Episode 291 with Ruined EV - How To Ruin Your Car
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Episode 291 with Ruined EV – How To Ruin Your Car

Image showcasing Electrify Podcast episode 291 with host Jarod DeAnda featuring guests AJ Velasco and CJ Cardinalli of Ruined EV
  • Online Origin: Ruined EV started as an online hashtag and transformed into a community passionate about customizing EVs.
  • Diverse Customization: The car club now includes all OEMs and primarily focuses on customizing the Tesla Model 3 and Model Y due to extensive aftermarket support.
  • Industry Partnerships: Ruined EV collaborates with partners like AlphaRex and Status, offering members discounts on parts and fostering unity within the community.

Listen on Spotify | Watch on YouTube

In this episode of Electrify Podcast, we dive into the world of Ruined EV, a movement that’s taking the electric vehicle (EV) community by storm. AJ Velasco and CJ Cardinalli, the minds behind Ruined EV, join our host, Jarod DeAnda to share their journey, insights, and passion for customizing EVs.

CJ Tesla Model 3 Ruined EV - The Electric Playground: Electrify Expo 2023 Tour Starts in Long Beach
The Ultimate Tesla Show Car – CJ Cardinalli’s 2018 Tesla Model 3 displayed with Ruined EV at Electrify Showoff in Long Beach, CA

Introducing Ruined EV: More Than Meets the Eye

Let’s start with the basics. Ruined EV may sound like a destructive endeavor, but it’s quite the opposite. As CJ explains, it began as a simple online hashtag but quickly evolved into a thriving community of like-minded individuals. These enthusiasts were eager to put their own stamp on EVs, much like people customize their bodies with tattoos or their homes.


From Digital Connection to Customization Innovation: A Ruined EV Inspiring Journey

In an age where digital connections dominate, Ruined EV’s story is emblematic. AJ and CJ first met online, highlighting the power of the internet in fostering communities. Despite living in a world that often felt shut down due to the pandemic, they eventually met in person, solidifying their bond and their vision for the car club.

Ruined EV is all about pushing the boundaries of EV customization. CJ, with over 20 years of experience working on cars, saw the potential in Tesla’s Model 3 as a canvas for modification. Ruining, in their context, means personalizing these EVs in extraordinary ways.

From Hashtag to Movement: The Rise of Ruined EV’s DIY Community

What started as a mere hashtag evolved into a thriving community of enthusiasts. CJ and AJ took a leap of faith, transitioning from a hashtag to a full-fledged movement in 2019. Today, Ruined EV includes over 60 members, with 40 actively involved. Their presence at nationwide auto shows is a testament to their exponential growth.


One of Ruined EV’s hallmarks is its DIY culture. Members share their knowledge, helping one another navigate the complexities of EV customization. It’s a collaborative environment where questions like “How do you do this?” and “How do you do that?” are encouraged.

Photo of modified Tesla Model 3 at Electrify Showoff in New York

Transforming EVs: Embracing Creativity and Aftermarket Support with Ruined EV

The name “Ruined EV” might raise eyebrows, but it encapsulates their mission perfectly. They aren’t ruining these cars; they’re making them unique. Customization has always been part of the automotive world, and EVs are no exception.

AJ shares his journey with Ruined EV, from initially being denied by CJ to eventually embracing the movement. He highlights Ruined EV’s presence at the SEMA Show, where they showcased their creativity, including a daring last-minute wide-body project.


Accelerating Innovation: The Expanding Aftermarket for Electric Vehicles

Ruined EV isn’t alone in this journey. The aftermarket space for EVs is expanding, and companies are taking notice. Brands like Yokohama are developing EV-specific tires, catering to the unique needs of electric vehicles. Lighting companies like Teslux Innovations are innovating, and CSF Radiators might soon offer cooling solutions for EVs.

Performance in the EV world isn’t just about horsepower and speed. It’s about reimagining what performance means. Cooling systems, electrical management, and even swapping components are part of this new definition.

Photo of Perry Kwok's 2018 Tesla Model 3, Best Best Wrap / Graphics at Electrify Showoff San Francisco
Perry Kwok’s 2018 Tesla Model 3 at Electrify Showoff in San Francisco

Expanding Horizons: The Ruined EV Journey from Tesla to All EVs and the Model 3 & Model Y Customization Craze

While Ruined EV started as a Tesla-specific community, it’s now spreading its wings. They aim to embrace all OEMs and explore the exciting world of EV swaps. Their vision extends beyond Tesla to include Porsches, Fords, and more.

Ruined EV’s community primarily focuses on Model 3s and Model Ys. These platforms provide a perfect canvas for customization, akin to the vast aftermarket support seen in the 90s Honda Civic scene.


Fostering Collaboration and Unity: Ruined EV’s Partnerships and Community Benefits

Ruined EV isn’t just about customizing cars; it’s also about collaboration. Partnerships with companies like AlphaRex, Status, and ADRA have been pivotal. Membership benefits even include discounts on parts, fostering a sense of unity within the community.

AJ and CJ both share their transition to EVs as daily drivers. The convenience of EVs and their performance potential make them ideal for everyday use. However, they emphasize that their love for traditional gasoline-powered vehicles still runs deep.

Image showcasing Rex Villa's 2020 Tesla Model 3, Best of Show at Electrify Showoff in New York
Image showcasing Rex Villa’s 2020 Tesla Model 3, Best of Show at Electrify Showoff in New York

Celebrating the Fusion of Tech, Individuality, and Electric Vehicles at Ruined EV

Ruined EV is a testament to the evolving landscape of automotive customization. It’s about taking the passion for cars, technology, and individuality and applying it to the EV world. The future holds exciting possibilities, from classic car EV swaps to electrified off-roading adventures.

In an era where being a “nerd” or “geek” no longer carries negative connotations, Ruined EV embraces the passion for technology and cars. It’s about celebrating what makes each enthusiast unique, whether they’re into video games, graphic novels, or the world of automobiles.

As we stand at the precipice of the EV revolution, Ruined EV’s journey serves as a reminder that customization and personalization are timeless passions that bridge generations and fuel innovation. So, whether you’re a seasoned gearhead or a tech-savvy enthusiast, there’s a place for you in the ever-evolving world of EV customization.

Visit Ruined EV on Instagram at @ruined.ev to witness their amazing creations and join the movement that’s transforming the EV scene – one customized ride at a time. Additionally, you could find out more on AJ Velasco and CJ Cardinalli and their customized Teslas on their respective Instagram pages – @jrzy_m3p and @casper_model3.


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