How I spent 2019: trying (and mostly failing) to become a small-batch EV carmaker.

Back in 2019, when the world was still high-fiving and handshaking, and social distancing was simply an introvert’s option, I took some time away from my usual web/tech startup world to explore a different startup: a retro EV automobile conversion business. I was far from the first person to consider this, let alone do it, but I felt that the market moment was still early enough to be interesting-enough to explore.

The R&D journey took me from Seattle to Southern California and then all the way to Stuttgart, Germany, before I decided to prove to myself I should actually be converting old cars to electric by…converting an old car to electric (using someone else’s kit). So I did just that (with a lot of adult supervision from Jancsi):


That was one hell of a technical MVP — so much so that it still isn’t quite finished today. 🙄

Through the first half of 2019, I published an email newsletter that I distributed mostly to friends and few interested tech industry colleagues. I’m going to republish those emails here and hope they help serve as a bit of a travelogue by a would-be first-time CEO, as well as a solid primer on the state of the “restomod” electric vehicle conversion landscape.

Is this the laziest way possible to have instant content for Medium, or just clever repackaging? I’m not going to figure out which one it is, and instead just publish the damned things. I hope you get something from following along.

Set your wayback machine for December 2018 — that’s the original first installment. Coming soon.



Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store
Matt Shobe

Matt Shobe


Concerned citizen. EV, downhill ski, general aviation enthusiast. Not a historical re-enactor, but wouldn't mind timeshare on a time machine.