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?
Speaking of E-vents, the Rockville Science Day was beautiful, with a great turnout. Earth Day, April 22, will be loaded, with an event at the DEA. An EV parade will start at 10 am, running from eVgo’s new sites in Waldorf, through Bowie, and over the bridge to Queenstown- contact Jeffrey to join. Former member Rick Trawick will host an EV round table, “The Future of the Automobile and the Promise of Electric Power,” with GM and other industry representatives in attendance in Frederick, MD. The cross-country EV documentary “Kick Gas” will premiere that day. Elvia’s Annapolis Green Drinks Happy Hour is upcoming, April 23 at the Loews Annapolis Hotel, and Chip is attending a Green Vendor Night at Laurel Elementary School (7-8 pm). Later, Doron is organizing an event at the National Institutes of Health, April 24, and the Vienna Green Expo will be 6:30 that day.
Still later, BMW will have rollouts May 7 for its new i3, at several EV-rated dealerships; Ken Winters of EV Power Pros will also attend a private GM event. The Junior Solar Sprints will be May 20 at Friendship School, 120 Q St. Area middle schools will race 50-60 kit cars. Upcoming, 9 of 13 national parks in the area are receiving alt-fuel vehicles and EVSEs (“chargers”). Some are looking into partnerships to install solar arrays for these sites.
More generally, Bruce went around for Groundswell, a nonprofit which is amassing purchasing power for wind energy credits. The Maryland Clean Energy Center has source data for the grid at clearlyenergy.org. Annapolis passed a renewal of the EVSE credit, but didn’t pass a statewide bill on ICEing our charging spots like Montgomery County did. Next session, then…
Several members shared news and experiences. Chip and Charlie updated us on rebuilding the Porsche 914, with lithium instead of NiCds, and better controllers and components too. A Puma conversion, based on the Beetle platform, is for sale. Factory Five is continuing with their 818 project, a world car based on inexpensive kits. One tinkerer is known to be amassing laptop cells, Tesla-like, by salvaging numerous old laptops himself. Jim and Charles recounted their inspection and registration stories, where the un-initiated had no idea what to do with EVs in general, EV conversions in particular. Meanwhile, the issue of homeowners’ associations and zoning came up again, with members contrasting Baltimore-Washington experiences with new California and Colorado statutes.
More locally, Charlie mentioned the club’s Fall elections, and floated the idea of term limits or staggered positions. The meeting was finally called at 9:11, though of course some people lingered much longer.
I hope to see you all, multiple times, before our May club meeting!