Mike Picard is cooler than me. He’s also cooler than that snobby Shakespearean starship captain I referenced in the title. I don’t know you, but odds are that Mike Picard is cooler than you, too. That’s Mike up there, rocking along in a fully “restored” Willys Jeep … his better than new, military-grade, go-anywhere, home-built, plug-in, electric Willys overland Jeep.
Let that sink in for a minute while your pre-frontal lobe kicks into overdrive.
We’ve said it before (more than once) and we’ll probably say it again: the greenest car is the one that’s already been built, and this particular Jeep was built a long time ago – long before (or long after, depending on your point of view) electric cars were en vogue. What an electric car it is, though!
Picard’s Willys is powered by a TransWarp 11 DC electric motor (the same kind of TransWarp motor we used in the RENNtech GLK Spec.R hybrid rally racer back in 2008) mated to the original flywheel, transmission, and transfer case. The electric motor draws power from a pair of “battery boxes”, holding 18 heavy-duty batteries. The resulting “instant on” torque is far more than what the (nearly 70 year-old) original ICE engine would have put out, and this drivetrain isn’t (as) vulnerable to dramatic swings in the price of gas – like the one (again) in the summer of ’08 that inspired Mike to build this Jeep in the first place.
Take a look at some of the photos, below, to get an idea of just how neat this Jeep EV really is. If we could get Chrysler to build these …