Along the way he became interested in electric vehicle competition.
Mark's participation and success in EV competition helped him develop concepts of efficient, electric power for
neighborhood vehicle designs. In the early '90s urban planners began to discuss the concept of small urban vehicles
as the primary focus of urban transportation and a possible means by which to develop people-oriented communities.
Mark saw this trend as an affirmation of his ideas, and began looking for an opportunity to develop his concept
of an NEV.
Neighborhood EV Was Started
In 1994 Mark and a group of entrepreneurs began meeting to
discuss urban transportation problems and the NEV as a business opportunity. They believed that the heart of these
problems is this: most urban drivers use petroleum powered vehicles with a range and carrying capacity far in excess
of their usual daily needs. They knew that a large majority of all urban vehicle trips are by one person going
a short distance, and that a vehicle for specifically this purpose simply didn't exist. Thus, the task was to develop
a vehicle for only these local trips: a non- polluting vehicle with the range, performance and cargo space appropriate
for in-city, personal use. Further, the founders of Neighborhood EV valued simplicity and low cost and wanted the
vehicle to be highly durable, reliable, and easy to maintain. For these reasons they chose a development approach
emphasizing the appropriate application of existing technology. With these goals and values in mind, the Neighborhood
Electric Vehicle Company was formed in 1995 to develop and produce an entirely new type of vehicle: a three wheeled,
single passenger neighborhood electric vehicle. The first Gizmo prototype was completed in July of 1996 and public
response has been tremendously positive ever since.
An initial fleet of ten vehicles was manufactured for long
term use in testing and evaluation. The test fleet users have been driving their Gizmos for over two years, and
each is very happy with their vehicle's performance. The test fleet owners include utilities, local businesses
and commuters. Based on the feedback from these users, Neighborhood EV has made hundreds of refinements to the
Gizmo involving virtually every aspect of the design. The Gizmo has proven to be a viable option for commuting,
business errands and delivery, site inspection, station cars, security and other short trip applications.