National Drive Electric Week 2014

i1852d…or at least, several local Drive Electric days.  A great time was had all around our area.  The Frederick EVent, on Friday by MOM’s Grocery, had man cars rotating through the day.  Besides the usual Volts, Leafs, and Teslas, there was a Smart ED and Honda Fit EV.  A Nissan dealer also made an appearance, and gave test drives.  Thanks, Ron!

110512522dSaturday saw EVents in Baltimore and Bethesda.  In Baltimore, at the Maryland Science Center, there were not only owner cars for show, and test rides in our overflow area, by the three solar arrays.  Delegations from GM, BG&E, and the Maryland Energy Administration also came along.  The Chevy Spark EV and Cadillac ELR were not on the list for test rides, though.

One vendor even had his “son-of-segway” personal EV!  Mark was brave enough to hop on.  Thanks, Mark!  520d

Continue reading

Mini Maker Faire, Silver Spring

Great outing, great weather, great crowd.  We showed several EVs at the packed Mini Maker Faire this Sunday, at the Silver Spring Civic Center.  Attendees were tech-savvy, or at least tech-curious, and very eager to see the latest advances.11502d

Amber and Jeff from Riide even gave an e-bike presentation, inside the Civic Center on their stage.504d

Let’s hope our streak continues through National Drive Electric Week– EVents all around the metro area (multiple Virginia and Maryland locations) and around the country, leading up to the EVADC one on the Mall next Sunday the 21st.

September EVents…

And a fun Labor Day Parade was had by all, September 1.  The Greenbelt outing had two Volts, a Plug-In Prius, a Leaf, a Ford C-Max Energi, and an e-bike, plus wind power representatives.

709dDon’t forget, we’ve also got the Mini Maker Faire in Silver Spring this Sunday, followed by the Monthly Meeting Wednesday Sep. 17, and then The Big One- our multiple Drive Electric Week events around the Metro area.  See you there! Continue reading

August 2014 Minutes

Lots of news and events this meeting.  In order of appearance, not importance:

President Charlie called the meeting to order at 7:16.  We began with introductions, including many new faces (new BMW i3!).  This includes people looking to upgrade from their hybrids.  Debra brought up the August issue of Consumer Reports, bringing attention to dealer misinformation about EVs and, in some cases, active hostility to them.  Later, members shared their recommendations on good, EV-aware dealerships.

cpbssgbSpeaking of EV awareness, the annual Greenbelt Labor Day Parade is coming up fast, this September 1.  We’ve seen great turnouts and enthusiasm in our previous runnings.  Bring your EV (well before 10 am) if you have one, check it out if you want one.  After that (Sept. 14, 12-5 pm) is the Mini Maker Faire, downtown Silver Spring’s local edition of the tech hobbyists’ powwows.  We have brought EVs before; anyone have any cool mods, or entire homebuilts they’d like to show off?  Charlie’s crowd-pleasing Porsche 914 conversion won’t be ready, though- still upgrading from NiCd cells to Lithium chemistry.

For non-tinkerers, we mentioned Nissan Leafs can now be found under $20k with deals.  Possibly near $15k if you’re good.  Meanwhile the first Leafs, Volts, and Prius Plug-Ins are going off leases and on the used market, for good prices.  Member Rob sold his Tesla S, anticipating a Tesla III in a few years.  He’s now using his Think City, though it needs a paint job.  We heard the issues with various Think finishes. Continue reading

We’ve Got EVents…

Thanks to all who came last weekend for the Science and Engineering Festival/Sustainable Design Expo at the Convention Center.  I feel it really got traction and reached a lot of people.

We still have our EV Grand Prix coming up next weekend, May 10 in Dulles.  Great volunteer opportunities are available that day and the Friday before, even if you have no experience.  Please see our SignUpGenius page.  With our reserved volunteer parking, you can drop the family off at the museum beforehand, then watch the race and EV parade together at midday, all for free.  There is no downside- the Udvar-Hazy Center is even chipping in lunch for racers and volunteers.

April 2014 Minutes

So the big “news” is that the 2014 EV Grand Prix will be May 10- really, we’ve been planning this for most of a year now.  Nabih Bedewi wasn’t present, but plenty of people were there to brief the crowd.  (We were in Davis Library, Democracy Blvd.  Trying to cover more of the metro area, apologies if you missed it.)1138d

Bruce Cohen gave a general call for volunteers.  We need setup and teardown volunteers (including the Friday before), course workers, people for greeting and working an EVADC table, crowd control, etc.  See our SignUpGenius page.  All volunteers will receive a T-shirt and cap, pizza lunch courtesy of the venue, and free parking (through the guardhouse, off Rt. 50, for volunteers on our list) instead of the high Udvar-Hazy rate.  Anyone with specialized skills like sound, music, video are especially welcome.  We are also looking for publicity, both via high schools for later EVGPs, and anyone with media and sponsor contacts (this year and in the future).  Heck, tell your school-aged friends and neighbors, any educators you know, and “like” our Facebook page if nothing else.  The U-H Center will have its final Super Science Saturday going on while the race has downtime- you’ve got nothing to lose.

Another opportunity is to show your ride at the 1:00 parade of EVs.  Bill Elliott continued: there will be 120V charging for racers courtesy of the venue, but we’re still looking into guest EV charging.  Northern Virginia has resources, including area stores and auto dealerships; Dulles Airport has a site, but you’d have to pay the daily parking rate.

In other business… after a pizza break, Ron stated that the National Science and Engineering Festival, plus National Sustainable Design Expo (both free, at the Washington Convention Center) also need (fewer) volunteers, April 26-27, plus some Friday work and loading Thursday.  We have table space in both; we plan on having a Tesla and a homebuilt on display, hopefully an EVGP racer too.  While we’ve updated our brochures and have a banner incoming, this event also needs audio/video work.  We are looking into multimedia and interactive displays for the crowd.  Does anyone have any video of their EV, or any related business? Continue reading

2013 Post-Party Post

Hello and happy holidays from your new EVADC secretary, Rene.  We had a seemly party at SemaConnect headquarters Wednesday.  Aside from food, drink, and company, which are all excellent topics, we had clean, domestic business to share.

After introductions of new officers, a hat tip was made to Nissan representative Jean Goff, then Pepco representative Barbara Gonzalez.  Besides heading other advanced initiatives, she announced Pepco’s EV trial project (see pepco.com/plugin).  Qualified applicants can get TOU rates (a nighttime/weekend discount), either for the whole home, or a separate (and free) meter for the EV.  The first 50 who qualify may receive a Level 2 home EVSE unit at 50% off.

Ideas for the next EV DC Grand Prix were announced by Nabih Bedewi.  We have not only the honor of the national-champion high school (Clarksburg High), but a trifecta against California teams at the Solar Decathlon’s California Challenge.  Our region intends to retain the title.  Erick Pinzon from Tesla could reveal fewer details, but our region is doing quite well in multiple clean, fast vehicles.

A raffle was held for all- prizes included Nissan, Tesla, and Plug-In America donations, and multiple prizes from SemaConnect.  Kim Reyes graciously donated a pearl earring/necklace set.

Thanks to all volunteers, not the least of which were Mahi Reddy and the SemaConnect staff.  If you missed the fun, there’s plenty of time to join before next year’s party!