We’re one week out from our first Maker Faire Detroit, taking place July 31 and August 1 at The Henry Ford, and the excitement is building. Among the over 250 makers showcasing their projects at the Faire are the fine folks of Current Motor Company. From their site: “Founded by engineers tired of wimpy electric vehicles (EV), Current Motor Company (CMC) fills the unmet need for practical, affordable, zero-emission electric vehicles. Current develops and manufactures all-electric motorcycles and motor scooters in Ann Arbor, Mich.” Today we chat with Founder & Chief Engineer Erik Kauppi to learn more.
1. Tell us about the project you’re bringing to Maker Faire. It’s an electric motor scooter. You can ride 50 miles on a charge at up to 70 mph with very low emissions and a “fuel” cost of about a penny per mile. It’s a great way to commute and a great example of a technology that will rapidly change the world.
2. How did you hear about Maker Faire and why did you decide to participate? We’re part of the A2 Mech Shop, a co-working space in Ann Arbor, Mich. Ideas are always percolating around the shop. We like to show what can be accomplished by dedicated makers with limited resources.
3. Tell us about yourself. How did you get started making things and who are your inspirations? I’ve been making or improving things, usually vehicles, since before I can remember. My earliest memories are of wiring my kiddie car before kindergarten. My inspirations are my dad, Soichiro Honda, and Colin Chapman.
4. Is your project strictly a hobby or a budding business? Does it relate to your day job? It’s a business — we’ve spent way too much money to be doing it just for fun. But strangely enough, coming to work every day is great fun! Working on a cool project with a bunch of really smart, creative people, what could be better?
5. What new idea (in or outside of your field) has excited you most recently? We can change the world. Each of us acting alone and all of us acting together can make a difference. The interesting thing is that each of us can do what we want — we don’t need a government initiative or a plan. Just do it and the world changes.
CMC uses larger battery pack to give riders the juice they need. Their C130 has a 5.75kWh pack.
6. What advice would you give to the young makers out there just getting started? The classic advice is “find what you love to do and spend your life doing it.” I would add “find what you love to do, and find others who love doing it with you.”
7. What do you love most about Detroit? There are so many talented people here. Really smart, creative folks who are just looking for a cool project to work on.
Thanks, Erik! We’ll be looking forward to checking out the scooters in person. For all the information you need on the Faire, including buying tickets online, check out the Maker Faire Detroit website. See you there!