East (SF) Bay EAA Chapter
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Chapter Meetings for 2004:
EV Maintenance and Upkeep
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.
Annual EAA National Meeting
Hands-on EV Maintenance Project - Battery replacement on a CitiCar
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.
Battery Basics and Beyond - PbA and Lithium
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.
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.
Annual Spring EV Display and Drive/Ride Rally
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:
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
Thanks again for Scott and Anna putting together this Rally.
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.
3rd EVer EAA All Chapters Conference
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:Afternoon schedule:
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:For used EVs, various sources:
Ed also shared photos of last year's 4th of July parade and the Vancouver EVent.
Alameda 4th of July Parade
EV Display and Drive/Ride Rally
Silicon Valley Chapter Rally
Park St. Classic Car Show
Chapter Elections and End-of-Year party
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:
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:
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.
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: