Noe Valley Voice July-August 2009

Baby, You Can Drive My Car

You may have seen Whitney Street resident Pat Mackey buzzing around the neighborhood in his bright red 1992 Mazda Miata convertible, now sporting a trunk full of batteries and an electric motor under the hood. Mackey often drives his electric car to his job as a product manager at Genesys Labs in Daly City. His wife Karen uses it to run errands or take their 6-year-old daughter Fiona to school at St. Philip's. The car can hit a top speed of 95 mph, but Mackey says he's only taken it up to 60. "It's actually faster than it was when it ran on gas." While sitting in the garage at night, the car gets a full charge in six hours, enabling it to travel a distance of about 20 miles. Mackey took about 60 days to convert the vehicle, spread over a little more than a year, working on weekends. He had some previous experience in restoring his '68 Mustang and was inspired by his concerns about climate change to jump in and build an electric car. He did all the assembly himself, armed with information from books and the Internet. Energized by widespread interest in his project, Mackey is working on a conversion kit to sell from his website and looking for a local person to test it out. Contact Mackey through his website ( for more information, or to arrange a Noe Valley visit to see the car. After a Marin County Fair appearance, Mackey will show his Mazda July 19 at RE-Fuel, an alternative vehicle demonstration event at Laguna Seca Raceway in Monterey.