Is Brent Hatch The Future Of Car Geeks?

Recently my adventures as the host of Translogic led me to Brent Hatch, the guy who built a solar-powered electric vehicle from scratch. In today's culture -- and especially in my home state of California -- it's not such a strange thing to meet someone who's into hybrids and electric vehicles. Fortunately, the uptake of these transportation alternatives is growing; the electric car is no longer a Jetsonian concept. However, I do find it extraordinary when someone doesn't sit back and wait for "green" to arrive, but seeks it out. Hatch had no prior experience with engineering, welding, or electricity, but that didn't stop him from charging forward. (In fact, as you can see in the Translogic episode 4.1 video, when we showed up to shoot, there was a mechanic at his house working on his car.) As we talked more about Hatch's background and family, I quickly learned this is par for the course for this modern renaissance man. He's the owner of multiple businesses and a father to seven children -- one of whom is starting an anti-bullying tour, which has garnered national media attention- who truly lives "outside the box."

I wonder: Is this a glimpse at how the next generation will live? Will we all be do-it-yourself Brent Hatches with his entrepreneurial spirit? Will it become common for children to boast resumes that compare to 40-year-old businessmen? Will we all spit on conventionalism?

Times are definitely changing. Large corporations are pushing green initiatives like "think before you print." Multiple car companies are offering hybrids and introducing electrics. Environmental-consciousness seems to be at an all-time high and you pretty much have to be a bubble boy stuck inside a vault placed in a cement bunker not to be smacked in the face by this earth talk.

My generation has begun the uptake and acceptance of this sort of consciousness, but our effect can be seen only in small doses and in a few controlled areas. My parents' generation, not so much so, and my grandparents would burn a pile of tires, surrounded by bottles of hairspray and buckets of chemical waste without batting an eyelash.

It might be easy to write off a guy like Hatch due to his eccentric nature and unconventional thinking. You could call his lifestyle impractical. Maybe it is. But it's people like him who challenge the status quo and raise the bar for the rest of us to expect more from technology and from ourselves.

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