As we’ve said before, good luck Charlie. And as we’ve also said, lots of stuff going on for the Spring. We started right off with pizza, drinks, and well wishes to our outgoing president for a happy hike. Then we introduced new people, including George from the Skyline Automotive Museum in Front Royal, Virginia, and multiple Tesla reps.
Our main guest, however, was Sarah Oleksak, of the Department of Energy’s Workplace Charging Challenge. The DoE’s EERE division does vehicle research with the Argonne, Oak Ridge, and NREL national laboratories, among others. But with the Workplace Charging Challenge, they are doing outreach and programmatics for us e-thusiasts. The outgoing Secretary of Energy, Steven Chu, calls the workplace a “second showroom,” and program data shows that employees with charging are twenty times more likely to go electric than the average motorist. We, certainly, are used to getting the Five Questions in parking lots. Employees, in turn, must prompt their management to install (or just allow) charging. The WCC has then used data, employee experiences, and intermediary groups (like our own parent EAA) to convince further companies. As of the 2014 update, there were over 180 major companies enrolled in the program, with over 300 worksites.
Data from WCC and the EV Project goes to the Idaho lab; they’ve found that 90% of over 180 WCC companies get their slots filled up five days a week. This is despite an average of 11 slots per company, since those drew an average of 26 EVers. Of those, the most common (LEAF and Volt) did almost 40% of their charging at work; Volt drivers actually seek charging more than the LEAFs. Level 1 charging started out being more popular, but Level 2 caught up within years. Most companies prefer smart EVSEs, not dumb outlets, which is an opportunity for ChargePoint, GreenLots, and other service providers. One exception was Telefonix, which installed a smart L1 network. Overall, installations are still continuing, despite many grants tapering off, and building LEED certifications not really recognizing the oil savings. Charging goes beyond Scope 1 and increases your building energy use, without accounting for the employees’ steeply-reduced consumption and emissions. Sarah closed by giving us materials and links.
Of course, federal employees are (mostly) left out without a law getting passed. Sarah mentioned California has put forth some state resources for federal offices, and a Florida DHS office is in a leased building, so the landlord did the installation.
More locally, member Charlie is now the proud owner of a Tesla. Some members have written in, supporting MD Senate Bill 762 for charging in multiunit housing; it’s spearheaded by Senator Brian Feldman. Our partner BEVI has received money from Constellation Energy, and updated the Marylandev.org website. The Maryland electric highway project received its official announcement as expected; ground has already been broken on some of its fast chargers. In case you haven’t been following, Maryland will install DC chargers (both CHAdeMO and SAE CCS) from Hagerstown to Ocean City, Elkton to Waldorf, including many Royal Farms locations. Many are slated to be online this year. Meanwhile, Greenlots will be doing similarly in parts of Virginia.
We’re soliciting “trail bosses”- people to honcho our public outreach events. It’s quite simple, organizing volunteers and their EVs on days of festivals, showings, etc. These include the first Montgomery County Green Fest, and the DC STEM Fair, this March 28. The MoCo Fest will have speakers, an EV panel discussion, and of course our vehicles on display. We already have the usual suspects- LEAF/Volt/Tesla, but could use a Ford C-Max or Honda Fit EV if anyone can show them. Contact Joyce or JD.
Other e-vents include an info session at the Calvert County Library, the Bowie Green Expo on April 11, and the big National Sustainable Design Expo April 11 and 12 in Alexandria. We had great exposure at the NSDE last year, as it’s packed with students and families. There will be student projects on display, and a small EV showing; we need a full-BEV for the indoor space, and more (including hybrids) in the outside lots. On Sunday, April 19, we’ll show vehicles at Takoma Park’s fest; we need lots of volunteers, to answer questions if nothing else. Our point of contact is Shelby. Later, Sunday, April 26, is the Rockville Science Day, at Montgomery College on Mannakee Street. This has been a big day for us; we’ll be strategically by the food stands and will need lots of people on hand. Still later, the Fathers’ Day car show in Crystal City is June 21; see Kurt.
In between all that are e-vents stacking up for Earth Day. So far, we’ve got showings at TSA headquarters in Crystal City and DEA in Pentagon City, both Wednesday, April 22, and in Vienna on April 23. Nothing on the National Mall yet; it’ll be a bit crowded for cars during the week. The DC Environmental Film Festival is going on right now; I met Chris Paine, who did Who Killed The Electric Car and its sequel. As part of the Festival, a documentary on fossil fuels and national security, The Burden, will be screened next Friday, March 27 at the Navy Memorial.
Of course, the big race is coming too. The EV Grand Prix is arguably our biggest or second biggest event of the year. Our third annual running will be Saturday, May 16, and needs LOTS of volunteers in all sorts of roles. Course workers, setup and breakdown, staffing our tents, numerous niche tasks, or just crowd control if nothing else; see Nabih. Soon after, May 19, the Junior Solar Sprints will also need large numbers, even if the race cars are smaller. See Dennis for the event, at Friendship School.
Hardware is going everywhere. Michael is selling his Dodge Neon conversion. It’s a lead-acid with just 1800 miles on it, $4,200 OBO; see his eBay listing. Charlie is clearing out many parts, from various EV projects. A Kickstarter campaign for the MyEV digital interface (readouts, networking, and gamification) has been funded, and is now built and about to ship. However, the racing team EVSR needs help with their Indiegogo campaign. They want to get to this summer’s Pikes Peak race, preferably with multiple vehicles, and have a good shot at winning in different classes, not just as electric-only. More quotidian, the Rockville Nissan dealer (Darcars on Indianola Dr.) has used LEAFs available for $14,000, including two years’ membership with eVgo and their network of Level 2 and Level 3 chargers; see Sinan.
I’ll see many of you members and e-thusiasts at the above events!