When EV West owner Michael Bream ripped up Pike’s Peak in his electrified E36 M3 in 2012, he as well as his company became an icon for the electric vehicle conversion community. While Tesla had been making the polished Roadster for years, Michael seemed to burst onto the scene with a promise for the aftermarket community: no longer do EV conversions need to be as meek as they are quiet.
Michael is an engineer-turned-mechanic, and his company EV West sells electric vehicle essentials like batteries and controllers from other companies, and they also sell electric vehicle conversion kits for the likes of air-cooled Volkswagens and Porsches. EV West has been very public about their operations, showing off their vehicles on the Hoonigan and Fully Charged YouTube channels.
“I think my favorite thing about electric cars is that we’re learning something every day. It’s not often you get to go to work and show up excited and just really eager to learn something new.”– Michael Bream
Likely believing in the mantra “Race on Sunday, Sell on Monday,” their motorsports ambitions have not stopped. Their latest creation is the “Electraliner,” a high-speed-record-chasing Lakester built for the Bonneville salt flats in 2020. Hitting a top speed of 238 miles per hour, the Lakester is a Tesla-powered monster.
EV West does full conversions at their shop as well, although they don’t necessarily advertise those services on their website. When they do conversions, they appear more likely to be passion projects like the Electraliner and proof-of-concept conversions for vehicles they are making conversion kits for rather than churning out customer build after customer build.
Their social media presence includes up-to-date posts of behind-the-scenes looks at builds they are working on and their shop, and it offers some level of certainty about their ability to deliver parts and service.