So the big “news” is that the 2014 EV Grand Prix will be May 10- really, we’ve been planning this for most of a year now. Nabih Bedewi wasn’t present, but plenty of people were there to brief the crowd. (We were in Davis Library, Democracy Blvd. Trying to cover more of the metro area, apologies if you missed it.)
Bruce Cohen gave a general call for volunteers. We need setup and teardown volunteers (including the Friday before), course workers, people for greeting and working an EVADC table, crowd control, etc. See our SignUpGenius page. All volunteers will receive a T-shirt and cap, pizza lunch courtesy of the venue, and free parking (through the guardhouse, off Rt. 50, for volunteers on our list) instead of the high Udvar-Hazy rate. Anyone with specialized skills like sound, music, video are especially welcome. We are also looking for publicity, both via high schools for later EVGPs, and anyone with media and sponsor contacts (this year and in the future). Heck, tell your school-aged friends and neighbors, any educators you know, and “like” our Facebook page if nothing else. The U-H Center will have its final Super Science Saturday going on while the race has downtime- you’ve got nothing to lose.
Another opportunity is to show your ride at the 1:00 parade of EVs. Bill Elliott continued: there will be 120V charging for racers courtesy of the venue, but we’re still looking into guest EV charging. Northern Virginia has resources, including area stores and auto dealerships; Dulles Airport has a site, but you’d have to pay the daily parking rate.
In other business… after a pizza break, Ron stated that the National Science and Engineering Festival, plus National Sustainable Design Expo (both free, at the Washington Convention Center) also need (fewer) volunteers, April 26-27, plus some Friday work and loading Thursday. We have table space in both; we plan on having a Tesla and a homebuilt on display, hopefully an EVGP racer too. While we’ve updated our brochures and have a banner incoming, this event also needs audio/video work. We are looking into multimedia and interactive displays for the crowd. Does anyone have any video of their EV, or any related business? Continue reading
Don’t forget, plenty of EVents before, after, and including the monthly meeting. See our events page for times. Rockville Science Day is this weekend, and previous years have turned out quite well. The weekend after Earth Day (April 25-27) is particularly packed- mark your calendars.
The meeting (White Oak Library again) convened at 7:11 with pizza and drinks. Our president, Charlie, polled the room for their EVs, and any newcomers to the group. Again, several new faces. Two were Chip and Craig from Eurostar Autos in Randallstown, MD, with the remaining Think EVs (of which club members own several), plus Forrest from Passport Nissan.
Your club officers were introduced, per custom.
Barbara Gonzales from Pepco spoke again, with an update on the utility’s EV pilot program. She has already begun outreach to dealerships, to spread the word on the program and EVs in general. Though she claims Pepco’s terms are as good as California or anywhere else, several members had big questions remaining. The website isn’t as clear as it could have been.
Bruce then introduced Drew and John from Prospect Solar. Prospect is pioneering distributed, fungible ownership of panels and power (“community solar“), with variants. For instance, despite Virginia’s legislative foot-dragging, Catoctin Creek Distilling is almost entirely solar. The obvious benefit is the ability to go solar even with a shaded house (/condo/apartment), by investing in someone else’s site. You then get a lower monthly bill, via net metering- your home appears to have virtual panels. Multiple renewable incentives are also virtualized among stakeholders; if you move to a different utility company, you can sell your stake. If you move within your utility, you do… nothing at all. Continue reading
Good meeting turnout… despite being bumped from the Silver Spring Library, and having to head up to White Oak. Apologies to any who had to dash, or missed it completely. Started at ~7:30 with pizza and drinks, then introductions. Several new faces!
Skipping the agenda a bit, we went straight to Tommy Heyboer and the Montgomery County legislative agenda. Montgomery is well-represented in EVs/charge locations and isn’t waiting for Annapolis action; the committee meets Monday. Proposals include 32-13, ticketing drivers who ICE our charging sites; stalls would be equal to handicapped ones. Another is requiring new/redeveloped lots to have charging in at least 1 in 50 stalls. The club floor brought up signage, homeowners’ associations, enforcement for EV conversions, and whether you actually have to be charging. Continue reading
…and a great DC Auto Show was had by all. Thanks to all volunteers who helped.
Next, even before February’s meeting, Teslamotorsclub.com will host a Presidents’ Day weekend (Feb. 15-17) event. Enthusiasts from all directions will meet at Hagerstown MD, Wilmington DE, and Glen Allyn VA in “All Superchargers Lead to DC.” The same planners drove from DC to CT last year, to debunk John Broder.
This year, they’re simply celebrating a Supercharger network, down both coasts and across the nation. A dinner, speakers, and a party will ensue in Arlington; discounted hotel rooms may still be available. Registrants will then enjoy a tour, outings, etc. Check teslaroadtrip.org, @teslaroadtrip on Twitter, or #TeslaRoadTrip2014.
Plenty of time to stop by the DC Auto Show, at the Convention Center. Our display includes a Think and a Tesla- spanning the range if not the alphabet. Crowds have been receptive so far, including some interested, prospective buyers. If you volunteer more than four hours, we may still be able to get you an exhibitor badge.
Don’t forget, the DC Auto Show is tomorrow through Feb. 2; we could use floor greeters. That said, this is the Electric Vehicle Association, not Electric Car Association. Globally, electric-assist bicycles outsell electric cars; it’s not even close (as Scott had shared). This includes EVA member cyclists. When vehicle and rider together are ~200 lbs, the battery’s small and many problems go away. An ability to trip-chain on Metrobus (using the front racks) and Metrorail (outside rush hour) makes more go away.
The big issue was cost; e-bikes were over $2000. (A good one; lead-acid models are less, but brutally heavy.) That gets you a 50cc scooter easily, maybe a no-name 125cc. But 2013/early ’14 show real gains. Nissan, Chevy, Zero, and now Ford and Mitsubishi have cut prices as batteries keep advancing. Riide is training a startup’s eye on the e-bike issue.
Anyone can slap a motor on a bicycle… literally, you can buy kits. The trick is figuring out which bike parts work, which moto-parts work, and which don’t. Figure wrong, and the thing looks slapped together. And is still brutally heavy. Continue reading
Called to order 7:10, with standard room introductions and immediate pizza and drinks.
One introduction was longtime EVADC member Mindy Kimball, visiting from Phoenix. Mindy has the only Smart ED in Arizona (brought from California)… and a utility headache, with lobbyists and astroturfers trying to beat back home solar installations. However, she does have a Time-Of-Use rate of under a penny a kWh at night.
The Tesla Model S has become the #1 selling car in Norway. Not #1 electric… #1 car.
Two representatives of Riide brought their prototype e-bike. Amber Wason and Jeff Stefanis showed a running, steel prototype of their $1799 aluminum machine. Good systems engineering means this beats e-bikes now on the market; I’ll go into more detail on that. Riide is funded but accepting more Kickstarter contributions before production begins. After the meeting, some took a demo ride.
Josh Goldman of the Union of Concerned Scientists spoke on their recent EV survey. The UCS is proposing halving our oil consumption; while the improved mileage standard certainly helps, consumer adoption of EVs would save over a million barrels a day. Not gallons, barrels. A day. While the limiting factor was a home parking space with outlet, that still left 42% of households EV-eligible; range is already practical now. Continue reading
The 2014 Motorcycle Show is now running at the DC Convention Center, through 5:00 Sunday evening. The only EV manufacturer with a booth is Zero; BRD is still finalizing their Redshift, and Lightning and Mission are apparently still in custom territory. Still, Zero was well represented, with street, sport, and dirt offerings. I spoke with Mike and Kevin about 2014. Model Year 2013 saw dramatic improvements through the range, and the introduction of the FX (“stealth fighter”); this year’s crop is much less of a jump.
All models saw some improvement, but the big news is the Zero SR. While built on the S (street) platform and outwardly resembling it, the SR is no utility vehicle. The bike claims a 0-60 time in the 3 second range, sources vary. Forks and shocks are higher-spec; accordingly, the footpegs are, literally, higher. Continue reading
Hello and happy holidays from your new EVADC secretary, Rene. We had a seemly party at SemaConnect headquarters Wednesday. Aside from food, drink, and company, which are all excellent topics, we had clean, domestic business to share.
After introductions of new officers, a hat tip was made to Nissan representative Jean Goff, then Pepco representative Barbara Gonzalez. Besides heading other advanced initiatives, she announced Pepco’s EV trial project (see pepco.com/plugin). Qualified applicants can get TOU rates (a nighttime/weekend discount), either for the whole home, or a separate (and free) meter for the EV. The first 50 who qualify may receive a Level 2 home EVSE unit at 50% off.
Ideas for the next EV DC Grand Prix were announced by Nabih Bedewi. We have not only the honor of the national-champion high school (Clarksburg High), but a trifecta against California teams at the Solar Decathlon’s California Challenge. Our region intends to retain the title. Erick Pinzon from Tesla could reveal fewer details, but our region is doing quite well in multiple clean, fast vehicles.
A raffle was held for all- prizes included Nissan, Tesla, and Plug-In America donations, and multiple prizes from SemaConnect. Kim Reyes graciously donated a pearl earring/necklace set.
Thanks to all volunteers, not the least of which were Mahi Reddy and the SemaConnect staff. If you missed the fun, there’s plenty of time to join before next year’s party!