Wally RippelWally Rippel found his research at CalTech and later JPL eventually integrated into AeroVironment's Santana project, the covert General Motor's program to create the first modern, high-performance electric car.
First working as a consultant, Rippel eventually would join AeroVironment. Then with electronics and mechanical wizard Alan Cocconi form AC Propulsion, the small R&D firm that would continue development of the motor and inverter/charger that had originally powered the Impact. Those efforts would eventually, though many highs and lows, find its way into the White Lightning landspeed record holder and then the Venturi and Tesla electric sports cars. It would be the latter that would goad -- along with Chris Paine's film 'Who Killed the Electric Car' -- General Motors into developing the Volt.
The mathematics Rippel perfected and the electronic revolution they inspired would find its expression in a new generation of electric cars, he helped sire three decades earlier.