NDEW 2015: Falls Church

Falls Church NDEW 2015It’s here: National Drive Electric Week.  Round 1 was Falls Church, at Coleman PowerSports.  This time, the numerous EVs included the underpromoted Ford Focus

Ford Focus EV…and the far more rare (here, at least) Kia Soul EV- brought from the West Coast by a recent “immigrant.”  This being Coleman, though, many of the numerous EVs were Zero motorcycles, as the manufacturer was having a demo day.

Kia Soul EV Continue reading

August 2015 Minutes

Pepco WaterShed siteAugust’s meeting was held in, around, and next to WaterShed– the University of Maryland’s 2011 entry (and eventual winner) into the DoE’s Solar Decathlon competition for efficient homes.  Pepco has since bought the home, and installed it at their Rockville site; it is now a working demo and meeting space.  It even has J1772 charging.

Ron called the meeting, but had us tour the space and ask questions for Pepco representatives Scott and TJ.  After an hour’s gawking and mingling, we reconvened.  Speaking of solar, the Tour of Solar Homes is coming just after Drive Electric Week; the guidebook for it will be out by this writing.  We’re still looking for EVers to demo at homes (your own tour stop, or please volunteer at someone else’s house).  We have found that tour guests are very receptive and quite informed, ready to converse if not buy outright.

The Greenbelt Labor Day parade is always an opportunity for us; it’s an outreach and recruitment event, a show of numbers, and simply a fun day out.  Next up will be Poolesville Day, coinciding with National Drive Electric Week for a Saturday, Sep. 19 event.  As usual, the EV parade (please be ready at 9:15) will be followed with a parked showing.  RSVP with Joyce.  For the meeting, Joyce brought Lauren and Brianna from Poolesville HS.  Their senior project is, with luck, installing charging in Poolesville.  We brought up our own experiences, and a Ford effort in Washington State.

In the present, Maryland’s “electric highway” project continues.  At least one Royal Farms has DC quick charging, free for now.  It’s a dual CHAdeMO/CCS installation, and will be $0.39/kWh when the network is fully engaged.  A Westminster Royal Farms is coming; members brought up a DC area DC tour. Continue reading

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. Continue reading

June 2015 Minutes

It was a beautiful day, in a beautiful meeting space. After our snacks and drinks, Ron called the meeting to order. With the introductions, we got another treat. Members had an adapter for the old Avcon connector (predecessor to our J1772 about fifteen years ago), and the inductive paddle (also built for late-90s EVs).Screenshot from 2015-06-20 23:02

Dennis gave us the post-race report on the Junior Solar Sprints, May 19 in the District. The rain held off, and about 36 teams (multiple students per team) participated.

In legislative news, the condo/commercial installations bill died with the end of the Annapolis session. The Tesla direct sales bill, however, passed and was signed. Montgomery County is considering a similar bill, allowing reasonable condo charging installations despite HOAs, but the state had moved to block counties from this.Screenshot from 2015-06-20 23:22

The EV Readiness Workshop will be held June 30, at the MWCOG offices near Union Station. Local leaders and interested parties, with registration, can learn how to make their communities EV-friendly. The event will start, first thing, with networking, then test rides in EVs. Our secretary Scott has a lobby letter, with example installations such as tourist charging for the main streets of small vacation towns. People on day trips can charge while shopping and dining. Similarly, Tesla has encouraged the installation of not-so-superchargers, for hotels and other places where tourists are likely to linger. Many of these also have a J1772 plug for non-Teslas. Meanwhile the first Maryland Electric Highway charging site is now up, at a Royal Farms in Camp Springs. At least one person has used its SAE CCS fast charger.

Another effort from Scott, a post on historic charging, was linked by greencarreports.com. Word is spreading! Similarly, Local Motors is getting more coverage for their 3D-printed vehicles, along with a DoE printed car. We saw a 3D printing video, and one from Joyce’s son and his high school EV project.

In member news, Charlie’s Porsche has all the pieces in place, for its switch from NiCd to lithium. However, it’s still got some work required before running. Curt found a replacement Tesla Roadster, for his totaled vehicle. Dave has a CHAdeMO-to-Tesla adapter coming.

Pepco is expanding its successful EV charging program, with low nighttime power rates. Customers in the pilot version of the program had a party at Pepco’s Rockville office; Scott and Doron attended.  There, Pepco showed a V1G unit. The modified Clipper Creek EVSE lets Pepco turn you down to Level 1 charging in case of a power emergency. In case of a personal emergency, however, there’s a red button you can hit to restore Level 2 charge speed.

The big news is the upcoming Crystal City Fathers’ Day Car Show. We’ve had good uptake in prior years; the crowd is tech-savvy and receptive. This year, the Show has placed us back in the main area, not a satellite lot across the street. We have three cars signed up, but could use more volunteers and EVs. It’s this Sunday, 2 pm to 6 in the Crystal City shopping area. Yes, there’s charging nearby.  One possibility was bringing Chip’s dragster, but he has no trailer for it. Continue reading

2015 DC Green Festival

Don’t forget, we’re meeting this week at Rockville Library again.  Last week, though, was the Green Festival at the Convention Center.

2015 booths- Ford and BMW

 

The Volkswagen Group (VW/Audi/Porsche/Ducati) was a platinum sponsor by way of an ad in the show program.  Ford and BMW however had actual booths and EVs, and BMW actually let you drive one (no, not that i8).

BMW i3

You might be reluctant to pay BMW prices for a car you “haven’t even sat in yet.”  Or maybe you’ve never tried one of those newfangled electric-things.  This was your chance; you could take the i3 around a suggested Gallery Place/Shaw loop (unescorted). Continue reading