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 free (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.
Member Dennis then reiterated the Auto Show plans. This is one of the biggest single events we do all year. We’ve got a Volt, a Leaf, a Think, a converted quarter-mile eater from Entropy Racing, and a high school racer from the EV Grand Prix. Besides all that, we’re strategically placed near manufacturer EVs, so we’ll get spillover. Most passerby are friendly, but we’re expecting questions on low gas prices and the ‘long tailpipe‘ (aren’t you just moving the pollution- won’t die, apparently). Still, we need to keep answers short and sweet for the average joes out there. We have brochures, flyers, and vehicle specs. When you show up for your volunteer shift, pick up your exhibitor badge on the main floor, southwest corner (K and 8th Street).
We got an update on Charlie’s Porsche 914 conversion. The battery racks and cases are in progress now; parts are being coated. Lynn got a new Leaf- she got one despite having no home charging. Yes, infrastructure is that far along, though of course there are still issues.
BEVI (the Baltimore Electric Vehicle Institute) has good stuff in the works. They are upgrading the Level 1 adapters for the Nissan Leaf and similar cars. We are progressing on taking them as a “wholly-owned nonprofit,” and just in time. Jill Sorensen just raised thousands in new funding.
We have plenty of future e-vents, too, so it’s a good idea to have a signupgenius.com account. On March 28, Montgomery County will hold their first green festival, with a panel discussion and of course EVs on display. The National Sustainable Design Expo returns in April, this time on the Mall. There will be plenty of Earth Day opportunities, including Pentagon City. The Rockville Science Center will have their festival again, this time April 26. The 2015 running of the EV Grand Prix is tentatively scheduled for May 2. Lots of volunteers please- if the DC Auto Show isn’t our biggest event, then this is. Even now, we can be helping by mentoring high school teams. The Junior Solar Sprints will also take place again, sometime this year.
Member Bob has had success with church outreach. Chesapeake Climate Stewardship has begun placing better signs on charging facilities as a fast, cheap action item. We had already debated better “advertising” for charging spots, and not just PlugShare. Speaking of which, the club discussed etiquette, and what’s helpful and not helpful to post on public charging apps.
Club promotions were brought up: signing up full members instead of attendees, signing up for the EAA (national Electric Auto Association) as well as our club, and having brochures ready when you see an EV on the streets.
Member Joe came on a new e-bike from his shop, and is willing to donate years’ worth of old batteries to any experimenters.
A homebuilt solar car made it to the Canadian Arctic.
Charging costs were widely discussed; we need to have an answer for the curious at the Auto Show. No one cost covers all charging methods. Speaking of which, see you at the Convention Center!