State of Charge: Unplugging the Future of EV-Retrofit at the Colorado School of Mines

SOC Unplugs the Future of EV-Retrofit

The second annual State of Charge event was abuzz with excitement as EV conversion enthusiasts from all over the country gathered in Golden, Colorado, just outside of Denver, during the first week of August at the Colorado School of Mines. This educational conference for performance EV conversions featured various activities, or “events within the event,” including hands-on training, keynotes and presentations, EV showcases, and even an after-party, also known as the burnout session. This combination made for a fantastic event. The edition witnessed significant growth in attendees and, more importantly, substantial support from the EV conversion industry with most, if not all, key industry players attending to deliver insightful presentations.

 State of Charge provided an amazing opportunity to learn about the latest EV technology and connect with other people passionate about electric vehicles from all over the country and even the world…

Scalar Technologies brought its SCR1—the first all-electric amateur touring race car. In the engine bay sits an Hypercraft 65-kWh pack feeding an 800V Hypercraft Stealth EV245 kW (328 hp) through a mighty Cascadia Motion CM200DZ inverter.
EVBG Editor Jerome Andre shared his visionary insights into the future of the industry, shedding light on the global EV conversion market.

The event kicked off with the optional Legacy EV Fundamentals Certification Bootcamp, a comprehensive, four-day, in-person training course that taught participants the principles of EV systems. Learners gained hands-on experience in mounting, wiring, programming, commissioning, tuning, and troubleshooting various EV systems using fully functional EV training benches.

The first day of the training program was a whirlwind, as participants learned about the different components of an EV system, from the battery to the motor to the controller. Trainees also had the opportunity to practice their skills on complete systems mounted on custom training benches. By the end of the training, they were all confident that they could seriously consider converting a gas-powered car to electric power.

Keynotes and Presentations

Participants delved into the challenges and opportunities of the EV conversion industry and heard from experts in the field, including Luis Morales, director of vehicle technology at SEMA. Luis delivered the day-one keynote address on the future of EV technology, making intriguing predictions about how EVs will reshape the aftermarket industry.

The audience was also glad to hear Jerome Andre, editor of EV Builder’s Guide, deliver the day-two keynote about the future of the conversion industry, with insights into the retrofit markets in the US, Europe, the UK, and Australia. This keynote was particularly eye-opening, inspiring some members of the audience to consider transitioning from their current fields of work to the conversion trade, while industry leaders applauded his call for the industry to aim toward OEM-level standards in fabrication and the emphasis on safety in our industry.

The event also featured a captivating selection of presentations, ranging from the business of EV conversion by brothers Daniel and James Fleischman from Flash Drive Motors to incredibly insightful information about battery chemistries and thermal runaway offered by Ezra Grossinger from the local company, Latent Heat Solutions. Several builders also gave detailed talks about their projects during the “Behind the Build” sessions, each more fascinating than the last. However, our favorite presentation goes to Karen Salvaggio, VP of Scorpion EV, who recounted her fabulous adventures as a Cobra racing driver since the ’70s—and she is still driving her Cobras today!

Terry Breheny, the organizer, welcomed EV owners and builders to join together for some laid-back rubber-burning fun, as demonstrated here by Kevin Erickson.

Another equally engaging presentation was on EV Safety, delivered by two first responders, Captain Chris Wells of South Metro Fire Rescue and Lieutenant Pat Dailey of West Metro Fire Rescue, who is also the InspireEV honcho. We will be working with them soon to share some of their knowledge.

The presentations concluded with the official launch of EVTec, which covers upcoming training standards. Legacy EV President Mavrick Knoles and Hypercraft VP of Direct Sales Kirk Miller introduced the project, as detailed in the dedicated sidebar.

We all left the State of Charge event feeling inspired and motivated to get even more involved in the EV conversion world and community. This makes SoC a must-visit event next year.

Check out @lavidavolta on YouTube for a video recap of the event, and visit OhmOnTheRange.org for “State of Charge ’24” dates and details!
State of Charge welcomed EV conversion YouTubers and their incredible builds.

The event wrapped up with “La Vida Volta!,” a public EV exhibition timed to coincide with the existing Golden Super Cruise. Hundreds of classic cars and trucks were on display, including all of the participants’ vehicles, from DeLoreans and 4x4s to VW buses and even an e-supercar!

On the Sunday morning following the show, organizer Terry Breheny invited EV owners and builders to gather on a tarmac he had booked, where everyone had fun going head-to-head on the autocross track, dragstrip, or simply burning rubber. “Mr. Mopar Man” Kevin Erickson won the show with his signature endless clouds of smoke, courtesy of his Tesla P100D-swapped 1972 Plymouth Satellite, a.k.a. Electrollite.

Two philosophies and use cases, but two fantastic VW buses converted by local specialsits Classic EV Conversion and Austin, Tecas-based Flash Drive Motors.

State of Charge provided an amazing opportunity to learn about the latest EV technology and connect with other people passionate about electric vehicles from all over the country and even the world, with attendees coming from Europe, Canada, UK, and Africa. We all left the State of Charge event feeling inspired and motivated to get even more involved in the EV conversion world and community. This makes SoC a must-visit event next year.

Special Thanks

Ohm on the Range would like to thank Legacy EV, Stealth EV, AEM-EV, E-Muscle Cars, Fuel2Electric, Scorpion EV, Daktic. Plus Hagerty, EV Parts Guy, AmpRevolt, CDOT Innovative Mobility, and City of Golden Sustainability.

EVTEC: The Future of Electric Vehicle Education

The electric vehicle industry is growing rapidly, and with it, the need for qualified technicians to service and maintain these vehicles. That’s where EVTEC comes in. EVTEC is the Electric Vehicle Technician Education Council, a non-profit organization dedicated to creating high-quality EV technician standards for the continuous improvement of EV industry certifications and programs.

The demand for EV technicians is only going to grow in the years to come. By taking steps to prepare now, you can set yourself up for a successful career in this exciting field.

The EVTEC standards cover a wide range of topics, from the fundamentals of electric vehicle technology to the latest diagnostic and repair techniques. They are designed to be comprehensive and flexible, so they can be adapted to meet the needs of different educational programs and training providers. EVTEC has developed more than 140 standards that focus on core concepts of understanding EV components and the ability to perform the skills required to build, service, and maintain them. Core learning concepts include electrical theory, high-voltage safety, general maintenance and services, wiring, communications, controls, commissioning, and, of course, working on the three major systems of an EV powertrain: the motor, the battery, and the charging systems. Skills in these standards are centered around diagnosing EV-related problems, troubleshooting electrical systems, interpreting vehicle data, and using computational thinking to verify the functionality of the interrelated EV systems.

Furthermore, they are seeking industry endorsements of these standards to make EV education more readily accessible to schools, businesses, and individuals. If you, your company, or your local representative are interested in formally recognizing the need for these standards, visit their site www.evteched.org.

EVTEC is committed to ensuring that everyone who works on EVs has the knowledge and skills they need to do their job safely and effectively. By developing high-quality standards and providing comprehensive resources, EVTEC is helping to shape the future of EV education. EVTEC is backed by top specialists in the EV industry, with board members from Hypercraft, Fellten, Legacy EV, Revolt Systems, Torque Trends, Electrified Garage, Wrenchology, E-Muscle Cars, and Ampere EV.

EVTEC has developed more than 140 standards that focus on core concepts of understanding EV components and the ability to perform the skills required to build, service, and maintain them.

Trainees and participants experienced fascinating sessions covering the business, technical, chemical, safety, training, and troubleshooting aspects and networked with industry leaders, becoming part of the EV retrofit revolution.

EVTEC is currently building the first Level I EV Technician Certification and Assessment. If you would like to participate in its development, contact them at info@evteched.org.

Some of the benefits of EVTEC-approved training include gaining the knowledge and skills you need to work on EVs, staying up-to-date on the latest EV technology, preparing for a rewarding career in the EV industry, and being part of a growing and exciting field.

If you’re interested in learning more about EVTEC, or if you’re looking for EV technician training, visit their website at evteched.org.

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