By Rita Cook 
For 33-year-old Dallas resident Colin Stanley building his own electric car meant taking a proactive approach to seeing his dream come true sooner than later.  Stanley decided to enter the upcoming national Motor Verks Contest hosted by Electric Vehicles Television. 

An employee at the eco-friendly and international architecture and interior design firm headquartered in the West End of downtown Dallas called Corgan Associates, Stanley now finds himself as one of just nine finalists in the contest (selected out of 955 contestants) and he is currently in the throes of competing for the chance to win $20,000 worth of building materials to build that electric car he’s been dreaming of since he designed it.

“Electrics not only tap into my enthusiasm for automobiles, but also pluck at my heartstrings on a professional level,” Stanley says. “I’m an Architect by trade and I share with many of my peers a heightened awareness of and sensitivity to our impact on the environment.   Moreover, I’m no stranger to ‘disruptive’ technology.  My project focus is specifically related to Building Information Modeling (BIM), which is currently revolutionizing the Architecture/Engineering/Construction industry, much in the same way that electric vehicles stand to transform the automotive industry.”

The car, which Stanley estimates will cost between $40,000 and $50,000 to build is all about his desire to combine his passion for classic hot rods with the desire to create a clean, oil-independent vehicle. “Purely electric vehicles are significantly less complex in nature, with fewer moving parts, simple maintenance, and a great deal of almost instantaneous power, all while being more efficient than their petroleum-driven counterparts,” he explains.  “There is no complex fuel system, exhaust system, fuel tank, smog equipment and oil changes.  There is a reduction in brake wear and noise pollution.  Emissions are moved to the power generating facility, where they much easier to control, regulate and reduce as technology improves.”

Stanley first heard about the Motor Verks Contest while listening to an online broadcast called EVTV hosted by several guys who research, design and build their own electric vehicles. His interest was piqued.  “These guys offer up lessons learned and best practices for free, in order to support and grow the EV movement.  In further attempts to fuel the electric movement, late last year EVTV announced that they would be holding an EV design competition,” he says. The contest called “Build Your Dream EV Component Giveaway” was exactly what Stanley had been looking for and with the prize money he knew he could make his dream car come true.  He does mention there is only one hitch and that is the contest will ultimately be decided by the general public through a voting campaign, but Stanley believes his entry his strong.

“My entry reaches out to the hot rod community with either a 1939 Lincoln Zephyr or 1949-50 Mercury, two of my favorite custom styles of all time,” he says. “I’ve contemplated my own build for some time and the 2006 film “Who Killed the Electric Car” was definitely an influence so I decided to give the contest a shot.” 

Stanley says his car will be 100% electric “one of the tenets the fully electric vehicle promises is simplicity and I plan to carry that through my design philosophy and execution.  I see no need for complex redundant systems such as onboard electric generators, hybrid systems and the like” but he does go on to explain that some of the inherent challenges, in addition to construction, will include his limitations in regard to the physical “shop” space in which to build.  If Stanley does win the competition he expects it will take him anywhere from nine to 12 months to build the car, if he doesn’t win he is giving himself two years. 

As Stanley continues to get more involved in the Electric Car world in Dallas a local organization called the North Texas Electric Auto Association (NTEAA) is a good resource for him as well.  “Yes we have members that have converted and are driving electric automobiles,” says North Texas Electric Auto Association’s Paul Schaffer.  Established in November of 1995 as an affiliate chapter of the Electric Auto Association (EAA), NTEAA was incorporated in 2008 with a goal to support local EV enthusiasts and to promote and educate the public regarding the benefits of electric vehicles.

Stanley concludes  “I‘ve always had a passion for automobiles since before I can remember.  In the end, I aspire to demonstrate that the EV movement doesn't have to consist of small ‘econo-boxes,’ but instead that it can be fun, powerful, and elegant and well within the reach of everyday people.  Public EV adoption is a challenge; however, I believe we can accomplish this feat ourselves one garage at a time.”

You can vote for Stanley at and click the “EVTV Contest” link in the upper right corner.  Click Colin Stanley and choose “Vote for this Contestant.” 

“I am currently the underdog, so I appreciate every vote I can get,” Stanley says.
Voting ends on August 31 and the winner will be announced at the EV Conversion Convention September 21 to 25 in Cape Girardeau, Missouri.


Rita Cook is an award winning journalist who writes or has written for the Dallas Morning News, Focus Daily News, Waxahachie Daily Light, Dreamscapes Travel Magazine, Porthole, Core Media, Fort Worth Star Telegram and many other publications in Los Angeles, Dallas and Chicago.  With five books published, her latest release is “A Brief History of Fort Worth” published by History Press.  You can contact her at