July 2015 Minutes

After our typical snacks, Ron convened the meeting and introduced Stephanie Riddick.  Stephanie and Ryan Marcheschi drafted a report, “Policies Goals and Strategies for Building a 21st Century Sustainable Rockville City Fleet.”  Rockville’s government has over 300 vehicles, and they aren’t even hybrids.  This is aside from the electrification efforts of peer goverments, Montgomery County, WMATA, etc.  We also brought up solar initiatives: community power networks such as joint purchasing pools, co-ops, and solar community gardens.  These include multiunit and offsite installations.  At the meeting, we knew DC SUN existed, and there’s an MD SUN as well.  Rockville has a solar co-op, and there are initiatives in Baltimore, Virginia, Delaware, etc.

Member Curt briefed us on the Crystal City Fathers Day Car Show.  It is popular and well-trafficked; the event organizers like us too.  Despite some early rain, we had eight EVs, up from last year.  That’s not counting Local Motors showing a 3D-printed car around the corner from us (it was ICE, can’t win ’em all).  We would have had nine: Chip’s dragster, but no trailer could be found in time.  If anyone has a trailer or a very large truck, we have these non-street-legal EVs that we display two or three times a year.

The EV Readiness Workshop took place near Union Station.  Attendees included staffers from around the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments, our members Elvia, Scott, and Jill, the DoE’s Sarah Oleksak (of Workplace Charging fame), charging installer Mike Wall, a rep from the Edison Electric Institute, and others.  After demo rides, attendees discussed infrastructure, policies, and other factors to increase EV uptake.  Scott presented a paper on destination charging at tourist towns, and a video was shown on Bowie e-cycles.

Our member’s conversion of a Dodge Neon was donated to the Thomas Edison High School.  Any volunteers who would be willing to mentor the school are welcome.

The 2016 Nissan Leaf is coming, though nothing official is out regarding upgrades.  It is widely rumored that a significantly larger battery is coming; one member had a Nissan representative admit to a 25% increase for 2016, with more for 2017.  Nomadic power is developing a battery trailer, for highway trips; experiments have already occurred with extender trailers at German highway stops.

Speaking of trips and stops, Tesla’s destination charging is advancing.  These are EVSEs at hotels, resorts, and other places where you’d stop.  They are not necessarily on major highways, and are lower powered than Superchargers.  They are now more common than Superchargers.  Member Curt shared his info, and had tried out one such location.  By default, Tesla lists them as Tesla-only on its maps unless told otherwise, but it’s up to the site owner/operators.  From now on sites will have both the Tesla connector, and standard J1772.

The Tour of Solar Homes is now (Fall 2015) the MD-DC Tour, with a Loudon Tour possible.  If more volunteers pitch in, 2016 could return to its usual format.

Members are now planning a 2016-17 EV tour.  A possible itinerary is all state capitals, likely in multiple legs.  See Joe, Charlie, and Jerry.  Meanwhile, Marissa Muller is now crossing the country on an e-bike, charged via a custom solar trailer.

Erin Williamson briefed us on her UCSB e-management project.  Her team, EV Match, seeks to connect infrastructure owners with EVers, including those that need a day charge, and those in multiunit dwellings.  Some people can’t charge, while some facilities only see 10-17% utilization; EV Match would remedy that.  Issues include payments, reliability and security, and liability.  Other competitors are already looking to fill this market.

In e-vents, the grandaddy of ’em all is coming: National Drive Electric Week in mid-September.  We have e-vents lined up for Alexandria (MOM’s, see Jeff), Centerville (Trader Joe’s), Falls Church (Coleman Power Sports), Annapolis (see Elvia), Baltimore (see Jill), Frederick (see Ron), and Poolesville (see Joyce).  Undoubtedly we will discuss this more at the August and September club meetings.  We are preparing our displays, flyers, brochures, etc, and need EV owners and just plain volunteers to greet people.  Clear your calendars for Sep 13-20.

Much earlier, a Pepco reception for its EV owner pilot program was held at the Gude Drive site, Rockville.  This is where the August meeting will be.  The Smithsonian’s Museum of American History will have a GM EV1 on display until September, plus a 1904 Columbia Runner.  Not so antique: Tesla test drives are open, see Brandon.

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