Theo Gibson

EV Builders Documentary

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In 2009 I took it upon myself to convert a 1990 Toyota Sera from an internal combustion engine to an all-electric vehicle. At the time you couldn't purchase a commercially available electric vehicle in New Zealand. Everyone thought I was mad, but three years later, with a lot of hard work and help from friends, family and colourful EV enthusiasts, the car was completed and became my daily driver. This whole agonizing process was captured on video as I converted my knackered Toyota Sera to electric, in true recycling fashion.

Now, after years of procrastination and reflection, I'm in the process of making this story into a retrospective documentary. It will look back at what we did then and the perception of EV's at the time compared to now.

What has changed, why are people embracing EV technology? Are we about to step into an electric future after all?

I class myself as a technology-based practitioner with a broad range of experience in theatre, film and audio production. I currently work as a podcaster, audiobook producer, creative director and film, TV and music technician. The reason that I have all of this video content to help to tell the story is because at the the time of building the EV I was working as a Film/TV coordinator and video editing lecturer at Unitec School of Performing and Screen Arts. My colleagues and students at the time embraced the project and I enlisted some unexpected support from people including Master Carver Dr Lyonel Grant, who built the Unitec Marae.  Not only is Lyonel an amazing artist but he has a passion for cars and sustainability - we put his welding skills to good use. 

What is the aim?

I have hours and hours of footage from the actual conversion shot by myself and film students who assisted on the project, I need help to sort through the footage to refine the story I wish to tell. We still need to shoot new interviews with my crew of helpers and new acquaintances in the EV movement and then edit it all together using post-production services.

We have estimated that $5,000 is needed to complete this project, with a breakdown as follows:

45% on video edit
40% on audio mix and mastering
15% on video grade

$5,000 will allow us to assign a team to the project and finish it off to the highest standards.

My love for EV's didn't just stop with this EV conversion. I now produce and host "The Electric Vehicle Podcast" downloadable where you get your podcasts or at

- Theo Gibson