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Pioneering Filipina in EV Community

In the rapidly evolving landscape of electric vehicles, a dynamic couple has carved out a niche as trailblazers – Grace and Mitchell, the driving forces behind Torque Trends Inc. Their remarkable journey showcases the power of collaboration, unyielding determination, and Grace’s pivotal role as a Filipina entrepreneur, steadfastly supporting her husband’s vision.

The Torque Trends Story

It all began in 2010 when Mitchell, a seasoned automotive professional, started receiving requests for an EV gearbox solution. Despite his employer’s lack of interest, his wife Grace recognized the immense potential. As she shares, “I gave my full support to Mitchell’s goal to start the company.” Fueled by her unwavering belief, they took a leap of faith and founded Torque Trends in 2013.

For over a decade, this husband-wife duo has been meticulously handcrafting “boutique” EV gearboxes tailored to niche markets worldwide. Their success epitomizes the harmonious blend of Mitchell’s technical mastery and Grace’s business acumen, bolstered by her master’s degree in finance.

The Interview

Could you tell us about yourselves and how you got interested in converting cars to electric vehicles?

Mitchell: “Starting around 2010, I started receiving requests for an underdrive or reduction gearbox. Grace suggested this might be an opportunity for us to go on our own and create product for this new and growing industry called EV conversion. The rest is history as we have been designing and building custom TorqueBox brand reduction gearboxes for eleven years now. I really credit Grace with pushing me to do this.”

Grace: “Seeing the potential good and great potential of his concept, without hesitation I gave my full support to Mitchell’s goal to start the company.”

Working together as a couple must be interesting. How do you manage to work together and still maintain a healthy personal relationship?

Mitchell: “That has been easy, we really like working together and appreciate each other’s skills and talents. Where I am weak, Grace is strong and vice versa. I have the technical knowledge and Grace has the business savvy.”

Grace: “When couples are more focused on what each can contribute to the relationship, it is more harmonious and delightful.”

What were some of the toughest challenges you faced while converting projects like the Miata to electric?

Mitchell: “While I am a skilled drivetrain mechanic, I did not have previous high voltage or electronics experience. Grace did not have any automotive knowledge. This did not stop us and we leaned on help from students and industry contacts. All working together, we debuted our Tesla-powered Miata at SEMA 2014.”

About Torque Trends Inc.

Torque Trends’ mission is to create the perfect EV reduction gearbox – the ev-TorqueBox®. Their products multiply torque across diverse EV applications worldwide. As a boutique shop, hands-on innovation and personalized consultation define their approach.

“We live by the golden rule – treating others as we want to be treated,” Mitchell states. This ethical backbone allowed them to grow their shared dream into a thriving family business.

The SEMA Breakthrough

Their major breakthrough came in 2014 when Torque Trends’ Tesla-powered Miata was the first and only EV selected for the prestigious SEMA “Battle of the Builders” contest, earning an impressive placement.

As Mitchell reflects, “Being in the first ever Battle of the Builders and doing so well really gave us both a lot of confidence to move forward no matter what.”

The SEMA Battle of the Builders is more than just a contest. It is a celebration of automotive creativity, craftsmanship, and innovation. It is an opportunity for talented builders to showcase their finest custom vehicles and compete for the ultimate recognition in the industry. The SEMA Battle of the Builders is where passion meets excellence, and where dreams become reality.

Looking Ahead

A decade later, Torque Trends made a triumphant return to SEMA 2023 with an overhauled Miata showcasing their latest HD 3.0 gearbox innovation. Their sustained success validates this couple’s shared passion. Beyond commercial ventures, they give back by consulting major automakers and universities worldwide. “Do not waste your time doing anything other than your passion,” is Mitchell’s advice to budding innovators.

For Grace and Mitchell, their life’s work transcends business. As Grace beautifully summarizes, “Just like our Creator’s passion for mankind, it’s good to have that worldview for any endeavor – it makes work fully satisfying despite challenges.” This pioneering Filipina’s steadfast support and her husband’s grit birthed an EV powerhouse. Torque Trends personifies the unstoppable force of a couple fortifying each other’s strengths to revolutionize an industry.

Michael Lewis

Michael is joined at the hip with the Filipino American community through family, friends, and his love for the food. Over the past 15 years+, he has been an active "behind the scenes" contributor to a variety of Filipino community groups, events, and activities. Michael is also ringleader of the FilAm FamBam crew and in his free time enjoys RV'ing and anything tech.

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