The electric vehicle movement lost a pioneer October 24 with the passing of Bob Beaumont who was 79. Bob is credited with his creation of the CitiCar and later, the Tropica, which he created in the early 90s. At one time his electric car company, Seabring-Vanguard was the 4th largest auto company in the US.
At Bob’s memorial service in Columbia, Maryland, former EVA/DC President, Dave Goldstein recanted the story of Bob and his meeting with Detroit executives who were trying to have his CommutaCar, the predecesor to the CitiCar, banned in Michigan as being “unsafe.” When Bob got up and whacked his CommutaCar several times with a baseball bat, with no apparent damage, and then asked the execs if he could try that with their cars! – to which they recoiled with horror. The execs dropped their criticism and Bob continued to sell CommutCars, producing about 2,200, more than any US manufacturer until recent times. To this day, there have been no fatalities or serious injuries from owners driving Bob’s CommutaCar or CitiCar.
Bob was the inspiration for many EVers and his EV spirit continues to live on.
See the October 30 New York Times story on Bob and his legacy.
Bob Beaumont photo (above) from page 370 of “The Lost Cord” by Barbara Taylor, a great book on the history of the electric car and Bob Beaumont’s anecdotal experience building the CitiCar and the Tropica.