September 2015 Minutes

After our customary mingling, pizza and drinks, Ron called the September meeting.  We started small, with bumper stickers and other prep for the remaining National Drive Electric Week e-vents.  Ron reminded us to know the audience, as electric drive appeals on multiple lines of reasoning- hence, the “Starve a Terrorist” bumper sticker for the non-environmentalist.  We went around the room- Scott got a Ford Focus Electric in May, Mr. Baker is shopping, both for a vehicle and for venture capital for his project.

We discussed the Clean Cities Coalition seminar for car dealers.  In previous months we had discussed clueless or outright ev-hostile dealership staff.  The seminar, at a Fitzgerald Auto facility, drew about 15 dealer reps who were willing to learn.  Apparently they received us well, and were not visibly hostile to Tesla for selling directly.  Charging was discussed; Nissan dealer lots have at least some charging support, and other marques are joining in to various degrees.  Ford revealed that 90% of e-Ford owners surveyed won’t go back to fossil drive.

More publicly, we reported on recent and coming NDEW e-vents.  The Sep. 20 Rockville showing (Pepco’s Gude Dr. site) was too rainy, and off the main roads with little visibility.  However we got good BMW factory representation.  The WaterShed site will also be on the Tour of Solar Homes, also with EVs on display.  There’s plenty of 120V charging, but only one J1772 plug- we suggested finding more.  At the same time as Rockville was Falls Church’s NDEW at Coleman PowerSports.  It rained less further south, with a better selection of electrics.  Organizer Jeff briefed us, as well as on his Asburn NDEW e-vent.  Ashburn had test drives, but no Revenge of the Electric Car screening.

232cThe afternoon before the club meeting, a dual-standard (CCS/CHAdeMO) DC Quick Charger was unveiled by Baltimore’s Inner Harbor.  Mayor Stephanie Rawlings Blake was in attendance, as were Jean from Nissan and Matt of the EV Institute.  The Inner Harbor site is still negotiating a power contract with BGE, but other DC chargers in Urbana, Glen Burnie, Queenstown, and Temple Hills are installed.  Salisbury and Ocean City were pending as of the meeting.

Elvia reported on her Annapolis NDEW e-vent.  As in previous years, there was a good showing, with 24 EV registrations we know of.

We learned the rumors were true on the 2016 Nissan Leaf.  Range beats the Kia and Mercedes E, at 107 EPA rated miles.  There will be revisions to the dash, phone app and cellular connection, and body colors.  Meanwhile it is now known that the Tesla Model 3 will be revealed in March, and should be taking pre-reservations.  One deposit rumor is 5k.  The Russian second-in-line, Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev, is a Model S owner, which might explain why all Russian gas stations must start offering charging.  In other models, the 2016 Chevy Volt will be delivered imminently in California, and days after in Maryland and other CARB-signatory states.  The other 30 states will jump directly to the 2017 Volt when it appears in the Spring.

229cScott reported on his trip to a Pennsylvania NDEW e-vent.  A 1916 Rauch & Lang electric from a museum was in running condition.  So was a BMW Mini from their e-Mini field test program.

Bruce is readying his BMW Z3 conversion, hopefully in time for the Poolesville NDEW e-vent.  He has traded his commercial lithium cells for the Leaf’s cell format.

248cWe got down to the Tour of Solar Homes.  There will be 30 homes on the Tour Saturday, Oct. 3, and 30 Sunday (some duplicates).  Some already have EVs to park in front, some need one- Ron’s coordinating volunteer vehicles.  We’ve had great outreach at these, since the audience is receptive already.  Two possibilities are a Franciscan monastery in Ellicot City (with a massive solar array), and a mini-Tour for Loudon.  We had Tour brochures and pamphlets.

Other upcoming e-vents were the Friday NDEW showings in Frederick and Herndon, the Saturday Poolesville show and parade (almost too big), and in the future, more Virginia and Montgomery County opportunities.  The April 30 Montgomery County Green Festival was nice, and wants us back for next year’s in Takoma Park.

The big show, though, will be Sunday, on the downtown Mall.  We have a cooler and will give some test rides, we’re looking for tables and maybe a canopy.  There may be a spare tent from a Nissan e-vent.

The floor then proceeded to a freeform discussion on buying used EVs.  The Leaf, now coming off its initial leases, has a lot of selection; there’s an enthusiast-printed superguide going around with trim, options, and model year details.  Similarly, used Think Citys (and parts and support) exist if you look.  Bob has spare parts for Vectrix scooters.

We proceeded to club materials.  Logo shirts, caps, jackets, etc. are on the list if we desire an order.  An eternal issue is getting orders out to people, besides club meetings, which members may or may not attend in a given month.  Similarly, we have options for bumper stickers, club brochures, show signs, and other promo items.

Lastly, the annual club holiday party is coming.  A vote determined it will be Dec. 16, but various sites are in contention.  This includes 2013’s Semaconnect offices, various dealerships, and Rockville Library.  Members suggested other possibilities.  These include a Summer picnic not unlike 2013.  See you December, and possibly Summer!

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