Ten-Year-Old Tells Compelling History of Electric Cars

By · February 17, 2012

Allison Ringold, Historian

The young historian Allison Ringold in action.

Allison Ringold, a 10-year-old student in Michigan, has created a website to tell the compelling history of the electric vehicle.

Allison is competing in the 2012 National History Day Contest. In response to this year's theme—Revolution, Reaction, and Reform—she created a history of the electric car, publishing a remarkable website entitled, "What Was Old is New Again," as her submission.

Allison's mother, Vicki Ellingrod, wants electric vehicle fans to check out here daughter's work—comment on its content and design. Allison represents the future generation of electric car owners, and will spend her entire life as a driver in a world that includes EVs as an option. But this generation needs to be encouraged and supported. I'm guessing that, if you leave a comment, Allison will respond.

“Electricity is the thing. There is no whirring and grinding gears with their numerous levers to confuse. There is not that almost terrifying uncertain throb and whirr of the powerful combustion engine. There is no water-circulating system to get out of order- no dangerous and evil-smelling gasoline and no noise.”

Thomas Edison, as quoted by Allison Ringold

Each year, more than half a million students participate in the National History Day Contest, choosing a historical topic related to the annual theme. Students conduct primary and secondary research before compiling and presenting the information in one of five ways: as a research paper, an exhibit, a performance, a documentary, or a website. The 2012 Kenneth E. Behring National History Day Contest will be held June 10 - 14. Contest winners receive monetary awards of up to $1,000 and medals in each category. Three cheers for Allison.


· · 6 years ago

I came across this a few weeks ago and left her a comment. Pretty cool for a ten year old!

· George B (not verified) · 6 years ago

Very refreshing to see! Left her a comment as well.

· · 6 years ago

What a great multimedia paper on the history of the electric car. I have been involved off and on in the design and engineering of electric cars since 1986 and I don't think I have ever seen a paper that does a better job of expressing the history of electric cars.

I had forgotten just how creepy that shadowy EV-1 ad was.

The other thing that happened back in the EV-1 days was that GM had a really thick application form that people had to fill out to prove they were good enough to rent an EV-1. It had nothing to do with their ability to make the lease payments. It had a whole bunch of personal questions. Mel Gibson, who was a leading star in Hollywood at that time, failed to make the cut. He had to pull strings and put pressure on people to finally get an EV-1.

And no one could even get one of these forms unless they could find the special sales agent at each dealership who was authorized to give out the forms and talk about the EV-1. I had a lot of friends at the time, including an employee, who went from GM dealer to GM dealer trying to find this ellusive special sales agent. They made it really hard to get an EV-1 and then turned around and complained that no one wanted one.

But it is a new and more hopeful time now. We have finally returned to a period of time when EVs are in regular production. It only took a century to get back here.

By the time Allison is driving (in 6 years or so) there will be used EVs on the market. I hope she gets one as her first car.

· · 6 years ago

Great website
I hope my 15 year old will take her drivers test
In a leaf
May have to go down to NH to buy one

· · 6 years ago

Great work Allison! Don't listen to those naysayers on Fox News, you are on the right track!

· Vicki Ellingrod (not verified) · 6 years ago

Thank you Brad and everyone at Plug in Cars for doing this. Today Allison is at the Ford Museum in Dearborn, Michigan with a friend showing her the EV1 that is there. when she gets home she is going to be so excited to see how the EV community has embrased her hard work.
Allison's mom

· Allison Ringold (not verified) · 6 years ago

Thanks so much for checking out my website for people who have, if you have not feel free to. I was just doing this for a school project, I did not realize this was much more, but now I do.

· · 6 years ago

Yay! Welcome Vicki and Allison. How great is this?!

Yes, the EV world is quite a bit bigger than you maybe ever thought possible. Have a glance at my EV site sometime if you ever get bored:

Lots more pictures for you to use if you ever want to expand your site. I'm going to link to your site from my "links" pages. Thanks for the great resource, Allison!

BTW, my daughter is just a year older than you are. Here's about how you would have looked during the EV1 days: http://evnut.com/images/kyra/kyradrrive.jpg

Shoot... here's the whole page: http://evnut.com/ev1_kyra.htm

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