Wally E. Rippel is a long-time developer and advocate of battery electric vehicles.
Wally has a prominent role, labeled as himself, "Research Engineer, AeroVironment," in the 2006 documentary movie Who Killed the Electric Car?, including two brief scenes in the official trailer
In 1968, as an undergraduate student, he built the Caltech electric car (a converted 1958 VW microbus) and won the Great Transcontinental Electric Car Race against MIT
In the 1970s and 1980s, Rippel worked for the Jet Propulsion Laboratory on electric vehicle battery research, among other things.
Around 1990, Rippel joined AeroVironment and helped to design the GM Impact, later named the EV1; he had worked on the induction motor for the car before joining AeroVironment In 2003, he was one of the participants in the mock funeral for the EV1 as GM prepared to collect the last few for crushing
Rippel left AeroVironment in 2006 and joined Tesla Motors where he continued his life long work on the battery electric car.
The US PTO lists 24 issued patents with Wally E. Rippel as inventor:
- US 6954010 Lamination cooling system 2005-10-11
- US 6674164 System for uniformly interconnecting and cooling 2004-01-06
- US 6232742 Dc/ac inverter apparatus for three-phase and single-phase motors 2001-05-15
- US 5914590 Electrical power regulator 1999-06-22
- US 5751150 Bidirectional load and source cycler 1998-05-12
- US 5441824 Quasi-bipolar battery requiring no casing 1995-08-15
- US 5099187 Power connect safety and connection interlock 1992-03-24
- US 5099186 Integrated motor drive and recharge system 1992-03-24
- US 5041780 Integrable current sensors 1991-08-20
- US 4920475 Integrated traction inverter and battery charger apparatus 1990-04-24
- US 4884631 Forced air heat sink apparatus 1989-12-05
- US 4874681 Woven-grid sealed quasi-bipolar lead-acid battery construction and fabricating method 1989-10-17
- US 4873460 Monolithic transistor gate energy recovery system 1989-10-10
- US 4873161 Positive paste with lead-coated glass fibers 1989-10-10
- US 4664992 Composite battery separator 1987-05-12
- US 4603093 Lead-acid battery 1986-07-29
- US 4570212 Silicon controlled rectifier polyphase bridge inverter commutated with gate-turn-off thyristor 1986-02-11
- US 4415963 FET commutated current-FED inverter 1983-11-15
- US 4384321 Unity power factor switching regulator 1983-05-17
- US 4353969 Quasi-bipolar battery construction and method of fabricating 1982-10-12
- US 4319318 Voltage reapplication rate control for commutation of thyristors 1982-03-09
- US 4275130 Bipolar battery construction 1981-06-23
- US 3808481 Commutating Circuit for Electrical Vehicle 1974-04-30
- US 3641364 SCR Chopper Circuit 1972-02-08
Books that discuss Wally Rippel include:
- Bob Brant, Build Your Own Electric Vehicle, McGraw-Hill, 1994.
- Ernest H Wakefield , History of the Electric Automobile: Hybrid Electric Vehicles, Warrendale, PA: Society of Automotive Engineers, 1998
- Michael Shnayerson, The Car That Could: The Inside Story of GM's Revolutionary Electric Vehicle, Random House, 1996.