Photo by Benjamin Hager

Colin Stanley of Casa View likes hot rods. He’s always had an affinity for cars, but as an architect, he is drawn to “disruptive technologies.” That is, technology that changes the way everything is done in a discipline. And for automobiles, the disruptive technology is the electric car.

Stanley is making plans to build an electric car, and he is a finalist in a contest to win $20,000 toward creating the car he is designing. Stanley’s plans call for a kit car, made of fiberglass.

“It’s extremely important for an electric car to be lightweight,” he says. For design inspiration, he’s looking to the 1950 Mercury, which has always been his favorite hotrod.

“I want to address the hotrod community and demonstrate to them that the electric vehicles are a viable alternative to the hotrod hobby in the future,” he says. The ideal forms of transportation are foot and bicycle, Stanley says. “But I have this love of automobiles, and I would like to see them go cleaner.”

He hopes his project will get people involved and excited about electric car technology. The $20,000 contest is through, a website hosted by a couple of guys who post a video every week related to converting vehicles to electric. was expected to announce a contest winner during an electric car convention in Missouri Sept. 24. But even if Stanley doesn’t win the money, he’s still building the car.

“It will just take longer,” he says. “I was on a build plan of a year and a half, and it will take about two or two and a half years to build it myself.”

That would be OK, though, because the battery technology for electric cars is constantly improving and getting cheaper, the way iPods once sold for $400 and later generations were better and less expensive. “It’s a very exciting time for this technology,” he says.

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