February 2014 Minutes

Our new digs in the Rockville Public Library are great! They’re right off the ice rink on Maryland Ave. in Rockville Town Center. Hope to see you there for the next few meetings, even if you missed February (brrr). Member Deborah lives just 1/3 of a mile from the Library, in case the charger in Garage A isn’t enough. The Library also validates Garage parking at a discount. We started with pizza, drinks, and cake, then introduced everyone. Welcome to new e-thusiasts of domestic, clean, and quite snappy transport. New and existing members are encouraged tomcplr sign up with our umbrella organization, EAA, which offers us a discount.

We recapped our Auto Show(s!) outreach. The DC Show had club members’ cars, an electric racer and a spare chassis, Phelps High School’s EV Grand Prix racer, and a pedal/electric Elf enclosed recumbent, quite the draw. We were also next to EVs from Chevy and Cadillac, VW, BMW, Kia, and a Hyundai hybrid. This included the Chevy Spark (now coming to Maryland) and 2016 Volt. Toyota unfortunately chose to promote a fuel cell car, sticking the Prius Plug-In in a corner. However, GM did invite Volt owners to a presentation with news and developments. The Baltimore show also placed us well. We had a Think City on display; unlike DC, Baltimore had electrics from Ford and Mercedes. Thanks to all who volunteered their EVs, time, and effort.

A little more exclusive was an EV charging summit on Capitol Hill; senators Merkley and Carper attended. California utility PG&E announced an initiative for thousands of EVSE sites, including plans for multiunit housing. This had members discuss charge networks with only one or two sites in driving distance, or odd membership terms.

In state news, Maryland’s EV Infrastructure Council announced a deployment. After a settlement with Constellation Energy, 3 firms bid to install EVSEs with the money, including fast DC chargers. Both CHAdeMO and SAE CCS chargers will run from Hagerstown to Ocean City, Elkton to Waldorf. Ground’s already been broken on some, with October openings; no word on if sites will also have J1772. Continue reading

Feb 18 EVADC Meeting at Rockville Memorial Library

The Feb meeting of EVADC will be at the Rockville Memorial Library:

Our meeting room is on the ground floor.  Walk in the front door by the skating rink, and the room is to your immediate right.

As for parking, there are meters on the street, a shopping center parking lot north of Beall Ave (free, but signed as shopping center use only, use at your own risk), or paid parking garages A and B.

The 240V charger is in Garage A (so labeled on Plugshare http://api.plugshare.com/view/location/6412  This is the green garage.  If you’re not charging, use either green garage A or red garage B.  There is one J1772 in garage A and two marked spaces, so people may possibly switch the charger between cars during the meeting.  It’s only a 60 second walk to the garages from the Library.

The main meeting officially goes from 7 to 9.  People usually start gathering about 6:30 and hang around till 9:30.  The garage is $4 for up to 3 hours, unless you get validated, in which case it’s $2.  To get validated, walk into the front door of the library, and continue into the main library.  To the left before you get to the circulation desk is the validation machine.  You must get validated before 9pm when the main library closes.  It’s probably best to do before you enter our meeting room.

There are also two nearby eVgo DC fast chargers.  Darcars Nissan has one:
http://api.plugshare.com/view/location/1915 .  This is an official eVgo site.  The other site is at Woodley Gardens shopping center http://api.plugshare.com/view/location/40035 .  This place has dining, so you could eat either before or after the meeting, while charging.

January 2014 Minutes

The big news, is, of course, the DC Auto Show, now underway.  Ron got us underway at seven, with immediate pizza and drinks.  We then put out the call for volunteers- now through Feb. 1, including (especially) weekdays.  Sign up at the signupgenius.com link we’ve already posted.  If you volunteer for more than a four-hour shift, we get you in for wasfree (for the whole show) as an exhibitor.  No, you don’t have to have an EV, we could use warm bodies to hand out flyers.

We introduced new faces (hi again) and recapped the Baltimore Auto Show.  Our area was well-placed and high-traffic; we had display EVSEs and plenty of literature.  We had representation from the Maryland Department of the Environment and EVIC (EV Infrastructure Council).  Lots of Volt owners in Baltimore, apparently.  All our stuff is now in the DC Show.

Charlie and others attended the Montgomery County Council meeting, discussing charging in multi-unit developments.  California already has legislation prohibiting EVSE bans or excessive restrictions, though of course you would supply your own EVSE.  Even an ordinary 120-volt outlet would be great, though of course 240 volts would be better.  We’re still waiting; neither the state nor counties and municipalities want to take the lead.

Last Sunday’s Washington Post had an article that was surprisingly pro-EV.  Club members wrote back, and agreed that there’s a lot more to electric vehicles than just the savings at the pump… though we’re STILL saving versus the pump. Continue reading

November 2014 Minutes

News, more big news, and even bigger news.  And annual elections too.  We had some new faces to start with, over pizza and snacks.

wcclThe Workplace Charging Challenge held one of its updates in Alexandria on Tuesday; several club members were in attendance.  This is very significant, because workplace charging has been a consistent and major enticement to EV adoption.  Yet, there are still major issues to be tackled, and not just at Federal offices.  So far, 150 employers are officially signed up to the program (though of course there are others below the radar).  These large companies claim over three thousand EVSEs, both Level 1 and Level 2; L2 at 240V seems to be on the rise.  Utilities attended too, including Pepco (hi Barbara!).

Vehicle rotation and allocation is clearly an issue; Jill from EVI suggests we establish an etiquette while the problem is still fresh.  Some companies have a system for rotation, while some simply demand their employees work it out themselves.  An option already on the table is a card in your window, with scheduling information.  Some people have been doing this for a while; some have their contact info on the card, or for privacy a QR code (there’s a Kickstarter project for this).  One option for EVSEs that charge a fee is a massive increase after a few hours, to force vehicle rotation.  All the while, free L1 outlets for engine block heaters still exist; this is taken for granted in Alaska, with no assignment or cost issues.  Meanwhile, ‘peak power’ and brownouts are largely not an issue; it was reported that demand spikes are only a few hours, a few times a year.  A breakout session discussed leased properties; Alan from the Virginia Clean Cities Coalition is seeking liaisons, for recruiting more workplaces.

On a related note, we discussed shops and hotels allowing charging, to attract and retain customers- it’s just good business.  Member Dennis reported on the new MOM’s location on New York Avenue, with charging included from the start.  DC has a policy, ‘for all modes of transport.’  Developers must consider bike parking and Metro accessibility as well as handicapped access, and now EVs.  The airport parking/charging question was floated, with many similar possibilities.

asbAuto show season is fast approaching.  We’ve certainly had great outreach at the DC show, for decades now.  This time, the Baltimore Auto Show in the Convention Center has a receptive leader.  Volunteers are needed, both for DC (Jan 23-Feb 1) and now Baltimore too (Jan 1-4).  Display EVs are certainly appreciated (limited charging is available near both venues).  At least as important are enthusiastic e-vangelizers to answer questions, particularly on weekdays- see Dennis to volunteer. Continue reading

October 2014 Minutes

Charlie, our president, opened with pizza and drinks right away; the weather dampened our attendance at first but not our mission.  White Flint dried up, and White Flint Library eventually filled up.

nslRoll call brought new e-thusiasts, and a few returning after absences.  It also brought us two industry reps, Emmerich from Chevy Chase Nissan, and Jean from Nissan corporate.  Emmerich is graciously hosting our annual holiday party this Dec. 17, in Bethesda at Wisconsin and East-West Highway.  Yes, there will be two EVSEs available for people coming in from a ways.  (The dealership also offered charging to a Leaf driver who lives behind the site.)  We’re looking into demo drives too; family members are also welcome at the party.

ndewJean, with Nissan USA, is now back in the metro area, after having worked around the East Coast promoting clean, domestic driving.  She gave highlights of National Drive Electric Week, as Nissan was a nationwide co-sponsor.  There were 152 NDEW e-vents, in 5 countries.  That’s 39 states, 6 Canadian provinces, Italy, the Netherlands, and the UK.  150 cities were NDEW sites, including Cupertino, CA hosting a world-record EV parade (507 BEVs, no hybrids).  Three thousand total EV owners showed their vehicles to 90,000 visitors, nearly triple last year’s worldwide attendance.  Over one hundred articles covering NDEW made the press.  Jean expects next year to be- and this is a quote- “drinking out of a fire hose.”

Continue reading

NDEW’14: Sunday Sunday Sunday

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And a lovely day was had- we were hoping for sunny skies, maybe a bit too sunny.  Spilling onto both sides of 3rd St. again, we showcased clean, domestic energy for plenty of passersby.  Nissan had representation and schwag; a Fiat 500e made a rare East Coast appearance.  Even smaller was Bob’s e-bike, charged by the Sun.

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Simultaneously, the Annapolis EVent was taking place at City Dock.  What a selection: a Think, Smart, Mitsubishi i, the new Mercedes, and a Porsche EV conversion. Continue reading

National Drive Electric Week 2014

i1852d…or at least, several local Drive Electric days.  A great time was had all around our area.  The Frederick EVent, on Friday by MOM’s Grocery, had man cars rotating through the day.  Besides the usual Volts, Leafs, and Teslas, there was a Smart ED and Honda Fit EV.  A Nissan dealer also made an appearance, and gave test drives.  Thanks, Ron!

110512522dSaturday saw EVents in Baltimore and Bethesda.  In Baltimore, at the Maryland Science Center, there were not only owner cars for show, and test rides in our overflow area, by the three solar arrays.  Delegations from GM, BG&E, and the Maryland Energy Administration also came along.  The Chevy Spark EV and Cadillac ELR were not on the list for test rides, though.

One vendor even had his “son-of-segway” personal EV!  Mark was brave enough to hop on.  Thanks, Mark!  520d

Continue reading

September 2014 Minutes

Again, so much news this month.  So much we had to bone up on pizza and snacks immediately.

Charlie then called the meeting to order, with introductions.  We welcomed several new EV owners, such as Dylan, from Capital News Service, and Jacob, from a car dealership.  He’s trying to spread word among customers and other dealers alike… and colleges, and housing developers.

ndewJoyce reminded us of the Poolesville Drive Electric Event/Poolesville Day this Saturday; she was later joined by co-organizer Jeff.  It’s going to be big- Route 107 will be blocked off through the whole town, for an EV parade, a car show in the nearby school lot, demo drives, plus the usual fair stuff like rides, booths, and a petting zoo.  EVs registered so far include Teslas, a BMW, a Zero motorcycle, and possibly even the new Mercedes and Mitsubishi.  Even Echo electric lawn equipment will be there.  The parade will start at 10, be there before if you want in.  The Baltimore Drive Electric event is also Saturday, if Poolesville’s a bit far for you.

Then we have Drive Electric events this Sunday, in Annapolis and downtown DC.  The Annapolis show, at the City Dock, is being wrangled by Paul; Elvia also gave us info.  The showing officially starts at 11, but people will be there 9-10 to stake out spaces.  There will be a BMW i3, Mercedes, and a Think City, plus at least 13 others; does anyone have a Ford C-Max plug-in to round out the representation?  Baltimore Gas & Electric will send someone, and we hear the Department of Energy too; the Maryland Energy Administration only has a flyer for us.  Similarly, the DC event on the Mall (3rd Street) now spills over onto both sides of the street.  Come on down, 10 am to 4. Continue reading