is currently holding a raffle to raise funds for the museum. Earlier this year an electric powered horseless carriage was donated to our foundation. Since it did not fit our criteria to be included in our Route 66 Electric Vehicle Museum collection we decided to raffle it off. It was donated to help our museum and this raffle will certainly accomplish that. The proceeds will go to improving displays in the museum and for restorations of donated vehicles. We are an all volunteer organization with no salaried employees so 100% goes to making the museum a more vibrant and educational experience. The horseless carriage is currently being upgraded to appear similar in style to a 1903 Columbia Electric. We are also putting in a larger motor and modern Lithium Ion batteries. Other refinements include brass period carriage lamps upgraded to LED lighting from the original Kerosene. It will also have new fenders and a period burgundy paint job. Check out our HEVF Facebook page for progress on this project. https://www.facebook.com/HEVForg or go to our web site at www.hevf.org.


Roderick Wilde, Executive Director



World’s Fastest Electric Car in Route 66 Electric Vehicle Museum



September 23rd, 2015 – Kingman, AZ – Recent developments such as the Tesla models S and P90D, and ground shattering technological advancements facilitated by the efforts of the National Electric Drag Racing Association, is changing the dull and boring perception of electric vehicles.  Quite to the contrary, these machines are really starting to electrify our imaginations. For anyone who still doubts the potential of this very new – and very old – technology, let the Buckeye Bullet 2.5 electric streamliner jump start your awareness to the power of battery powered transportation. This streamliner was built and first raced in 2009 by students at The Ohio State University. It set two international F.I.A. (Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile) records in 2010; the mile record of 307.666 mph (495.140 km/hr) and the kilometer record of 307.905 mph (495.526 km/hr), currently making it fastest electric car in the world under international regulations. Overall, the car reached a top speed that exceeded 321 mph.The Buckeye Bullet 2.5 is currently on loan from the Wally Parks National Hot Rod Association Motorsports Museum in Pomona, CA with permission of the owner, The Ohio State University, at the Route 66 Electric Vehicle Museum located in the Historic Powerhouse Visitor Center in Kingman, AZ.  This brings the Museum’s span of electric vehicle history and development to 100 years, from 1909 to 2009.

In addition to the Buckeye Bullet 2.5, there have been many new additions to the Route 66 Electric Vehicle Museum over the last year, pushing it to near capacity. Other artifacts include several electric micro cars, Willie Nelson’s classic Rolls Royce style golf cart with a wet bar, and “Gone Postal”, an all-wheel drive drag racing postal van from the Discovery Channel pilot tilted “Sucking Amps”.

The Foundation is now turning its attention to creating a richer experience for Museum guests.  In the coming months, a major fund-raiser will be initiated to enhance exhibits with enlarged period photograph prints on the museum’s massive wall space.  Plans are in place for full time docent to explain the exhibits and engage museum guests with a personal experience.  In addition, the Foundation seeks to upgrade the theater space and feature pertinent videos to complement the electric vehicle exhibits.

“We want our guests from around the world to leave wishing to return to see what is new and exciting on their next visit” says Foundation Executive Director Roderick Wilde. After a year, visitors to the exhibit already represent all 50 U.S. states and some 70 countries stretching across the globe.

On October 16, the Route 66 Electric Vehicle Museum will be keep doors open until 7 pm in the evening for a special welcoming of The 2nd Annual National Route 66 Motor Tour. Jointly hosted by the Kingman Visitor Center, Route 66 Association of Kingman, and Historic Route 66 Association of Arizona, the reception will be open to the public.  Everyone is welcome to mingle with tour participants and see the Buckeye Bullet 2.5 and entire collection of electric vehicles.



Roderick Wilde, Executive Director


Historic Electric Vehicle Foundation to Support Route 66 Festival
Carlsborg, WA – Janurary 28th, 2014 – The Historic Electric Vehicle Foundation, HEVF, has been invited to participate in the Route 66 International Festival, http://kingman66fest.com in Kingman, Arizona on August 14th through the 17th. After reviewing the information on the festival the HEVF Board of Directors voted unanimously to not only attend, but to support the concept of using Route 66 as the core of America’s First National Electric Highway. According to Roderick Wilde, Executive Director of HEVF, it was the theme that got their attention, “Crossroads of the Past and Future” but it was the conferences and exhibits that clinched the deal. The conferences include:
  • Project to Transform ROUTE 66 into America’s First Electric Highway
  • Presentation about the installation of charging stations along the Mother Road
  • History of Electric and Alternative Energy Vehicles in America

According to Wilde the festival will give HEVF an opportunity to showcase their foundation and their goal of building the world’s first International Electric Vehicle Museum. The foundation will be bringing approximately a half dozen electric vehicles of historical significance to the festival for exhibition. These will include a 1930 Detroit Electric, a 1960 Electric Shopper, a 1961 Trident, and the World’s first electric Street Rod, a 1929 Ford Roadster which has been featured in several magazines and international car shows. Also a 400 mile range EV2, the creation of HEVF’s Marketing Director, John Wayland, who will be driving it from Oregon to the festival. There also will be more EVs to be announced later. You can check the web site of the Historic Electric Vehicle Foundation, www.hevf.org, or their Facebook page

Roderick Wilde, Executive Director







1960 Electric Shopper in upcoming  California Automobile Museum Exhibit

Carlsborg, WA – Janurary 26th, 2014 – A 1960  “Electric Shopper” electric micro car owned by Roderick Wilde, Executive  Director of the Historic Electric Vehicle Foundation, www.hevf.org will be the first  vehicle you see when you enter the California Automobile Museum’s new exhibit  titled: “It’s Electrifying! Alternative Fuel Vehicles in California” which  will run from February 15th through June 15th”. The museum is located at 2200  Front Street in Sacramento, California. For further information on the exhibit  or the museum please visit their web site, http://www.calautomuseum.org/

The “Electric Shopper” was an electric vehicle built  by The Electric Car Company of California which was formed in 1951 in Long  Beach. The model FG-75 fiberglass “Electric Shopper” debuted in 1960 and only  lasted until 1962 when the company sold.  Mr. Wilde’s “Electric Shopper” is  currently on display at the Petersen Automotive Museum in Los Angeles,  California in a show titled “Fins: Form without Function” which ends February  2nd.  It just happens to be the only electric vehicle in the show. Leslie  Mark Kendall, Curator of the Petersen stated: “the  Shopper continues to be a hit and we could not be more delighted to have it.”

Roderick Wilde, Executive Director