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.

Ron K. leads the Frederick Drive Electric showing right now (Friday, 3 pm to Eight).  There will be Teslas, Honda Fit EVs, and a representative from Nissan.  They’re at the MOM’s grocery, with the CHAdeMO charger.  Thanks to Drive Electric sponsors Plug-In America, Nissan, the Sierra Club, and the Electric Automobile Association.

There will also be a Bethesda Drive Electric event, north of downtown at Rosedale Avenue, though no one here is working that one.

We answered questions from new Leaf owner Gail- we’ve gone through the initial range anxiety.  It wears off with experience, just like any other new capability.

Rob distributed our order of club T-shirts, polo shirts, hats, and signs.  We have flyers and displays for people at Drive Electric events.  Several club members (Ari, Wallace, Jon, Bruce, and William) need to pick up theirs, possibly at a Drive Electric location.  Similarly, Scott reminded us of the EVADC vanity plates, a portion of which go to help the club.  You can sign up with Scott or at most Maryland MVA locations.

John recapped our Labor Day Parade showing at the Greenbelt Labor Day festival… our 12th year there.  Scott also mentioned our showing at the Mini Maker Faire in Silver Spring.

Doron brought us up to speed on the workplace charging at the National Institutes of Health.  Now in its second year, it’s a big success, with the Level 1 spaces completely claimed.  The NIH’s Credit Union has decided to keep sponsoring it, and there’s discussion of Level 2 charging.  Doron also updated our flyer with existing EV choices and specs; the new Mercedes and Kia models aren’t there, and the Maryland incentive is now higher, but otherwise it’s good- one member used it to swing a friend over to electric.

Dave mentioned the “foreign oil” angle- regardless of how you feel about the environment, ICE vehicles send money (and thus arms) to the Middle East.  Sean, our electrician friend, noted news reports of mini-“nuclear batteries,” with little pellets similar to that in your smoke detector.  Scott had a great question he received from someone at the Mini Maker Faire: if all these cars become electric, what happens to gasoline?

Rob then put forth some of the questions we’ll hear at Drive Electric events: don’t EVs just move pollution somewhere else?  No, for plenty of reasons (such as the huge amounts of energy needed to refine gasoline), and those reasons are only growing.  It was a great chance for the whole floor to practice our skills for Drive Electric attendees, and a natural segway to new electricity rates.  One utility is considering an overnight (“TOU,” Time Of Use) rate as low as 3 cents per kilowatt-hour.

That, in turn led to solar discussions.  The Tour of Solar Homes, led by the American Solar Energy Society, will be two weekends after Drive Electric, or October 4 and 5.  We passed out Tour guides.  Nissan is officially helping, trying to arrange for Nissans and representatives to park out in front of Tour homes.

fiafeWe began showing some of the inaugural Formula E race, the first in the international “Indy-like” race series- thanks Vanessa.  However, we only saw a brief amount.  Vanessa also had Zero Motorcycle brochures, and Elvia mentioned Harley-Davidson possibly sending their LiveWire to the Annapolis Drive Electric showing.  To make it full circle, we discussed electric minivans and SUVs.  The Toyota RAV4 is discontinued and unsupported, but the Tesla Model X is coming, and the Mitsubishi plug-in hybrid SUV.

And that’s a meeting.  See you soon at one of the many Drive Electric E-vents!

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