Tag Archives: Grand Old Fourth

4th of July parade celebrates BI teen’s energy independence

Mark King and his electric car
Mark King and his electric car
Look below for my story about a recent Bainbridge High School grad’s homemade electric car.

Mark King’s face lights up at the opportunity to share his leather-bound book of inventions.

Barefooted and sleepy-eyed after a late morning wake-up call, the newly-minted Bainbridge High School graduate quickly pages through diagrams and descriptions, eventually coming upon his first jet pack.

“I made that in 10th grade,” he said, pointing to a photo of himself with a collection of tubes and wires strapped to his back. “It didn’t work.”

He turns the page to show off a more streamlined version.

“This one worked, but not well enough.”

It produced 132.6 pounds of thrust, which wasn’t quite enough to rocket him across the island to school in the morning.

He’s tried his hand at several other contraptions: an electric skateboard, a hybrid gas-electric motorcycle, even a steel-framed helicopter.

But it was his desire for a better way to get to school that pushed him toward his masterwork.

“When I went to register at school for a parking spot, they told me it would be $240 for the year,” he said, noting that previous year’s fee was just $70. “They told me the reason was that they wanted us to carpool and be more green. So I thought ‘how green can I be?'”

That very same day, King began work on what would become a fully electric car. Built from scratch, the car’s construction followed only the blueprints that appeared in his mind.

“I went home, thought about a car and just did it, I guess, through trial and error,” King said while standing among drills, cables, sanders and welding equipment in his parents’ garage – a place that was long ago taken over by his projects.

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