89-year-old who loves EVs gets a ride in Ford Mustang Mach-E after 7-decade wait

  • An 89-year-old who loves EVs was given his first drive in an all-electric
  • George Chartier developed a love for EVs from a young age
  • After years of admiring EVs he finally got to ride in a Ford Mustang Mach-E 

Published on Jul 09, 2024 at 11:49 AM (UTC+4)
by Claire Reid

Last updated on Jul 09, 2024 at 3:48 PM (UTC+4)
Edited by Tom Wood

An 89-year-old man with a love of electric cars finally got to take a ride in a Mach-E more than seven decades after his interest was first sparked. 

Every so often a story comes along that hits you right in the feels. 

And one such tale is that of George Chartier, 89, who had been fascinated by electric cars since he was a child and – after a wait of almost a lifetime – he finally got a turn in one. 

Not just any old EV, either – he was taken out for a spin in a Ford Mustang Mach-E.

Fancy, right?

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The 89-year-old grew up with a love of EVs

The story unfolded after Chartier’s son Allen reached out to Car and Driver, hoping to get his dad a ride along in the Mach-E. 

“He was always interested in electric cars, starting with a radio-controlled electric car he built in 1955,” Allen wrote.

“It is my hope to get him a ride in a Mach-E.”

And who could refuse a request like that? Chartier doesn’t just like cars, he lives cars. 

As a youngster in Wisconsin in the US, he developed a deep interest in cars and would go on to build some impressive models from scratch, which culminated in him creating a 1/12-scale, radio-controlled electric model car in the 1950s.

He spent around 3,000 hours working on the model and painstakingly crafted each and every part – including its engine, as RC car kits didn’t exist back then. 

The RC model car Chartier made was so impressive that when he took it along to an interview at Ford he was given a job as a clay modeler ‘on the spot’. 

Chartier remained at Ford as a clay modeler – tasked with ensuring car designs looked as good in 3D as they do in 2D – for almost 40 years. He even turned down offers of managerial positions, because he loved his work so much. 

He finally took a spin in a Mach-E

Now-retired, Chartier was still yet to get behind the wheel of an EV, until March this year when he headed to the Car and Driver offices and was taken out for a ride. 

The 89-year-old was surprised by how quiet the car was and couldn’t quite believe it was ‘really all-electric’. 

“This was an impossibility when I was a kid. Amazing batteries,” he said.

 Opening up about where his love of EVs came from, he explained that he always believed that cars should be silent and smooth. 

“Electric cars are… [we have to assume he means great] — and they don’t smell,” he said.  Well, he’s not wrong, is he?

# Tags - Cars, EV


Claire Reid

Claire Reid is a journalist who hails from the UK but is now living in New Zealand. She began her career after graduating with a degree in Journalism from Liverpool John Moore’s University and has more than a decade of experience, writing for both local newspapers and national news sites. Across her career she's covered a wide variety of topics, including celebrity, cryptocurrency, politics, true crime and just about everything in between.