MEC electric car now part of Florida museum
An electric 1975 “CitiCar” believed to have once belonged to Mecklenburg Electric Cooperative was recently spotted in a South Florida museum.
The old-school EV, which once thumbed its nose at the gasoline shortage of the mid-70s, today sits dormant in the Elliot Museum in Stuart, Fla.
The CitiCar was built for urban use with a 3.5 hp motor that got up to a top speed of 35 mph.
It carried two passengers, with an AM radio as its only luxury. There was a propane-powered heater and eight large six-volt lead acid batteries under its one-and-only bench seat.
Original price: $2,988.
David Ogburn, a friend of MEC CEO John Lee Jr., happened to visit the Elliot Museum on vacation and saw that the car’s informational museum plaque claimed that the electric vehicle once belonged to Lee’s cooperative.
“They say it was originally owned by the Mecklenburg Electric Co-op,” he says.
“Oddly, they identify the cooperative as located in Salem, Va.”
Former MEC COO Glen Gillispie says the now 47-year-old car looks familiar.
“The gentleman who used to drive MEC’s electric car, Ezra Wood, was responsible for picking up and delivering MEC mail,” he recalls. “It was only a two-mile round trip to the post office, but there was a good-sized hill coming back and Ezra sometimes struggled getting up it,” Gillispie says laughing.
“It’s a testament to the fact that MEC is always ahead of its time,” says Lee.