Electric Auto Association
East (SF) Bay EAA Chapter

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Promoting EVs
Monthly interaction on production and conversion EVs and repairs and maintenace of EVs.
New Location and Events for 2004 year

Chapter Officers 2004 year
Voted PositionMember Name     Volunteer PositionMember Name
President/ChairScott Cornell     Meeting CoordinatorLloyd Wenzel
Vice President/Vice ChairPaul Cooper     Events CoordinatorScott Cornell
TreasurerJim Van Scyoc     Charging CoordinatorMarc Geller
    Website CoordinatorEd Thorpe

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Chapter Meetings for 2004:

  • January - EV Maintenance and Upkeep
  • February - Annual EAA National Meeting, Palo Alto
  • February - Hands-on EV Maintenance Project
  • March - Battery Basics - PbA & Lithium
  • April - Earth Day Events
  • April - Annual EV Display and Drive/Ride Rally, Pleasant Hill
  • May - Transporting EVs
  • June - 3rd EVer All Chapters Conference, Vancouver, BC, Canada
  • June - Promoting EVs
  • July - 4th of July Parade, Alameda
  • July - TBD
  • August - Annual EV Display and Drive/Ride Rally, Hayward
  • September - Silicon Valley Chapter Rally, Palo Alto
  • September - no regular meeting
  • October - Park St. Classic Car Show, Alameda
  • October - TBD
  • November - Elections and End of Year party
  • December - no regular meeting

January 28 (standard meeting)

EV Maintenance and Upkeep
Meeting Location: Alameda

What a great start to the new year. We had 22 people show up for our January meeting.

The mission of the EAA is to promote the use of EVs as zero-emission vehicles. In order to encourage and extend the life of these vehicles, we support each other with history, experience and skills to maintain EVs. We plan to discuss how we can transfer skills to individual owners and what we can do as a Chapter to assist those without the skill-set to troubleshoot and maintain their EV.

Scott provided an in-depth explaination on what tools are needed for proper care of most batteries. He stressed the importance of safety, and illustrated several ways to wrap wrenches and other tools to protect against accidential shorting of your pack. Together with others in the Chapter, we are working on a writeup to assist others with the tips and steps to enhance the life of the battery pack.

Scott explains about the basic tools when working around batteries.
Safety is the number one concern when checking the health of your batteries.
Even 1970's CitiCars promote today's message.
Many EVs lined up for display after the meeting.
Edward explains his converted Paseo.
Paul gathers quite a croud with his Porsche 914.

February 21 (annual meeting)

Annual EAA National Meeting
Meeting Location: Palo Alto Photos by Bruce Parmenter

Chairman Ron Freund opened with review of 2003.
Crushed GM EV1s from California in Arizona.
Tom Dowling explains charging up to Lake Tahoe.
Ed webcasting and YIM chat with remote members.
Line up members with their EVs after the meeting.

February 28 (standard meeting)

Hands-on EV Maintenance Project - Battery replacement on a CitiCar
Meeting Location: Alameda

We had a light turn-out, only 8 members, show up. So, rather than our original topic of Rally planning, we switched over to a hands-on project.

Getting ready for the battery swap.
Scott and Elaine together free the batteries.
All the new batteries, connected and ready to go.
Elaine driving off, full speed ahead.

March 27 (standard meeting)

Battery Basics and Beyond - PbA and Lithium
Meeting Location: Alameda

Jim Ramos of American Battery Co, Hayward and Bruce of PolyPlus, Berkeley.

Great turnout - 32 members & guests!

Jim Ramos, of American Battery Company in Hayward, talked to us a long time about the care and feeding of standard, inexpensive flooded PbA batteries. He is a long-time supporter of EVers in the Bay Area, and his company supplies batteries to many of the EAA membership.

During his talk he demonstrated the variations in the battery posts, and why we stick to automobile or "L" posts - for the maximum contact area. His samples of different plates and dissected batteries help to explain the inner workings of the batteries. The bottom line is that the flooded 6v & 8v batteries are the king for the least expensive energy solution for most conversion EVs.

We had a lot of interaction on all sorts of practical aspects of battery care. Some members explored the differences of range based on battery selection - 6v vs. 8v vs. 12v. The lower voltage 6v packs hold more overall energy, giving you the range. But the higher voltage packs allow for the faster freeway speeds needed by many for commuting.

Jim shared very practical information, like checking the water levels on floodeds *after* charging. He brought a wide variety of tools to help with the proper maintenance of batteries, and also described charging and other information.

Jim describes standard batteries.
Bruce's chalk-talk about Lithium chemistry.

We also had an excellent presentation by Bruce Katz of PolyPlus, in Berkeley. They research Lithium Polymer design and the chemistry behind it. He gave us a whiteboard talk about the various chemistries involved, how Lithium variations store such high energy, and why it's so difficult to extend the number of recharging cycles of Lithium technology batteries. Wonderful technical presentation.

Thanks again for Jim and Bruce coming to talk with us.


Earth Day Events

Very little happened this year due to dying interest in the environment. Most of the major corporate sponsors have withdrawn due to the economy from funding major events like the traditional all-day Earth Day events at the Concord Pavillion.

Still there were various local events, at businesses and cities round the Bay.

April 24 (standard meeting/event)

Annual Spring EV Display and Drive/Ride Rally
Meeting Location: DVC, Pleasant Hill/Concord

April is the month of Earth Day celebrations. Besides encouraging members to participate in the various Earth Day events around the area, we have our annual EV Rally in Concord/Pleasant Hill, on the north-east side of our membership coverage. (We have another rally in the Fall in Hayward.) During this event, we display our EVs, which encourages people to come up and ask lots of questions. We also have a driving route, where people can be a passenger in an EV and experience first-hand the quiet and gas-free virtues of electric drive.

The rally this year ended up much the same as last year - lots of talk and "sewing seeds" but not much distance competition. Vehicles (and people) this year were:

  • Marc Michon - Custom Electric Motorcycle (based on Honda VRX)
  • Edward Ang - Toyota Paseo (HOV EV)
  • Paul Cooper - Porche 914 (PIPE SPY)
  • Anna Cornell - Volkswaken Rabbit (Buzz Bunny 2)
  • Scott Cornell - Volkswagen Karmann Ghia (90V Ghia)
  • Scott Cornell - Kewet El-Jet 3 (Blue Cheese)
  • Most vehicles completed 2 or 3 laps around the course, giving rides to interested people, but we didn't get in to the distance competition (since Scott had 3 of the cars there, and Paul drove to the location and needed to re-charge to get back home). Edward did tow his conversion from the Fremont area over to the Rally.

    Photos and comments provided by Scott

    Marc Michon' motorcycle conversion.
    Edward Ang's Paceo conversion.
    Paul Cooper's Porsche Karmann& Scott Cornell's Kewet.
    Anna Cornell's Rabbit & Scott Cornell's Karmann Ghia conversions.

    Thanks again for Scott and Anna putting together this Rally.

    May 22 (standard meeting)

    Transporting EVs
    Meeting Location: Alameda

    EVs need to be transported from time to time. Smaller vehicles, like electrified push-scooters and electric bicycles, can fold or disassemble easily to fit inside a car or truck. But larger vehicles, like motorcycles, cars and trucks, must be towed somehow. We discussed various techniques for towing, from trailers and flatbed trucks to towbars, and share stories of what should and should not be done while towing.

    A couple weeks after the meeting, Ed towed his Sparrow on a 4'x8' tilting trailer up to the Vancouver EVA and All Chapters Conference in Canada, and back, 2,000 miles.

    June 6 (special event)

    3rd EVer EAA All Chapters Conference
    Meeting Location: Vancouver, BC, Canada

    This all-day Sunday converence in Vancouver, BC, Canada was attended by 32 EAA members onsite and 6 members remotely via webcasting. About 10 different chapters were represented, from Vancouver to San Diego,CA to Austin, TX to South Carolina and Massachusetts participated.. Most of the discussion was focused around various businesses in the BC area who are promoting EV related efforts. The meeting was held in Science World BC, an exploratorium facility for educating about science. Morning schedule:

  • Ron Freund, EAA Chairman, and Haakon McCallum, VEVA president, provided introductions.
  • Ron Freund and Dave "Goldie" Goldstein, EVA DC President, moderated a discussion about Plug-in Hybrids. Special feature was a call-in and powerpoint presentation from Dr. Andy Franks, University of California Davis, about what is currently achievable performance-wise with plug-in hybrids. The main problem is that the automakers are reluctant enough to create the current hybrids (electric assisted gas cars). But the potential improvements and benifits are significant with PIHEVs.
  • Afternoon schedule:
  • Walter Wardrop, CME/IRAP, presented about a Canadian group called H2 Leader is partnering to develop plug-in hybrids.
  • Frank Donnelly, CTO of RailPower Technologies, presented about the Green Goat Hybrid Switcher Locomotive. This is a solution for reducing air and noise pollution in the trainyards, through the use of a battery & diesel locomotive, which reduces diesel consumption by 75+%.
  • Dave Miller, Senior HW Engineer at Mountain Power Labs, discussed about Modular Lithium Ion Battery Management Systems.
  • Philip Dayson, president of Dynasty Electric Car Corp, provided perspective of how EV manufacturing is being revived. His company has aquired the previous Dynasty nEV production and is working on getting their products improved to better meet marketing and customer needs.
  • Roger Stockton, Engineer at Delta Q Technologies, presented about PFC Chargers. Better and modular designs allow for greater flexibility for meeting EV charging needs. His company's 1kw chargers can be adjust to different EV configurations.
  • June 26 (standard meeting)

    Promoting EVs
    Meeting Location: Alameda

    As the gas prices get higher, more people will be looking for alternatives, like Electric Vehicles. The questions arise - How do you get an EV? Where do you get an EV? Why aren't automakers building/selling EVs? So, how do you think should we answer people?

    Fourteen members got together to discuss this hot topic. The main challenge is that the only new EVs for sale were last year's ~300 Toyota RAV4 EVs, which are all sold out. Detroit isn't making any EVs, and they're not letting any leased vehicles stay around.

    About the only near-future release might be:

  • Commuter Cars - now taking deposits for orders on their 3 models of the Tango. Tango 600 (2-9" ADC motors, 0-60mph in 4 sec, top of the line), Tango 200 (4-AC hub motors, 0-60mph in 5 sec) and Tango 100 (2-AC hub motors, 0-60mph in 7 sec). Based in the state of Washington.
  • Myers Motors - the new company building, selling and repairing Sparrows. Based in the state of Ohio.
  • GEM nEVs - for those who can live with the speed limitations of the neighborhood EVs.
  • For used EVs, various sources:
  • EV Finder - listing owner-sale vehicles and current ebay listings.
  • EV Trading Post - owner-sale vehicles and EV componients.
  • Others - links on the EAAEV website, like individual EAA Chapters, etc.
  • Ed also shared photos of last year's 4th of July parade and the Vancouver EVent.

    July 4 (special event)

    Alameda 4th of July Parade
    Meeting Location: Alameda

    July 24 (standard meeting)

    Meeting Location: Alameda

    August 21 (standard meeting/rally)

    EV Display and Drive/Ride Rally
    Meeting Location: Hayward

    September 18 (special event)

    Silicon Valley Chapter Rally
    Meeting Location: Palo Alto

    October 9 (special event)

    Park St. Classic Car Show
    Meeting Location: Alameda

    October 23 (standard meeting)

    Meeting Location: Alameda

    November 20 (standard meeting)

    Chapter Elections and End-of-Year party
    Meeting Location: Alameda

    Nine members gathered to reflect over the year and plan for the next year over food. We held elections for next year's Chapter officers, and the results were:

    Chapter Officers 2005 year
    Voted PositionMember Name     Volunteer PositionMember Name
    President/ChairScott Cornell     Meeting CoordinatorLloyd Wenzel
    Vice President/Vice ChairPaul Cooper     Website CoordinatorEd Thorpe
    TreasurerJim Van Scyoc     Spring Rally Coord.Scott Cornell
    SecretaryEd Thorpe     Fall Rally Coord.Ed Thorpe

    Scott's series on "EV Componients for Dummies" was inspired by Gordon Schaffer's presentations on EV motors and chargers during the early 1990s. Suggestions for future topics included:

  • EV Motor Brush Replacements (hands on).
  • Terminal and Cable Building (including shunt design).
  • EV Motors - looking at the insides and comparing DC vs AC.
  • AGM Battery Management (including an understanding of their construction).
  • Update on CalCar's develoment of a Plug-in Hybrid prototype.
  • Range Extenders - from battery trailers to generator trailers and more.
  • In the discussion about vehicles, Scott and Ed shared about the history of the Kewet, a Danish EV produced in the 1990s, and currently in small-scale production in Norway.

    History of the Kewet. [to fill in]

    Scott's modifications of his El-Jet3 (Blue Cheese) has focused around changes in the battery pack.

  • Origin, 4-12v group-27 large flooded batteries (~165lb/battery).
  • Next, 6-8v flooded batteries, but vehicle was too light, but tried to incorporate solar recharging.
  • Now, 8-6v flooded batteries, handles much better.
  • www.eaaev.org

    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:

    North (SF) Bay
    San Francisco
    San Jose
    Silicon Valley