Mike McQuary gets ready to launch the Wheego Whip

After co-founding Mindspring, McQuary takes over an electric car company

I always want to be part of something i think can have a major impact on society. My friend Charles Brewer founded [Internet service provider] MindSpring Enterprises in 1994. We wrote the business plan together and I came on board the next year. I was president for seven years.

By early 2007 I was a partner at a merchant bank when Bo Huff, founder of Ruff & Tuff Products, came to us for money to expand as a golf cart company. We weren't very interested in that business, but Bo had a lot of great technology. We invested and I became CEO.

The green element is what really drew me to car design, and now I have an appreciation for the old classic cars. I caught the fever late in life. When I was growing up, my dad, who had been a mechanic, was a Ford loyalist. My mom used to say the only competition she had for his affection was a 1955 Ford Mainline. Now I find myself online studying hybrid cars and comparing them. I have a driveway full of electric cars—the Wheego Whip, two rejected prototypes we developed, and a Lexus hybrid. We still have a Honda minivan for the kids.

The Whip is the best electric vehicle in the world. I think the acceleration is going to surprise people. It's a very peppy car. Although I'm the most conservative driver around. Whenever we go on a trip, I volunteer to drive, and my friends say, "No way. Don't let Miss Daisy drive."

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