July '16

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JULY 2016 THE SHOP 59 TECHNOLOGY & ELECTRONICS likely won't be found in a traditional hot rod shop. "We focus primarily on increasing the performance of classic cars," he says. "We don't think that all cars should be converted, and we only encourage conversions of classic and vintage cars so that the drivability of them improves considerably (and) that warrants them turning back into daily drivers. "We absolutely are against modifying any metal or chassis work that devalues the classic nature of the cars we work on," Bream states emphatically. "Our model is to sell all the necessary parts required to build an EV on your own, or through a local hot rod shop. We strengthen our parts-selling business by having the shop and installation side of the business that acts as a training facility for our technical staff to help with customer support. We can provide more support and a more complete solution than competing component sales outlets due to our vast experience of designing and installing the systems ourselves," Bream adds. "Our actual work leads to product development," he continues. "For example, a flywheel in an electric car can be extremely light- weight, and doesn't require the starter ring gears. Since there is nothing like this available on the market, we now make our own aluminum flywheels with no starter rings attached, so it's an EV- specific part. We do this for several other items such as fuse holders, adapter plates, couplers, throttles, etc." SHOW TIME Partly for fun, partly to promote the business and partly to help educate people about EV technology, Bream and others in the shop have put together a YouTube series called "The EV Show." One episode of the show features a couple of guys hamming it up driving around Rancho Santa Fe in a con- verted Fiat 500 Jolly, interspersed with segments that provide lessons and tips on how to get the most out of building EVs. For example, in one scene, you'll see them hanging out in a coffee shop, then the scene cuts to one of the shop technicians explaining bottom balancing techniques for lithium batteries the same way any motorhead would explain the nuances and trade tricks of balancing a crankshaft. Bream says he doesn't believe EV technology is all that compli- cated; nor is it that far-fetched for people who like to build cars for a living, who get off on new, cool tools and gadgets. In another segment Bream explains the techniques involved with securing the leads to a battery pack, then shows off a digital torque wrench he just found. The shop also participates in local car shows, Christmas parades In many ways the EV West shop looks and feels similar to most custom automotive shops. A smiling face up-front to greet visitors.

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