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World’s First Electric Vehicle Museum Opens in Arizona, USA, but Idea Starts in Croatia

IMG_4912-1024x682The Historic Electric Vehicle Foundation (HEVF) opened it’s first International Electric Vehicle Museum in Kingman, Arizona, USA last month. The museum was opened during the annual Route 66 International Festival held there…

This year’s festival theme was ‘The Crossroads of the Past and the Future’, and the opening of the museum attracted people from over 20 countries around the world and 28 states in the US, making it a truly international event. The name chosen for HEVF’s very first electric vehicle (EV) museum – the only one in the world solely dedicated to electric vehicles, was the ‘Route 66 Electric Vehicle Museum’.

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It all started out as a commitment by the HEVF to bring a couple of EVs to display in support of Route 66 becoming an ‘Electric Highway’ with charging stations installed along it’s entire route. This snowballed into the HEVF’s very first museum location. The site chosen by the City of Kingman was the historic Powerhouse Building, constructed in 1907 and fitted with oil-fired, steam-driven generators to provide electricity to the area.

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The idea for this unique enterprise came to HEVF’s Executive Director, Roderick Wilde while he was in the Croatian town of Knin, which is his second home. Wilde is married to a Croatian. Planning and organising took around a year and a half. Help from friends in the EV world and HEVF members (Bob Oldfather, John Wayland) renowned Kingman resident and author Jim Hinckley and the City of Kingman, everything ran smoothly.

Roderick Wilde on the left, Jim Hinckley center and Bob Olfather on the right in blue Photo courtesy of Judy Hinckley

Roderick Wilde on the left, Jim Hinckley center and Bob Olfather on the right in blue
Photo courtesy of Judy Hinckley

The museum displayed a wide range of vehicles from 1909 to the present day, from the 1909 Ellwell-Parker baggage tug, to the sleek Tesla Model S. There are EVs on display at car museums around the world, but they are rarely a focal point and given the attention they deserve.
The museum changes from day-to-day and Wilde points out that they are already working on the first international donation, one of the rare cars, he hopes, might find its new home in one of the museums in Croatia.
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