V is for Voltage (and Vectrix)

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I got this note from David Herron, who’s probably started up more pages, forums and websites about electric vehicles that anybody else on the planet.  His current “inventory” includes: LinkedIn: Electric Motorcycles & Scooters, Google+: Electric Racing, Electric Motorcycles, FB: Electric Racing, Electric Motorcyclers.

Coming out of the software business, he started writing for Green Transportation Examiner, a segment of The Examiner, around 2009, but had been active in online forums as far back as 2000.  In 2006 he started the V is for Voltage site.  Here’s what he told me:

The November 2006 date is important because of an occurrence on another site – VisForVoltage.com

VisForVoltage.com had begun its existence in 2002 or 2001 or such, and had been the home of many in-depth discussions about e-bicycles and e-scooters and whatnot.  It sprang out of the Zappy list on Yahoo!Groups, and a couple related lists.

Ken Trough was overseeing VisForVoltage.com during the period of 2002ish until November 2006.

Actually, he’d kind of abandoned his post and the V.com site became infested by spewage from someone named Hacker Ntition who caused a lot of trouble on forum sites all over the net built on InVision software.

At that time I set up a replacement: VisForVoltage.net and VisForVoltage.org.  Independently EndlessSphere was set up because we didn’t coordinate the response to the abandonment of VisForVoltage.com and the hacker spewage.

The current incarnation of VisForVoltage dates to the same November 2006 time-frame.  We’ve had lots of activity especially in the early days.  It seemed the VisForVoltage.com members were more focused on buying/modifying commercial vehicles – like X-treme Scooters or the Vectrix.  The Vectrix forum is the best place bar none for Vectrix information, just as Endless Sphere is the place to go for info on building battery packs and other deep technical stuff.

I’ve run the site the whole time…

Back in 2003 and 2004 Ken Trough organized two instances of the Anti-Gravity Uphill EV Contest.  The first was well attended and was held officially at the Marin Headlands.  The second was completely unofficial, and we simply commandeered a piece of road on the SF Peninsula.

An interesting side note is that the DIY Electric Car forum showed an RSS feed link to VisforVoltage.com back in August 2007:

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This post, by Herron, announced the launch of the V is for Voltage site, back in November ’06:

“The V is for Voltage forums are having some problems right now. This site is a proposed replacement. The purpose would be to support the Electric Vehicle community with a discussion hub and information sharing resource.”

To say it’s the home of the most information on Vectrix is somewhat of an understatement.  Here’s what the site looked like this morning:

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…and though it has many general EV categories, it is, by far, more of a group interested in that one brand, for whatever reason.  As of today, the Vectrix category has 20867 posts, compared with 6590 in the next highest category, “Electric motorcycles, and large scooters“.  Where it sounds like the original forum had a lot of interest in cars, currently they’re running only 1129 posts in the Cars and Trucks category.

But yeah.  2006-2007 appears to be about the time that a general interest in online communities involved in EVs of all descriptions, with momentum starting around ’98, reached the point of splintering off into specific interest groups – V is for Voltage founded in late 2006, Endless Sphere in early ’06 and starting with EVs properly in November ’06, DIY Electric Car in June of ’07, ElectricMotorcycleForum in November of ’07, and Elmoto in July of ’07.   Just for context, Zero launched officially in ’07, Brammo in ’08.

Apparently, November ’06 was when I started rekindling some interest in electric motorcycles as well.  Who knew?

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