Kate Walton-Elliott

Contributing Editor at Transport Evolved

Kate states that she is somewhat of a “Katica za sve” – a jane of all trades. Born a geek, she has trained in multiple disciplines, and worked in IT, Music and Education before settling on nursing. Whilst she loves her day job she says “it doesn’t feed [her] geek needs”, and she remains an inveterate tinkerer. A visit to her house finds 1930’s ephemera meshing seamlessly with 21st  century technology. Whilst much of her home life is taken up with the long term renovation of a 1936 terraced house, she kills spare time playing with a Raspberry Pi, repairing old gadgetry, and both writing and producing a music podcast called  Dead Bug Jumping.

Kate is an avid fan of the outdoors.

Kate is an avid fan of the outdoors.

A lifetime classic car geek, Kate’s love affair with her main drive began at the tender age of 13 when she was found grovelling underneath someone else’s near scrap Morris Minor. £20 later the car was hers, and with the help of a long suffering family it was returned to the road. Although classic cars have a terrible eco reputation, she was influenced by Greenpeace’s statement that “it’s better to keep a car on the road longer than replace it with a new one”, something she lives by. Indeed, it was only that she was able to both sell on their old Volvo to another driver, and buy a second hand EV that made her totally comfortable with the concept of owning a car less than 10 years old.

Kate and the iMiev

Kate drives a Mitsubishi i-Miev, Morris Minor, and Toyota Prius.

Although a firm supporter of ‘green’ causes, she was initially somewhat of a skeptic regarding EVs thinking that biofuels would be the way forward. But Kate came round to the concept through experiencing them via her friendship with Nikki Gordon-Bloomfield, and through observing the damage done growing biofuels in place of food. However, a succession of poorly EVs didn’t exactly get her EV ownership off to a good start. A “heap of a GWiz” with a “duff charger” that killed a brand new set of batteries, and a 1970s Enfield that ended up in 3 feet of flood water before getting stuck in a Welsh field for years could have killed her new passion completely.

As in, she really likes the outdoors.

As in, she really likes the outdoors.

But the final turning point was a journey in a Peugeot iOn that was one of Nikki’s press cars.

“It [the iOn] was the right size for our proto-family, and clearly capable of more than just being a city run about” she says. The iOn is also sold as the iMiEV (by Mitsubishi) and the C-Zero (by Citroen) and Kate wasn’t too picky about which version she got. After some searching the TE team managed to find a low-milage CABLED trial Mitsubishi iMiEV – a rare pre-UK production car within her price-range. And she proved its long distance capabilities on her first day of ownership, driving the car back from Liverpool to Bristol that same day.

She reckons that the Morris 1000 would make the perfect EV. “Lightweight and rear wheel drive for an easy conversion, what’s not to love. Also, they look gorgeous!”. Her project to convert her Minor is at The Electric Minor Project.

An occasional contributor to Transport Evolved (the show and the site), when not writing here she can be found on her long running and eclectic blog Substantially lemon based.

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