Four years ago, we decided to build a solar power generator in the backyard to power our house in Bishop. It was a green job, which is a new part of the English language but made a lot of sense to do.
By the next spring, the panels were installed and we were feeding electricity into the grid.
When that was done I was still excited about learning about solar power so I started thinking about creating an electric UTV (the generic name for a Yamaha Rhino). I started talking to Chic Gladding, who runs the maintenance garage at the mountain. He and I communicated all the time while I had the mountain and we created a lot of equipment for the ski industry. I guess it was just out of habit that we wanted to find something new to do, so he started researching what it would take to built a UTV powered by electricity.
Ideas, ideas, ideas every day.
Over the next few years, Chic and some of his crew spent time drawing, planning and creating the vehicle based on a UTV chassis.
About a year ago, we brought in Scott Smith from Highpoint Solar to lend us a hand with his electrical expertise. Scott got on a roll and wanted to see it go, so he kept it up and got it to where it is today.
There have been a lot of things slowing us down along the way but today, almost three years later, we got the vehicle out of the garage for a spin around the ranch. It still needs a lot of work, but it sure was exciting to see it in action. Give us a few weeks and it will be ready for the Buttermilks.
Up until now, this is the most fun we’ve had making anything and we sure have learned a lot.
We’ll be sure to get lots of pictures of the real maiden voyage, so stay tuned.