Steam Whistle, arguably Canada's greenest brewery, has added a custom-built, eco-friendly vintage ride to its delivery fleet. Called Retro Electro, this green machine started life as a 1958 Chevy Apache truck. Steam Whistle retrofitted it with an AC motor capable of cranking out 465 pound-feet of torque, which is on par with the power output of gas-guzzling muscle cars, yet the Retro Electro is emissions-free as it's Bullfrogpowered with electricity generated by wind turbines.
This will be no coddled show car for the brewery, says Steam Whistle. The Retro Electro will be a beer-hauling workhorse and daily ride for the brewery's resident manager, Mike Kiraly, the brains behind the electric conversion of the 1958 Apache. Kiraly, himself an automotive enthusiast, is proud of the brewery's reputation for green manufacturing and understands that vintage rides often blow a lot of smoke. Kiraly says that the Retro Electro evolved around this observation:
And so Retro Electro was born. This electrified truck joins Steam Whistle's vintage fleet of beer delivery vehicles. Hop the jump to catch a brief video of Kiraly describing Retro Electro.What if we could take a sexy vintage ride, save it from the metal scrap heap and outfit it with a zero-tailpipe-emissions engine. Old-school style combined with a modern conscience.
[Source: Steam Whistle]
A vintage hot rod driven by 100% green electricity
(Toronto, ON April 4, 2011) – Steam Whistle brewing, arguably Canada's greenest brewery adds to their
environmental commitment with a custom-built, earth-friendly vintage ride. RETRO ELECTRO, a 1958 Chevy
Apache Pickup 1/2 ton short box with side step, retrofitted with a highefficiency AC motor capable of generating
465 foot-pounds of torque, is on par with the power of any gas-guzzling muscle car; yet emissions-free as it is
Bullfrogpowered® with 100 per cent BC wind power. This will be no coddled show car for the brewery, but a
beer-hauling workhorse and daily ride for Steam Whistle's resident manager, Mike Kiraly, the brains behind the
Retro Electro project. Although the electric motor means this wind-powered hot rod will cruise in silence, it's sure
to make a whole lot of noise with car enthusiasts, beer drinkers and supporters of the environment.
When Steam Whistle Brewing launched their iconic green-bottled Pilsner into BC in early 2009 and hired longtime
Vancouver resident Mike Kiraly to head up sales, the brewery shipped him the pride of their vintage fleet, a
1957 Chevy pickup. And while Kiraly, himself a vintage car enthusiast, was proud of the brewery's reputation for
green manufacturing, he understood that older engines were blowing a lot of black smoke. "What if we could take
a sexy vintage ride, save it from the metal scrap heap and outfit it with a zero tailpipe emissions engine. Oldschool
style combined with a modern conscience." And so Retro Electro was born.
After joining VEVA (Vancouver Electric Vehicle Association) and educating himself on electric vehicle technology
available to BC residents, Kiraly was able to convince Steam Whistle Brewing to invest in the idea. Kiraly's first
order was to find a vehicle to host his electric motor build out. From a note left on his windshield, Kiraly found the
1958 Chevy Apache pickup and had it barged over from Keats Island just across from Gibson's on the sunshine
coast. Next Kiraly assembled an all-star crew to help pioneer this dream: Vern Bethel - a lower-mainland maestro
of classic car restoration; Joe Mizsak - a gifted mechanic and rare car restorer who helped University of British
Columbia's Alternative Fuels Lab build the first natural-gas powered vehicle in BC; Lloyd Wagner known for kickass
custom hot-rods was enlisted for bodywork and paint; and Trevor Stoker, the lead engineer at Azure
Dynamics supplier of Retro Electro's motor and controller, shared his astounding knowledge of electronics and
vehicle engineering. Getting this custom electric hotrod running called for the talent of Greg Murray of Electric
Autosports, known for his expertise in EV conversions. Alongside Greg was Robert Shaw, an early member of
VEVA, and an Electrical Engineer who has helped with safety features of Retro Electro including the precharge
circuit and isolating contactors. Randy Holmquist from Vancouver Island's Canadian Electric Vehicles supplied
battery management hardware. Colin Bayne from IWE Rear Ends Only helped build a limited slip differential with
low gearing. Stefanie Goodrick of Sign Me Up Designs provided the final touch by exquisitely hand lettering Retro
Electro, old school style.
Powering Retro Electro was the next concern. Since 2007, Steam Whistle Brewing has been greening its
electricity requirements with 100% green power from Bullfrog Power, so an invitation to join the Retro Electro
project was extended to this green energy provider. In BC, Bullfrog Power sources 100 per cent wind power from
BC's Bear Mountain Wind Park. Twenty-four lithium batteries offer a 150km driving range and an 8-hour recharge
period with 220V/30A service. The Retro Electro launch is well timed with the City of Vancouver bylaw legislating
Electric Vehicle (EV) charging stations in new housing and condo developments. "There is a wave of support for
electric vehicles and I feel pretty lucky that I work for a company that cares about this stuff," beams Mike Kiraly.
Retro Electro can be seen silently cruising around British Columbia, delivering Canada's Premium Pilsner to
thirsty Canadians. Watch the story in videos here www.steamwhistle.ca/retroelectro/
About Steam Whistle
Steam Whistle, an independent brewery housed in Toronto's historic John St. Roundhouse, has a passionate
focus on making just one beer of exceptional quality that Canadians can be proud of. They brew their refreshing
Pilsner with traditional brewing methods and only four, natural (GMO-free) ingredients. Steam Whistle Pilsner is
packaged in signature green glass bottles, cans and draught and is shipped fresh across Ontario, Alberta and BC
to Beer and Liquor Stores as well as licensed bars & restaurants. Steam Whistle has a reputation as a green
manufacturer, the only Canadian previously named by bloggers in the list of North America's greenest
breweries, recognized in 2009 at the Green Toronto Awards for its energy conservation and use of
alternative energy forms, and in 2010 as one of Canada's Greenest Employers for its culture of
environmental awareness and exceptional earth-friendly initiatives.
To learn more about what Steam Whistle does really, really well, visit www.steamwhistle.ca