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Brian Bender is the current President and a founding board member of the EVLC (Electric Vehicle Learning Center). Brian is an entrepreneur in the financial services industry and volunteers his time to bring the Electric Vehicle Learning Center to life.  Brian spent a lot of his time as a youth as a Boys and Girls Club kid and later as a board member in Hawaii and California.  His goal is to prepare the youth for the electric revolution by making Science, Math, and Engineering learning fun with the use of electric toys such as e-bikes, electric skateboard/scooters, go-carts, and stem kits.
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Ron Grosinger, aka Mr G's Workshop! He's a high-school and College shop teacher that focuses on sustainable Vehicles, specifically electric vehicle conversions, everything from design, electrical and metal fabrication.
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Let's talk about electric vehicles. Is that what we're talking about today? Yes right, i'm talking about renewable energy and electric vehicles, brian, you are uh. What so? What's your title there at ev uh, i'm the president of the electric vehicle learning center. There you go! Okay, i'm just one of uh many minds that that found this mission um and this idea so as a president uh, there's a group of six volunteers right now that are helpful wow we make this possible okay.

So that's my title, president. President ron. What is your title? I'm a teacher. I i yeah, i teach the students, basically it's the electric vehicle learning center, so yeah, it's it's electric vehicles, but we're teaching about electric vehicles, we're training, kids and we're teaching people yeah.

So that's my role is uh. I've been we've run some classes which is kind of cool right. Okay, so that's my role, so you've been doing it remotely because you're on the east coast and - and you bryan - are you here in san diego right, so yeah yeah, so you've done it remotely yeah. So i was it would so.

Let's say the class was at you know: uh 4 p.m. For them it would be 7 p.m for me, so i already because i already taught my high school class and then i would then take a break or whatever and then i'd turn on the computer and and then i would teach on the east uh west coast. There you go now, i'm like a cyberman you're everywhere. So so, how are these these classes, uh structure like so there's, six volunteers like there's classes, but there's also hands-on, is that is that what you guys do there too yeah? Let me so let me let me kind of give you the bigger picture, our original idea so believe it or not.

You had a lot a lot to do with this inspiration. Um your youtube channels and and uh michael's, michael green evie, west youtube channels um. It started as me converting my vw bus by watching you do yours and no way yeah. I came over to to meet mike and talk about converting mine and, as we got to talking more, we both realized there's a bigger opportunity than just you know me converting bus and then go driving it around, and we both shared the vision of bringing what you Guys do and and and you know, learning and tinkering and playing and growing and bringing to kids and in a way that can make science fun, basically exactly what you guys are doing, and so, as we talked about it uh, he introduced me to a couple of Other people that ended up being our board members and um.

We just sat down and said: let's, let's make this a place for kids, to come and learn and have fun doing the same thing that you guys are doing yeah. So imagine you had this class when you're a kid. This is like an amazing opportunity. Yeah i mean yeah.

I would i would do some legit conversions instead of my you know my joke conversions that i do no yeah um wow. Okay. So so then you you formed this this thing, because now you have a place right. This is where you're at, like you, have yeah yeah, we're directly across from ev west, we're in the same parking lot you're in the same uh business park there so yeah wow.

That's pretty crazy, so you can show the kids or your students, like actual like an actual business that is doing stuff. That is engineering. You know the conversion uh products and cars and stuff, and then you can, you can go in there and then teach them. That's pretty cool yeah and and not only just show them so the best part, because if you tell a kid hey do you want to come, learn about batteries and solar panels and uh? You know this kind of stuff they're not excited about that like no.

I don't want to go. Do science. I do enough of that. It's cool, but you say hey, do you want to come, look at porsches and vws and ride scooters and go carts.

Of course. Of course they do. They always say yes um. So what we do is we we get them here.

We get the kids here and we have all the toys we've been using razor scooters and, just you know, small manageable things that essentially have the same components as as the electric vehicles yeah, just breaking it down and teaching them how to take them apart. What the motor is the speed, controller and um so, in addition to to riding around the business park here up with the toys and taking them apart, we get to go next door walk through ev west, you know see the guys welding, building a speed car and You know one of our goals is to from the beginning was to get some of the older kids, the high school kids, to go right into the workforce or in that direction, and we actually placed our our uh one of our first utes with evie west. You can actually pay less now yeah there you go so yeah yeah, so yeah, it's the whole process right there right, like here's, the uh, the education part and then here's the job placement kind of thing. Well, yeah! That's kind of perfect because i know this is kind of like an emerging market like this is an emerging thing and yeah i mean i know that a lot of school districts, a lot of you know like teaching uh institutions, have trouble kind of making curriculums, because It's it's not there.

Yet, right, like you, have to you kind of have to like i've been approached by school districts to to help them form a curriculum. I had to turn it down because i i don't work in that environment and i would find it really challenging and stuff right, but i know that they're kind of lost, they're they're trying to just find someone that is at the cutting edge of this stuff. So that they can develop this curriculum, so i i know that this is going to be great for for these kids that somehow there's, maybe they won't have this in high school right. I know some high schools are offering some courses that are related to this stuff, but i think for the most part, it's it's not.

It's super rare yeah. It's super rare, like i, you know you know, you know i did it since uh. I built a car from with my high school students um. We did one from in 2009, but that was super rare, but that was that was only because there was a perfect storm.

It was four dollars a gallon and it was uh yeah at new jersey. It was four dollars a gallon and there was a lot of interest in doing renewables and then there was a grant that came in and so it was super rare. But i don't even know. I only know one other school in the country that has a program similar to mine and they're far beyond mine.

I i got some inspiration from there and that's in west philly and they had like a racing car. They did a whole thing, but it takes it. Takes a driven teacher with a district that supports them. It's super rare.

It's not a standardized thing! So that's why! But yet here it is look at what happened with tesla so um. I have students that graduated and went into uh. They work for tesla and i got kids working at uh mechanic, shops and stuff like that, and but imagine the opportunity for a student to go from to go from uh. You know, instead of just learning the standard stuff learning something about electric vehicles and power and power transportation and batteries, and then they go into the into the job world.

They got a leg up. You know yeah well yeah. I i'm sure it is uh, rare right and so yeah. If kids don't have this, then where are they gon na? Learn it well, i guess they're gon na learn it with you guys.

So you guys are like a non-profit is that is that how structured like yeah correct? We are a non-profit, we're a california, 501c3 and uh. So we you know for now at the beginning stages: uh. We don't have a lot of revenue, so we're relying on donations and and funders to help get us off the ground and eventually we'll have a curriculum. Where you know the kids, they can't afford to pay, will pay, and then it doesn't mean we're going to turn.

Kids away, we want this to be for everyone, so so that's our goal yeah been around since we got the keys to our space march 1st of 2012. That's crazy! Because that's the same time, i got myspace here 15 days before covet happened. They shut everything down. Yeah, so that so you know the the one thing our original plan was to have.

Are you familiar with the boys and girls club uh, not too much yeah yeah, like the the boy scouts? The scouts is that well, no, but like an after school program like ymca or different areas, have different things. It's basically an after school program when, if your parents work till five or six, they come and pick you up from school and then you hang out there and you play sports or you play pool or you you know just take place to hang out. So i grew up in boys and girls, clubs at a young age and the thing about boys and girls club as fun as it was you're, you're, you're, just playing sports or you're playing pool foosball. And so the idea was for this to be a stem boys and girls club.

You come after school and we're gon na build cool stuff. So every every day we're going to work on something we're going to put we're going to put a battery pack together. Uh we're going to take some tesla 18650s and you know wire them up together, make a big pack and do the math together and and maybe we'll take a a razor go cart, that's 24 volts and maybe we'll take it to 48 volts and see what happens. See how much faster it is and or see how much longer it will go so uh so that that was the original plan.

So you know, i think it was around march 15th, where they started shutting everything down, schools and everything. So our our plans changed pretty rapidly, so we actually never had a program start yeah, so we so fortunately meeting ron through through michael named evie west and knowing his his background in teaching shop. He's like hey. Let's just take this thing online and we'll just get the kids and - and it was interesting because at the beginning of all this, it didn't make any sense, because zoom no one knew how to use it.

It was just confusing, and so we actually tried doing zoom before the schools did, and i was discouraged because you spend 20 minutes setting up and then can you hear me yeah. You know that back and forth, but now that all the kids are in zoom they're dialed in yeah everybody totally. It's so easy. You just show up for class.

They know the deal you you just deliver your curriculum and then that's it. So so that's been a great transition for us like the kids. They learn a lot faster than we do. Of course, so you know ron's been teaching, we we taught.

What do we do about? Do we do about 12 weeks of classes yeah? We started in october. Yeah and then we went until middle of the december yeah, and then you know what i thought of was well. I don't know what their situation is, they might not have a garage, so i got to think okay, they have a kitchen, everyone's got a kitchen so and everyone's got access to little trinkets of stuff like a kitchen magnet - and if you know electric motors are basically Electromagnets, so if you got wire and you got magnets, you could actually make like a little motor or you could make a battery tester. It's called a galva meter.

You know a galvan, i think galvanometer. I can't even say it's crazy work, but anyway it tests batteries. So we came up with some something like that and i just thought: what can they do at home that we could inspire them to learn about electric vehicles and we just went to the basics: measuring uh basics of electricity uh, some drawing skills as well, and so We did that for a bunch of weeks, and it's really just in preparation for when they can come back here and do stuff in person in person yeah well yeah. I guess right if you're cultivating that that interest uh you're hyping it up right, then, when the time comes, that we can be in person, then yeah you, you get the kids that the the that really appreciate this or they have an inclination to do this thing Kind of ready to go yeah like the funny thing is that even in person, because i've done 16 years of high school uh, you know not, as you know, as a teacher, you know not 16 years into high school, but anyway so but um, but even in Person there is about two months that you're not really getting much done, you're really just like acclimating, letting them know that there's a you know, there's a drawing side to this.

There's a skill set like using the drill press properly. There's a you know, there's a little bit of this and then you get into projects where they get where they get to design and do this stuff on their own um. And that's where, like the magic happens, you know they get to be uh excited and they and they they understand their their limitations, but they also understand that they could come up with something new. So the online part is good for the first two months.

That's fine! In fact, they probably should do that for all classes. You know um before you get them into the floor and start messing around with stuff yeah, because in person is like such an amazing thing and now we i feel like now, it's been taken away or limited. We are starting to appreciate how incredible it is to have a shop to have the tools, the layout, the batteries and a teacher would experience or or some sort of guide, that's huge, but it takes a while to get there. I don't think you need you, don't even need to get there.

You could so that's why it's great for these kids to join us virtually and then we'll have events when it's possible they'll come in they'll be ready to go. You know yeah, i see so right now: you're teaching, like the basics, the concepts, the all that stuff right. What's up, yeah, what so? What's the the goal like what like small projects and then like work onto like big projects or how does how's that gon na be structured yeah so like they don't, let's say we're? Okay, so i just assumed at first they don't have anything like not even a volt meter, which is huge basic thing, even the continuity test which, if anybody listening, doesn't know what that is, it's just a test whether or not electricity is going through a wire because Electricity is kind of like water, but it's invisible, so you have no idea if it's flowing or not, you have to check yeah and you don't want to check the hard way right. Otherwise, you end up looking like yeah with my my hair old timers.

The old tires used to do it, like you know: oh yeah, that's the 9-volt battery yeah and put it on your tongue. Okay, so your tongue is a bit yeah. Those are what you used to do back in the days. You know, kill brain cells with the legs.

I thought: well, let's just go with the basics: can they can they? Can they make a battery tester? So we made we took wire, we put around a toilet paper roll and then we put a pin and then a magnet and it when you hook it up. It goes like that, and that means like positive or negative or whatever all right. That was one thing. We did and then we did a balanced scale, because you know weight is a factor like how much does the battery weigh? How much does this way? You know these are things and you know i ca, i don't i have to assume they don't have a scale.

So i was like okay. Well, why not have them make a balance scale? So if you, if you know how much a can of soda weighs and how far away it is from the middle, you could measure anything. You want yeah. No so anyway, things like things like this and then uh also drawing um.

You know you're used to it, you probably wouldn't even think of it, but an orthographic like a plan. Like the top view, the side view the three-quarter view. These are not normal things. The isometric view exactly yeah there.

You go okay, but you got to say it like this. You got to go isometric. I don't know why. But you have to say it like that, because otherwise the kids won't remember.

I kill your ears, i'm sorry! No! No! It's! Okay, okay, but you have to say, you have to be and you got ta have fun like we. I had a sound board and i was pressing buttons like let's say you ask the kid, the question and they and nobody answers. You got. Ta click.

The cricket button - and he goes - you know you got ta - you got ta - have fun with this. Otherwise forget it so yeah yeah the goal was to warm up. It was a little bit of improv. Obviously, the goal is to be here, we're and and to and i'm sure brian could elaborate.

He already started working on um, smaller, like scooters, and then the idea is to get to the car yeah yeah. That's what we're working through the age groups and what you know: balancing safety and and attention span and all those types of things and and we find that eighth grade up works best. And you know the kids after doing a few scooters, and they are, you know. What's next, so the goal is to always have an actual vehicle in here.

So you know two of our kids that were here uh one of their first cars. They ever drove was an electric vehicle and it was one of the it was one of the ev west conversions. I mean how cool yeah yeah your first car you ever drive is a is a converted plastic car yeah, that's a converted, electric car yeah and that's something that they'll remember for the rest of their life, and so it's so unique like there's not a lot of This stuff happening like there's, no place where you can no matter how much money you have like there's nowhere like you can just. Oh i'm.

Let me go rent a classic electric car like right. It doesn't happen like oh i'll, just make one okay. How is the process? Oh, you got ta, go to evs and then got ta get in line. You got ta wait.

You know what i mean. So it's super like exclusive club of like a tiny group of people that are doing this thing. You have to do it yourself or you have to wait a long time and pay a lot of money to have the thing so yeah. It's crazy because this kid's uh it's kind of a privilege to have that and when you think about what what better tool for a kid that is going to go in that direction in life right and they may not even know they're going in that direction in Life, you know as kids, but when you get that exposure, you think about tesla and the direction of electric vehicles who's going to train the next technicians like where, where is that going to come? From? I mean you know gas, mechanics, russian, ninja, mechanics they're, not going to know where to start.

So how is this next generation going to get trained and um yeah yeah yeah? Well, go ahead! Sorry yeah! It's almost like twice as hard trying to teach like old people. Mechanics to to retrain him yeah right, so it's easier when you start with a young mind that is like. Oh, this is what you're going to be doing and i know there's a lot of resistance. I know there's a lot of people that are like yeah, we'll jump over.

This is what it is, but i think, generally speaking, i think people just don't like change, and you know they don't shift careers that quickly right they're, just like no i'm gon na wrench. I'm gon na keep wrenching the way i wrench the way i learned for a long time and that's fine. You know as long as they can or whatever, but i think yeah these there's a whole new generation of kids. That needs to learn the new way and the new way we don't even know what the new way is.

That's what i mean. That's why the the you know, that's. Why going back to what i said earlier about you inspiring this and michael and putting it online and sharing? It is just inspiring this next generation and uh, and that's the neat thing about it because like where do you do it like? We we just got a partnership with sae and you know: that's their whole thing: science, automotive, engineering, society, uh of automotive engineers yeah, so they uh they're excited about our program because they haven't seen one like this before and and the reality is we're building it as We're going um, you know, have like an after-school program specifically designed for the youth, that's not attached to a school or a college like we're, an independent learning, center and um, and so it's neat because we're we're building it as we go and it's going to evolve And grow with the industry as the industry evolves and grows yeah. So you, you said you converted a vehicle, a bus.

No, i didn't so you didn't. No. I took the money that i was going to invest because i i just if i went and and converted my vehicle, i would have had it and it had been cool and i drove it around, but i was like you know what i'm gon na invest this Money into something bigger that okay growing and growing, so i haven't done it yet, but i know i see okay yeah, i know, but that was your plan. That was your mission that you were going to do: yeah yeah that started there and then and then they said that to have a conversation with mike and then you know meet ron and some of our other board members um.

Just this bright group of people just came together and they're all like we have to do this there you go so eventually that plan is, you know, eventually, your your bus will will be converted by students, yeah it'll get there and i'll probably donate it to the Learning centers, like the you know, the learning center bus and that'll be yeah. You know the one that yeah, because you need a car like. I know that's what michael's uh. You know advantage that he's got right.

It's like customers come in there and, if they're in the fence, if they're just mildly interesting, all you have to do is kind of visit and then they're like hey. You want to take a ride. What would you like? You want an off-road or a street vehicle? A bus or you know a porsche or whatever, and then that's it because then you're like whoa i'm sold. This is what we've got to do.

You know yeah uh, it's almost the same thing with you guys. If you have a vehicle there and you get to see it uh then you're like well. Yes, we want to learn how to do this. You know because it's right here in front of you kind of thing you know yeah and and it's funny, because the parents uh one of our board members - has a vw thing here.

That's that's converted by u.s and so that stays here in the shop and so that always draws the parents in. But we have, you, know: 25, electric toys here between skateboards bikes, uh, razor scooters, and so whenever, whenever parents come here, we throw the helmets on the kids and they just go. You know whipping around the alley and even the parents jump on some of them. We've upgraded significantly and uh.

You know the little razer drift drift scooter you know can hold. It holds a 300 pound guy on, and so so that's where that's when, like all the magic happens and then the interest and then the kids are interested like, oh well. What makes us go and how can we make it faster right? That's just kind of a natural human evolution. How do we make this faster um and then that's when we talk about batteries and we get in front of the white board there.

That's like where ron is and we map it all out and show them series and parallel and adding them um and that's the fun part it's uh and watching the teaching them how to charge your phone like. What's what's the milliamps, what's the capacity in their phone, it's kind of tying it together and making it make science fun and make it interesting, yeah all those technologies, so you you guys, are almost going to become like a maker space but geared towards electric cars right. It's more, you know we we thought about. We do want an adult component and the youth component, but our our our beneficiaries is always going to be the youth program.

Okay, so we thought about we. We always want to have a car here being converted so that the older kids, the high school kids, can can get that hands-on right, because when you get, you know, 14.50 start thinking about driving cars and become more cool and um. So we were toying with the idea of having a volunteer say: hey my car needs to be converted, um i'll. Let your program do it with the youth.

You know i'll buy my stuff over at eb west and then bring it to your shop and then you can do it, you know, and hopefully they participate too. The owner participates and then the kids do it. We do it together and obviously we have the experts right next door, so we screw something up yeah they come save the day but yeah. So so, in that sense uh we do see it it in that, in that way, um where we can have some involvement with customers and adults yeah so or even parents like parents and kids.

You know, like a you, know, a parent-child project together, yeah, you know stuff like that. You know because it's one of those things that you just you have for your lifetime. Oh, i remember you know my dad and my mom. You know we did this project together.

Yeah cars have that sort of thing right. It's like uh, you know this is my dad's car, you know and then it stays in the family, and you know this is the thing. Oh we worked on this car i mean restoring. A car is one of those projects that like, if you did it with your dad yeah.

You know you hold on to that car. That car has a lot of meaning i mean half of the other reason we have cars is because what they mean to us right or yeah, they make us feel or whatever uh yeah. So it's a cool thing. I i was talking to ron about doing something for adults, because i i'm i'm about to convert a whole fleet of these buses right, i mean that's my that's just my plans.

You know my my midterm plans, i don't know like, and so i thought like why don't we do some seminar where we get people who are like ready to do this conversion? They just want to do it on their own there's. Nowhere like you can go and learn this hands-on like how to do a actual conversion right, there's a lot of youtube videos, there's a lot of programs. I think, but you know this there's nowhere where you can like go and actually take part in a real conversion. In an actual conversion right - and so i thought like well, if i have multiple of these vehicles happening, why don't we just do it then? Because once you do the first one, then the second one is just we're.

Gon na, have you know we're gon na know what it is and stuff. So that's probably in my future, a little bit, but that's for adults that are kind of like ready to go like they're. Just they want to do it and the only way to do it is really diy, because the long the waiting list times for like a shop like eb west they're, so long right that uh that really the only way to do it is to diy it. I mean, is you buy the parts and a lot of stuff has already worked out for you.

Michael is doing a lot of engineering over there right to to work out the boxes scratch. It's amazing the land speed car yeah, i mean from a from a pallet of steel tubing like unbelievable. That is true, that is a bonneville car that thing's so cool and and think about how inspiring it was like. There was no other electric car on the bonneville salt last summer.

Now, no oh wow! This is the first year that it was one yeah that was the only one there and no not the first year. They've ever had it. There is three categories: there's a light weight uh under 500 kilograms, which i guess is um uh. I don't know i guess it's under under a thousand pounds, i'm not sure the conversion, but then there's a mid-range up to about up to about 2 000 pounds and then there's a heavyweight all of them have records.

Evie west has two broken records in the mid-range. They broke it and they broke themselves on top of that, oh yeah, so it's very interesting situation now the high one that it was a college now you can understand there's like 10 years in between these records, because there's just not a lot of electric car competition. Um, but what's amazing is that so you have the newest two records is evie west and then you can learn about how to do that here. So it's just like if anybody sees that they would then uh.

You know if they're excited by that and it's funny because me personally when i was a kid i went to all the auto shows and whatnot and i went to the new york auto show and whenever they had a electric car there. That was like to me was amazing, you know and but there's just not enough information and there's nowhere to learn about it. You know, and so, but here we are uh, you know and uh so yeah. So, like you light the fire, you get, the kids excited, spark or the adults and and which are pretty much big kids, and then they get to learn about it and try it out if they're ready, they could come to you for, like the real deal.

Uh get hands-on, they could come here for like a a set learning pattern and then maybe they could buy the parts from ebs and take it home so that between all of us here i mean this is you know i mean i there might be one or Two other places you could learn this, but it's pretty rare. It's pretty yeah pretty far on between yeah it's like uh yeah. I don't i don't. I don't even know like.

I know there are other shops that convert cars right, but up until like earlier this year. I didn't even know who were they and and to what capacity they were doing it right now. Is it because of this podcast? Now that i'm like talking to them, and it's like? Oh, my god, like there's, not one in in the uk. I think i want to say maybe he's in wales or he's in the uk.

I don't know somewhere over there right that guy's churning out like a hundred cars a year or something now it has a tv show. So i'm like whoa, okay, you guys are like literally have become within the span of three years, become like the biggest conversion shop in the world right and so, like. I didn't even know about this, i kind of heard you know i kind of see pose here and there, but it's not until a few weeks ago, where i talked to the guy and i think we haven't even published the the podcast yet, but it's coming up. Uh yeah, these guys are legit right and they're doing it, but i mean you have to go basically halfway around the world.

I know there's another one and there's a couple of them in in australia, uh there's one in texas, there's a shop that i know. I know there's a moment yeah moment, uh motors right and but see, though they're not really teaching there. You those are like shops where you take in your car or you commission, a car they'll buy it for you and they'll just convert it and all the work happens. Kind of you know behind doors.

I think there's one up in northern california like a school for electric vehicles, but i don't know that much about it. Richard yeah, i think and and it's the same thing i know some people have taken. That course i went to actually took his course. Oh, you took this curse: okay, yeah yeah.

I took it three or four years ago i went up there with my cousin and uh. Oh okay he's awesome and he teaches you the the concepts or so you actually get to build a car yeah. So he uh. Maybe i'm sorry, probably more than three years ago, maybe like five years ago, you go.

You do like a day of uh you're with a group of about 10 people and you do a day of um classroom style. You go with concepts and like the map and stuff like that, and then he has a a rail like a sand. Rail, that's right, yeah and it has a gas engine in it and as a class you swap it out, wait hold on for the east coast. People sand rail is like a vw, but with a tube chassis i didn't grow up.

You don't have sand rails back east yeah, too buggy yeah, it's a dune buggy! It's a car that is made for the for the sand over here right for the the yeah for the that we live in the desert people. So we like, we have our cars to go run around. Do shenanigans in the sand. I'm gon na help out the east coast people.

I got you guys: okay, all right yeah so so to you know, talk more about your idea of a maker space, so the the downside of that was. It was kind of set up already um to plug and play, which is smart, because there's only so much time in in that class. I think it's a four-day class yeah, but you and then everyone kind of does a different part. So you kind of get some of it.

You walk away with some nuggets, yes, but not enough. If anything, it's more inspiration to go and then really and start your own uh yeah. I didn't feel like. I could go and convert my own at that point, but i mean you know really green um, but yeah are involved in the conversion from like start to finish from like thinking about like the math, and how far do i want to go when you're calculating range? I just think you get you do get more out of, especially if you're doing every piece of it or touching more of it up the process yeah.

So i think there's a there's a demand for that sure. So it's almost like it's like me like, i was a horrible student, but if i was doing something at the same time as learning about the lecture like the lecture is a difficult thing to walk this fine line, because if you give a person too much information, There it's just what's the point: it's like a like: a like a a campfire you're not going to just throw on a whole bunch of uh pieces of wood or sticks, or this you got to like slowly build it up. You know. Otherwise, it just goes out.

One one will you know, especially if it's just talking it'll just you know, they'll just disregard it and rightfully so you know what i mean so uh. I remember. I took a class similar to that in 08 summer, early in san diego with this uh mr q, he's uh abram coveto he's the og of teaching electric vehicles he's long retired, but anyway he he had half lecture half hands on and uh. You know coming out of that.

You know you. You really got a good taste, but it's a similar problem. Uh. You know you kind of like unless you're doing it.

You know what i mean uh, so yeah um. Oh so i lost my thought with that, but basically yeah like there's only so much a person can learn type of thing and then at a certain amount of time you know, and so, if you're doing, if you, if you have a conversion at home and you Take the class you're going to do a lot better. So that's why the le you know it's a balance. You know it's not easy to come up with these classes and make it fit and make it work for people.

So it's a big effort. You know yeah. I see yeah yeah, so you almost have to have like a full car for every for every uh class member. So then you could you get to do everything right.

I mean i know, there's they can form teams and stuff, and you know you could i i don't know i feel like. Even if you get to see someone doing a thing, then that it's much you're much more closer than just understanding the concept right. So but it's funny that you feel that maybe it wasn't enough because you've gone through a course like this already and then you walked out of there going like. I don't know.

If i can convert a car, even though you saw one being converted right so i'll say this - your videos and mike's videos was all i had before that class. So that was and then i didn't own anything that i could convert. So i didn't have any any application on my own to, like you know, figure with the stuff that that you were showing. So when i, when we got the space in march and they shut it down, i mean i'm brand new.

With this stuff i mean i'm like one year in so i i don't. I don't have a long history like i'm learning, ac and three-phase, and i'm learning all this stuff is brand new, so in march, when they shut stuff down, i'm like mike. What do i do? We can't have kids like we wanted to get kids in, so we could build the program based on their feedback and we can't have kids. So i just locked myself in this place and i built bicycles like from my friends and family, and i just ordered a bunch of kids from china and i'm i grabbed a couple.

Costco, bikes and and - and i learned so much from the bicycle yeah that you know i couldn't say that i could go by myself and convert a car, but all that stuff. I picked up from the bicycle and building a skateboard, so the concepts could be learned in a smaller vehicle. So, like you, you could have like. If you have 10 uh, let's say you have 10 students right or or people are going to take your course.

You could have 10 skateboards, oh yeah, and if you're talking about a 400 500 like vehicle right, it's like that's, not kind of out like it's. Now you can't have 10 cars because you're you know each one is like a hundred thousand dollar cars. You know it's like you: don't have a million dollars worth of cars projects unless you're doing that, but but yeah it's. I think the smaller vehicles are great to learn the concepts right like like you did you learn about the three-phase motors and the controllers and the thing and uh probably gear ratios all that stuff right yeah i burned a bunch of cells.

I blew motors, i carried it next door and i told the guys you know what i do. What i do wrong they're like well looks like you tried to wire in series, but you actually wired the whole pack together. Okay, you light something on fire. You probably didn't learn anything yet yeah.

Oh there's been some uh, some of the security cameras around you to go back and watch and watch the there you go. I remember what i was going to say about the class that we did do a math portion. I remember there was a guy who did amazing math detail on not just math but like. Why do you need relays and all these things? Because you need like if the car is, is charging? You should not be able to get in turn it on and leave because you'll rip out the cord, but that's not obvious you want to make it there's a concept that not a lot of people understand who don't do this type of work, which is the word Fail safe, like that phrase, fail safe, so you want it to fail safely, so you get in the car.

You go to turn it on. It doesn't turn on. You failed, but you're safe because it won't turn on because you're plugged in so these that matter. Here's the question, though, here's a question: why doesn't that exist in gas cars? Because i don't know how many cars? How many times have you seen a video where, like the guys, ripped the the thing off of the gas station yeah, they build it into the they build it into the gas station.

It has those overhead, that's why there's always an overhead they to spray it down and they got a automatic shut off. Although it does, it sometimes doesn't work so easy to put a switch on the gas thing and when you have a nozzle there, the car doesn't go that interesting. I don't know, or even anything, proximity something dumb what's up with the car industry they're behind me, but that is something that they did build in electric cars, thankfully so yeah and so yeah. So but like i look but like that was a lecture.

Then, when i went to go build the car i actually, luckily it was an east coast and the guy who gave the lecture was west coast, so i was on the phone with him while doing the wiring be like. Why doesn't this work? He goes. Let me teach you about continuity, you're going to need to go like this check this, to check this, to check this, don't assume that you have voltage, don't assume that you have this, don't assume anything check it out, and i was like: what's that mean? Oh, my god, so he went over on the phone, i'm on the phone and i'm doing the thing and luckily for me it was like 7. 00 p.m.

All the kids went home and i could like you know it was quiet and then for him it's like 4 p.m. No big deal, so he could just sit on the phone. You know so i got lucky in that way, but i could see why, when you design these classes they have to be listen, not everybody's going to get 100 out of it, but that's the challenge is so so a person can walk away with enough experience to Yeah as much as they want right, they could walk away and they could say. Okay, i could, i could go, buy the parts and we could do this or i could look for a car or and actually here's the other whole entire other topic.

What car are you gon na buy yeah, and i you know, that's like everybody wants to. I'm gon na go get a land rover, i'm gon na go, get a mercedes and i'm like that mercedes weighs 5 000 pounds. Do you know what that means in batteries and they're like well whatever, and i'm like uh, okay or motor yeah? And i'm not saying don't do it, but this because hopefully in the future, everything is coming down and prices right like battery prices, are the lowest they've ever been. It's never been easier to do a conversion in ever in history yep, but it's still a challenge.

It's still a challenge and it's still costly and still you still have to learn the basics of you, know fabrication and engineering and all this other stuff right now. Luckily, a lot of stuff is being worked out. Like michael's doing a lot of you know a lot of work uh for us there because he's developing his plates and motor mounts - and you know all this other stuff that then we can just buy and then concentrate hardest. Work is done, yeah for the most part yeah and every every year, there's more vehicles, more different types of vehicles that he's getting into right and so yeah he's making whole sub assemblies he's making, like you, know all kinds of stuff that it's going to just make.

It so because, like you know, people they might not understand like if you're just getting into this you've got to realize you've got a vehicle that was not designed to have an electric motor, but it can and what's kind of cool is that the transmission doesn't care. Whether it's being turned from, like i tell people you know sometimes like you, bring a electric car to a car show, and someone says i don't you're not going to take away my diesel, and this is that and i'm like uh nobody's, taking away your diesel. Listen just so you know the car doesn't care, like your car does not care whether you turn that wheel with electric power or diesel. It could care less and i don't i'm not trying to use batteries because i'm some sort of battery angel yeah, if you could buy magic and put it in the engine bay and turn the transmission.

I would buy magic we'd all be magicians yeah. We don't have magic for sale right now, so you got to get a motor. You got to put some batteries in. You need a speed controller.

I'm sorry! That's just the limitations right now, yeah yeah they're right! Unless jehu you working on it, you got magic over there at the shop. I got magic, i got magic, but i can't let it out of the bottle yet so it's uh it's gon na be a while no yeah, you're right, i think uh we don't care. I don't care i i have no like. I don't have warm fuzzy feelings for pistons and carburetors.

Like you know what i mean like. I know some people do because they they they grew up building engines doing the thing right, but i didn't that was a means to an end right like to me. It was just like it's what goes in a car and you know usually they fail because there's no something there's no spark, there's no, it was always like and when they don't, they just go right. They rattle, they make noise, they make fumes and you know, but they make you go from point a to point b right and sometimes it's fun.

I got to ride a little car in my youth that had a turbo. It was turbocharged right, and i was like that's my first uh introduction to speed, because i remember just like there was a time it was like a cult. It's like a chrysler, or it was like a tiny little ugly little car yeah. That might have been a chevy cult.

I think a i think so right and it had turbo, that's awesome and it had a turtle engine. It was a tiny little engine, but it had a turbo on it, so you would like press it and it was like stick and you would prefer a second and then that little turbo would kick in and it would just like, like turbo right. It's like whoa that was pretty fun to drive that little car and that's what i knew was like. Oh okay, so going fast is fun and torque is fun right, but then i didn't.

I didn't have access to that sort of stuff unless you go into like deep into you know: high performance, engines and stuff, it wasn't until the electric car and tesla came up, and that was just kind of normal. It's like if you're gon na have like an electric car. That's just come come standard like it's not like you have to pay extra for the torque. You know that's just what it is and i think that's why i was excited.

I mean i was excited about. The electric car for many reasons right because it was new technology because it was safer because it was better for the environment, because all this other stuff, but at the end of the day, is because they're fun to drive they're easy to maintain it's a much smoother Ride you don't have that engine just idling and you know, like you know, um, i mean it's cool you're you're dealing with basically like the way i describe it to people so there's an interesting thing that happens. So look on the back of any gas car. Okay, most of them - and it says it'll, brag, it'll, say v8 or it'll, say v6 or it'll, say uh, turbo, right, yeah, vtec or something like that right.

But it never says 10 gallon tank or a 15 gallon tank. Why? Because the engine is the limiting factor. Right, that's you're not going faster. Then you can process the fuel okay.

Even if you have a 30 gallon gas tank that does not make you go faster right totally opposite is the tesla or electric vehicles? Look on the back of a tesla 70 kilowatt pack, 80 kilowatt pack, 100 kilowatt pack, whatever they're not talking about the motor, because that's not the limiting factor, they're talking about the size of the tank yeah. So that's! The thing i tell people is that this electric motor you're getting all of it - you can process it so much faster and that's why you can deliver power instantly and make changes on the fly. Traction control is far superior because when you're dealing with piston engines you're dealing with a fluid, you have to move gasoline, then vaporize. It then put it through the four stroke process, which is a good thing to learn as well.

But then you have to make all these adjustments um it's it's. It has to do with like you're moving air you're moving fluid, whereas electricity, it's as fast as your computer, yeah whoa. This is like a whole different thing. You know yeah yeah.

You know something like kind of you know, to get people excited of of the major change happening, yeah, uh and also anybody was like. Oh well, electric cars are not that fast, i'm like uh or they're, not strong, i'm like well. All your all. The trains are electric, they just got a diesel generator pushing it all your elevators, all your subways, you know anything powerful.

Even the motors on, like a a huge uh ship, it's electric motors, pushing the r, pushing the propeller and you're just running a generator anytime. You need real power, you're going electric you've got an electric yeah well, and i think we definitely. We won't have to convince the a new generation of that right because they're just going to accept it right. I mean right now, i'm having the i like convincing people about this.

I guess that's gone now. Nobody cares they're, like oh tesla's awesome and i'm like well. There was a time where you guys did not like tesla, but it's true that it's true i mean i they're still not there like what is the electric cars? It's like one, two percent or something where are we at now? I don't know so. It's obviously they're not there yet, but i think when we're talking about the new generation right like these kids, are they already know that teslas are cool and teslas are the new thing? I mean i've met this kid that is like five years old or something, and he knows everything about a tesla he was like.

Like he's got this obsession over and i'm like five years old, like what high five years old, i didn't care any about any car or anything like. I don't know what i cared about at five years old, but definitely not a tesla. You know, i don't think. I'm scared, but it's like it's the new ferrari, yeah yeah, like i'm old enough that i had what's called a trapper keeper.

You might remember the trapper, so this is literally just a notebook, but the cover always had like a rock band or a ferrari, and when i saw that i was like, oh my god yeah i was when i saw the ferrari because we didn't have ferraris in My neighborhood so but when i saw that i was like i have to know everything i have to know where it's from i got to know how fast that goes. I got to know how they make that. How do they make that thing that doesn't make any sense to me how's that, and so that's kind of like led me down the road of uh. Just how old were you when that happened? I this is gon na sound silly.

I declared in third grade that i would build cars. I was like uh. This is what i will do. So five, six seven eights are around eight nine years old.

Well, i don't yeah. I guess so is that when that's early yeah well, i here's the thing. Like for me, i i make videos because i, when i was seven years old, i went to an imax, theater and tj. That was like this dome or whatever, and i saw a movie that was shot specifically for that theater right.

So it was a unique experience. There was only like three of these theaters in the world and i just happened to live in a town that had one and they were showing this amazing film, and i think that was sparked something i mean i'm like. Oh, i want to do movies like look at this thing. It's like this is amazing right and, of course i would not be able to do that till like i mean never, i guess now, i'm still trying to reach that dream.

When i make movies right but uh, i kind of shifted my thing it's like. Maybe it's not full movies, but maybe like little movies. Well, you're a storyteller and that's all a movie is anyway yeah. I think so i so, but it's around that same time.

It's so it's interesting. I didn't like cars at seven. I like movies, though, and so i guess that's the right time, that's when you want to yeah. You want to make that decision, and it's tough, because you know like if you're a kid and if you don't get the right exposure or you could get that spark.

But if it's not supported you, probably you do what i did you go to. You go to the whole life dreaming of it. Look when i got my first job right. It was in my 20s.

Somehow don't ask me why i didn't work until i was like 21 or something but uh. I the very first check that i got. I went and bought a camera, a video camera. That was my first interesting but see here's.

The thing i mean, like i shouldn't have i mean this - is not the it's not the ideal way to to cultivate an interest right like i showed interest in when i was seven, i should have gotten a video camera when i was 10 or 11 12. 15.. Like i shouldn't have waited until i had a job. I was an adult and had a job and thing right to get that thing.

You know, because then, who knows where i would be had i done that right, and so this is a cool thing. With this learning center right that, if the show, if the kids show an inclination or an interest in this technology and kind of electric cars and stuff, then they can go to a place like that and be like you're right there, you're working with these concepts you're.

11 thoughts on “Brian Bender teaches kids about EVs JGP#36”
  1. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars MikeJ F says:

    I don't think there is any collage doing that in Jacksonville FL, much less in high school.
    Who is making the noise that is going on.

  2. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Two Commas Ent says:

    Hope to see more battery builds from u on the regular.Good luck with your business

  3. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Chris Lincoln says:

    I have been watching you for a while. You are very informative, I have a question I don't understand. I have made two 4S 12P packs for backup power for some 12 volt lights. to have lights if and when the power goes out. I also have two solar panels to keep them charged up. Ok here is my question. on a 12P My BMS connect to each row of 4S. How does it know every battery in that row is charging the same. What if one battery is not charging all the way, how would it know?

  4. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Jacques B says:

    testing my first reclaimed 18650 cell batt pack today

  5. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Kelly Johnson says:

    Wow Nice's bro looking good let's do it

  6. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Mark says:

    @jehugarcia, I've been looking into 16-32 280ah Lifepo batteries for a diy power wall. Would be very interested in a group buy.

  7. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars smaco spasovski says:

    In Europe we can't make a battery give away because we do not have batteries😂😂😂😂😂

  8. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars John Preston says:

    Donate the batteries here to recovery efforts here in Louisiana. The people cat the Footprint Project could use those batteries to help people.

  9. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars RJ XxsxX says:

    Jehu sorry for the comment hijack but you have a big following…. California voters get your vote in to recall Governor Newsom do it this weekend 09/11/21 he moved the date up get your vote in before Tuesday 09/14/21… again sorry to hijack your comments

  10. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars roselin66 says:

    Listos esperando maestro

  11. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars roselin66 says:

    Listos esperando maestro

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