Adam Lansing knows a thing or two about cars. At the early age of 12, he would overhear his brother asking their parents for gas money. It “was a real drag,” Lansing said, and after seeing YouTube clips of John Wayland’s 1972 Datsun 1200 electric conversion, decided he wanted to do something similar.
Shortly after, Lansing managed to gather up the parts needed to create his own electric vehicle, using a dilapidated 1980 Toyota Celica as the platform’s base. After six years and more than 50 rebuilds, the project is complete. Needless to say, it was far from easy.
Lansing managed to get the car running for the first time when he was 16 although it died shortly after its maiden voyage. That’s when he became obsessed with the project, spending up to 20 hours a day tearing down and rebuilding the car. He came close to throwing in the towel but fortunately, his friends, family and girlfriend helped keep him motivated. Wayland even gave him advice as a mentor.
“I think my need to innovate took over at that point. I see I’ve gone this far, I’m not gonna quit now. Finally, I told myself, ‘This is supposed to be fun, it’s not a chore. I should love this.’ Right then, I changed my mindset, I started figuring more things out. Those long rebuild days weren’t as dreadful. It made the whole thing better.”
Lansing’s Celica is powered by 94 lithium ion batteries and boasts a range of 130 miles on a single charge. That’s enough to get him anywhere he needs to go. “I can drive to the airport from my house a couple times,” he says proudly.
Lansing, who is contemplating his collegiate future after graduating from Plano East High School in Texas, even started his own company along the way, Hawkeye Innovations LLC. Given what he’s been able to accomplish thus far at such a young age, it’s safe to assume he’s got a bright future ahead of him.