Mitchell Medford, owner of Blood Shed Motors since 2014, specializes in the custom electric vehicle automotive industry. Mitch has always had a passion for combining ideas across different industries in areas. One day when he was watching the British Top Gear television show doing a review of the new Tesla roadster, he developed a strong desire to research high performance electric cars. When he googled electric car racing, he almost immediately discovered a car named the White Zombie which is a 1972 Datsun that was all electric and held the world record for the quickest 0 to 60 time.
He found it intriguing to combine that type of electric power in the most classic, iconic muscle cars in history. Mitch expressed, “ There has long been a strong movement in the custom automotive industry to do something called resto mod to classic cars. This is where you take modern high-performance gasoline drive trains and install them in the old classic cars. To me, this would be the next step forward in that type of industry.”
We caught up with him and asked him a few questions! This is what he had to say to us.
How will the electric vehicle change the world?
Relative to the vehicle itself, there are two things that come to mind. One, as much cleaner vehicle this will reduce green house emissions. Two, more opportunity for fine-grained automation and control systems within the vehicle itself. However, the way that EVs are going to change the world has to do with the secondary consequences. Power delivery systems for the vehicles, innovations in power storage like batteries and capacitors which will trickle into other industries and most importantly, new sources of power generation. I personally believe EVs are going to be the impetus that finally pushes the world to develop practical fusion energy.
What does it feel like to drive an electric car compared to a motor gas car?
Driving a low end EV just feels like a quieter car, but driving a high-performance EV feels like being shot out of a rocket or a ride on a roller coaster.
Will power grids be able to handle increased electricity demand from EVs?
There will clearly need to be new investments in grid infrastructure to accommodate the increased demand for electricity, but the most impacted will be the last mile of power distribution to the vehicles themselves and of course the initial power generation. Demand is clearly going to increase so production will have to keep up.
Will auto and battery manufacturers be able to build enough factories to meet the potential explosive growth in EV demand beginning around 2025?
Building factories to produce enough batteries or storage systems will not be the problem. Industrialized countries are very good at building factories for new technologies and market opportunities. The problem is going to come from shortages in unique mined raw materials used in different chemistries unless some of the promising innovations in battery technology come to fruition.
How many legacy automakers will successfully transition from analog machine assemblers to hardware/software/battery companies?
I would expect any major car company to be able to make the transition. Car companies are always having to adapt new innovative technologies into their industry. However, I would not expect all car companies to become developers and manufacturers of their own battery cells. The battery packs absolutely, but not necessarily the cells themselves. Some automotive manufacturers will just be the cells as a piece part to be used in the final product. In regards to getting into the energy storage business, again I suspect a few might try it but not all.
Will convenience store & gas station operators replace gas pumps with EV chargers in time, or let new entrants own the highway and neighborhood charging business? Gas-station-pexels. I would fully expect convenience stores that also sell gas to start offering charging stations. Most of the convenient stores profit come from selling the items in the store that you purchase while you are filling your gas tank. The gas portion of their business is more of a draw to get you in the store then it is a business into itself. As far as a classic gas station that doesn’t really have a convenient store element, that’s going to be more difficult for them to make the transition.
How soon and quickly will the decline of the auto parts and repair shop industries begin? Can and will they evolve into new businesses supporting, for example, EV charging or related businesses?
I would not expect a significant decline in the auto parts and repair shop industries because a large portion of the car is still mechanical. Even the EV parts of the car will need maintenance and repair. I think this will be very similar to win computerization started showing up in a lot of modern cars. The parts suppliers and repair shops had to make investments to adjust and keep current but were able to do it.
With used cars (powered both by electric motors and internal combustion engines) declining in significant value due to technology obsolescence from advancement in battery and autonomous vehicle technology, what happens to the used car market and various forms of auto financing?
I believe that the shift of the automotive industry to electric cars is going to be a gradual transitional process that will not significantly affect the used car market. I think it will happen over a long enough period of time that the older gas cars will follow the normal life cycle through the used market and then ultimately to the scrap yard.
Will we see a significant reduction in manufacturing and supply chain jobs with the shift to robotic manufacturing and simpler-to-produce electric drivetrains and motors that use fewer parts than internal combustion powered vehicles?
There already has been a significant drop in manual labor jobs due to automation and robotics manufacturing and that is only going to continue. I think the fact that electric drive trains are simpler to produce may have some small effect on that but not be a driving factor.
Will the legacy auto dealership model evolve or disappear with electric vehicles requiring less service and maintenance combined with a likely gradual move towards direct sales?
I do not think the legacy automotive dealership model is going to disappear anytime soon. Electric vehicles still require service and maintenance on the mechanical parts of the car and the fact that Tesla has established a direct sales model is still a one-off from the rest of the industry and is yet to be proven as a trend for the future.
Who would you like to recognize in your life for inspiring you to become who you are today?
Both of my parents, Isaac Asimov and Arthur C Clarke, my drill sergeant in basic training, John Wayland who is the builder and owner of the White Zombie, and most important of all my wife.