News, more big news, and even bigger news. And annual elections too. We had some new faces to start with, over pizza and snacks.
The 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.
Auto 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.
Members Dave and Lynn attended the Montgomery County Council meeting. Some action on charging at multiunit housing is sought by the EV Infrastructure Council; at the very minimum, California has overriden bans by homeowners’ associations, which may serve as model legislation. The EVIC would like similar statewide efforts, but it looks like the Maryland government wants it to be handled at local levels. There has already been inquiry, with the town of Greenbelt; the issue of the easement (that strip of land inside the curb but before the sidewalk) arose. Technically, it’s county property, and permanent features require a permit; on a basic level, people shouldn’t trip on exposed cords. Still, members left the Council meeting with a generally positive sense. One open issue is liability coverage, though the rates wouldn’t be that bad.
The EV Institute is offering discounted EVSEs, from multiple vendors. This will include a fast charger (!) in the future.
This November (like previous Novembers per club rules), elections were held. They were smooth enough to proceed by voice alone. Congratulations to your new president Ron Kaltenbaugh, vice president Rob Neighbor, treasurer Scott Wilson, sergeant-at-arms Bob Curry, and secretary yours truly of course. However, an open issue is the editor, vacated by Ron. It was generally agreed that we could do better outreach in general, and media liaisons in particular; at a minimum, our calendar needs better maintenance. One possibility is simply appointing people to these tasks.
Another big item: joint efforts between the club and the Baltimore EV Initiative (also a nonprofit), represented here as usual by director Jill Sorensen. It is to include fundraising, fund-matching, and other bookkeeping, hiring of interns for study and outreach projects, and extending to contracted projects. This includes work with Argonne National Labs, and local companies, and would likely require an external CPA, to at minimum review the books. Previously, a meeting with the EVI board was held at member Rob’s house; no serious objections were raised. Elvia then motioned to approve, which the floor did.
“Media” briefs were given. Rob, the listserv admin, again brought up listserv membership and rules. Toyota’s anti-EV efforts were mentioned, including the claim that no one’s asking for an EV. A petition for them to build an EV again is out for signatures. Membership renewal is of course open, with yearly dues taken by Scott. Rob suggested joining the EAA (Electric Automobile Association), our parent club. Besides supporting the cause nationwide, they put out a nice newsletter too.
And the big item coming up soon: Party! It’s about time for the club’s annual holiday party. This time, Dec. 17, it’ll be graciously hosted by Chevy Chase Nissan, thanks Emmerich! The dealership is at 7701 Wisconsin Ave., Bethesda, at East-West Highway and not too far from the Metro station. A few EVSEs will be available for charging. Recharging humans, though, needs food. Several people volunteered to bring dishes; while more are certainly welcome, Charlie, Sean, and Bob have now formed a food committee. General volunteers are also appreciated.
Hope to see you Dec. 17- bring the family!