Bob Hurst was way ahead of Tesla with his Electric 2CV

Back in October 2006, Hemmings Sports and Exotics published an article by Dave LaChance about Bob Hurst, a school maintenance worker in Massachusetts, who realized the potential for small electric vehicle to get him about locally lay in the 2CV’s minimal weight and front-wheel-drive set-up. Two features that made it an ideal candidate for conversion.

Bob installed a forklift motor in place of the original diminutive 12 hp gasoline 2-cylinder engine, then swapped it out for a starter motor from an aircraft engine. And now, having just 6 regular deep cycle batteries, (it once carried 12, but Bob never needed transport for more that 15 miles), he felt that range could be sacrificed for weight savings, as 700 pounds of batteries proved frightening when trying to stop going down hills or managing control when cornering.

Bob’s resourcefulness was evident in his homemade engineering solutions. Like modern EV’s of today, Bob figured out a way to do regenerative braking!

The little 2CV served him well for 3 years but as the batteries aged and Bob refused to pay the the cost of new ones, he parked it outside where it sat for 30 years.

In 2006, looking well aged from 3 decades of neglect, the local historical society came to Bob with a request to put his Citroën on display. He and his son Jim did a brake job, put on fresh tires, recovered the remains of the seats, and installed 6 fresh batteries. Lo-and-behold — it came to life and that is when Bob took Dave on a drive.

Isn’t it visionary that folks like Bob were envisioning future EV trends and adapting the technology of the time to go green almost 50 years ago? Arguably far greener that any EV today when you consider the recycle factor!

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