East (SF) Bay EAA Chapter
Chapter Meetings for 2003:
AC Controller Design
First meeting of the new year. Great turnout - 28 people!
Jack Swartz has been working on development of a new AC controller. His test vehicle proposed is a Mercedes sedan. Through the presentation, Jack described his research, design and testing on a 3-phase controller. Additionally, he presented research on possible NiMH battery pack from D-cells, and other electronic componients.
Also plenty of discussion about production and conversion EVs, and how people can get an EV for local or commute driving. Various legislation was discussed, including an announcement to encourage participation at the annual CARB ZEV mandate changes at the end of February.
EV Charging Infrastructure
Thanks everyone for turning out. Another great meeting, with 17 people attending.
Marc Geller, a Ford TH!NK City driver which uses public Avcon conductive charging, led the meeting in discussing the need for EV charging infrastructure. We have the ability as a Chapter to coordinate with local business to install public charging stations around the East Bay.
The outcome was that there are different ways to provide charging. We need to determine what format to stand behind, which will work for the most vehicles. (Thanks to Edward Ang for his summary and leading discussion on the EVDL.)
Which only really leaves us with 2 combinations to choose from:
By the way (BTW), here's a simple Poll for people to vote on a preferred standard for charging stations.
note: should provide graphics for each setup for better understanding/clarify.
Hands-on EV Maintenance
Great turnout. Lots of various discussion groups clustered around various EVs. We had Marc in his TH!NK, which he drove over from San Francisco, and Wayne in his newly aquired VW Rabbit pickup truck, down from Vallejo. Ed provided discussion about upgrades to his Sparrow (PFC-50 fast charging, battery voltage monitoring, etc). And other EVs were also present - Lloyd's Honda Civic conversion, the CommutaCar, electric bicycles, and more.
Warren showed up with Jack and some of the group focused on installing the front brakes Warren rebuilt for the club's CommutaCar. The rear brakes weren't quite resolved due to the need for a machine shop to remove the bearings. Certainly would help if there was information thorugh a DL or other source about what size bearings to replace with (but that's another discussion).
Also we'll have last minute discussions about carpooling and participation in the CARB meeting for the next week - March 27-28. Critical meeting to determine if we have an extended backout on production EV availability.
Annual East Bay Rally
Report and photos by Scott Cornell, EBEAA Events Coordinator.
April 26th was a sunny and cloudy day that threatened rain but the rain never came through. The 2003 East Bay EAA Spring rally was a relaxed gathering of 6 member vehicles, several members and their families, and a few curious passers-by. Donuts, bottled water, and fresh fruit were on the table, as was a collection of EAA rally-specific literature. All in all, we had fun time, good conversations, and planted a few seeds in the minds of our visitors - just as we had intended.
Good conversations and answering questions dominated the day. The usually present competition-for-the-longest-distance mindset wasn't the first thing on the driver's minds (except for Gordon, who really wanted to stretch his new set of batteries).
We dedicated this rally to the memory of Carl Schaeffer - a long-time East Bay member, E.V. driver and promoter, and a wonderful person, who passed away last month at the age of 98.
Here are the distance run results for the 3.2 mile city driving course:
note 1 - drove to and from rally site - 1.2 miles each way
East Bay EAA Rally - Spring 2003 route
Planting seeds in the minds of young EVers with Solar Toys
Scott presented some of his work done with elementary school children and work done by the EV Challenge group with middle school children.
Charging discussion, and how to adapt for Avcon
Great turnout! We had 19 people show up, to discuss how they can connect to public charging, and to look at some EVs.
Ed Thorpe, our Chapter president, shared how EVs (production and conversion) can use public charging. For those with EVs (mostly conversions), there's the question of how to connect to what public charging is available. Since Ed drives a Sparrow with a charger that can plug into both 110vac and 220vac, he shared (and demonstrated) how vehicles can be adapted using the AVCON inlet. With this inlet, or the AVCON adapter box available through the EAA Merchandise, an EV with 220v charger can plug into many public-charging stations.
Also had discussion about the state of EVs, the new sticker required for access to public charging parking spaces, and participation in Alameda's 4th of July Parade.
Alameda 4th of July Parade
Pictures available on Edward's Movingcam website.
The EV Experience
At last month's meeting, 10 members got together to hear how Wayne Foss recently joined the EV scene. He shared how he bought an electric VW pickup for commuting and for use in his car upholstery business. After getting the first vehicle, he has picked up a second EV pickup as a backup, and has worked on upgrading the voltage and other aspects of the original EV.
We had a lot of great discussion about learning the care and feeding of EVs. Wayne's main concerning has been maintaining and watering the flooded battery pack, which he checks and adds water on a monthly basis. This frequency is because he is logging about 70 commute miles daily, which is a lot. Also, he's investigating how he can recharge more quickly, right now takes all day, on 110vac with the original charger. We discussed different options, from tandom chargers to upgrading to a PFC charger, to even having a larger battery array to dump charge.
Many thanks to Wayne for sharing with us. Also had a show-and-tell of his '81 pickup after the meeting.
East Bay EV Display and Drive/Ride Rally
In April we held our traditional Distance Rally in Pleasant Hill/Concord area, on the east side of the Caldecott Tunnel (part of major coast range which separates the Richmond/Oakland/Hayward/Fremont area from the Martinez/Concord/Walnut Creek/San Ramon area of the East Bay). So, to encourage members to gather with their EVs, we are starting a second annual rally in the Hayward area in August. Not quite as hot weather-wise as Concord for this time of year, it should be a pleasant time to display our various EVs, from electric bicycles and scooters to cars and pickups and other electrics.
This event has plenty of space for display, due to the large parking lots. We can easily accommodate members who wish to drop-off the vehicles the night before, for charging, etc. Public 220vac charging is available at the adjacent Chabot College, and there is a variety of 110vac charging. Please email EAA-contact-at-excite-dot-com to coordinate any individual arrangements.
We have a 2.2 mile and 1.1 mile loops. Longer loop is for EV cars/trucks/etc and the shorter loop is for EV scooters/bicycles. These loops take our EVs around the Mall site, along side the I-880 freeway and past the local flea market being held at the local Community College. Flat streets, from 25mph residential to 35mph main streets (3 lanes wide), with minimal stops. We encourage the public to come and take a ride as we drive these laps, to get a first-hand experience about why EVs can solve the air pollution problems we have in the Bay Area.
With these shorter distances, any EV from scooter to car can also test out their distance capabilities. We will have refreshments for all participants and an table for distributing information.
Charging Standards and Adapting Conversions with an Avcon Inlet
After August and September Rallies, the issue has come up of where people can see and purchase new EVs. Well, unfortunately all the automakers have wimped out and the last production EVs were the 200 Toyota RAV4 EVs which were sold last year. And for the next 8-10 years the major automakers - Chevrolet (S10 EV pickup), Daimler-Chrysler (EPIC EV minivan), Ford (EV Ranger & Think City), General Motors (EV1), Honda (EV+ minivan), Nissan (Altra EV minivan) and Toyota (RAV4 EV) - are all sidestepping EVs by focusing on producing ~250 (combined total) fuel cell vehicles and various gas-electric hybrids.
Since this leaves us with older "production" EVs and conversions, we have to live with much shorter driving ranges. Typically conversions have 15-40 miles per charge range. For local use and short-range commuting this range works well. In order to extend the driving range, and to gain exposure to the public, we need to use the public charging stations.
So we had lively discussion about the merits of public charging - does it promote EVs to the public or put them down by having the EV recharging out in the open. Also we discussed what's involved adapting existing vehicle charging with an AVCON inlet and 110vac vs. 220vac charging strategies .
The USPS recently lost its EV delivery vehicle program. Ford wanted out and, with some built-in obsolescence in batteries and poor maintenance programs, they were able to cancel the last major EV program. As a result, the California USPS locations with charging stations now have excess equipment - the charging stations. The EAA was able to coordinate the donation of these stations, to be relocated for public use, provided the EAA provides the disconnection and removal of this equipment.
If everything coordinates well, we have the opportunity of removing the first charging stations after our November meeting, at the Shoreline USPS location. More details at our meeting.
November 22 (standard meeting)
We had Todd Kollin of Electric Motorsport coming to talk without about electric scooters, but more importantly, electric motorcycles. His company is located here in the East SF Bay (Oakland) and markets and builds the electric scooters and the GPR motorcycle.
He shared with us how he's gotten involved with electric motorcycles and how the GPR is filling a nitch for EVs. Currently he custom builds them to his client's specs, based on the Spanish Durby motorcycle chassis. Customization focuses on gearing for speed performance and packaging with either Hawker-like no maintenance PbA or Evercel NiZn batteries. The overall package weighs in at less than 300 pbs, with the torque of a 600cc motorcycle while the performance of a 125cc motorcycle.
The DC brush motor is able to deliver about 55 mph performance, but can be geared up for 65 mph or geared down to more range at 45 mph. With PbA pack it gets about 25 mpc (miles per charge) range, or about 40 mpc with NiZn. In the future he plans to as 2-3 gearing to enhance the performance.
At EVS-20, where he displayed this NiZn GRP, he saw the motor manufacturers moving towards multi-pole motors, 7-16 phase async AC, which is brushless DC. He also raced his PbA GPR at Woodburn 2003. Photos on the Megawatt Motorworks website (second page, halfway down). Didn't set any records, but he had a blast racing with other EVers.
The EAA is a non-profit organization for the promotion of clean, quiet electric vehicles (EVs) for personal transportation. Check for the EAA Chapter near you on the National EAA page: http://www.eaaev.org
SF Bay area EAA Chapter Web pages: