Our History - EV Society

Electric vehicles started in the 19th century. We've been at it since the early 1990s.

How we started

In the age of Teslas, Jaguar iPaces and Chevy Bolts it’s exciting to look ahead at the opportunities for electric vehicles. Sometimes it’s good to look back at the journey that got us here. This compelling first-person account from EV Society member, Darius Vakili, shares what it was like in the early days.

My Story with the EV Society by Darius MG Vakili, P.Eng.

I have been a member of the EV Society since March 1995 and this is how I discovered it. 


As a small business, I was designing and making EV On-board Chargers, Motor Controllers and DCDC Converters. I was selling them, over the internet and by vising battery shops, to the small EV conversion community (schools, clubs, hobbyist, etc). One day, I visited a battery distributor called Ontario Battery Inc. When I was there, owner Paul Olsen introduced me to Howard Hutt who happened to be there working on converting a car. Howard asked me to visit the EV Society and join if I liked it.


So, on the third Thursday on March 1995, I came to Centennial College to attend the EV Society meeting and I have hardly missed a session ever since. Not only did I like it, but I joined permanently. Since then, the 3rd Thursday of every month became my sunny day and Howard became my hero.    

EVS had everything I loved about EVs and my interest in renewable energy:

  • We had presentations by people involved with different aspects of making EVs and conversions as well as people just interested in EVs as a better way of transportation.
  • We also had environmentalists, and people who cared about our future on the planet, cheering us on and joining in our discussions, our EV shows and our rallies. As Howard’s slogan: “ Engineers, Environmentalist, Enthusiast join together for a better way”. We did join together and had plenty of learning, support as well as admiration for everyone.
  • We also had people in our club who came up with innovative creations and ideas; such as Monty Gisburn with his Solar Boat, Steve Dallas with his own designed beautiful ground up sports car, JP Fernbach with his early Lithium battery packing.

We even had people doing impossibly hard things to promote EVs, such as pulling own-built EVs across Ontario to protest the Government for refusing to let converted EVs be driven in the province.

In short, EV Society was a source of guidance, support and encouragement for people like me who had a dream about EVs in a time that the concept was too new and unknown. I am so happy now that these dreams have become reality and are taking tremendous speed to become the norm of global transportation.