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.
Events for 2005 year

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

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Chapter Meetings for 2005:

  • January - EV Battery Cables and Shunts for Dummies
  • February - Annual EAA National Meeting, Palo Alto
  • February - EV Servicing - Aurenthetic EV Motorcycle
  • March - EV Range and Performance
  • April - 4th EVer All Chapters Conference, Austin, TX
  • April - Earthday Events
  • April - Annual EV Display and Drive/Ride Rally, Pleasant Hill
  • May - True Plug-In Hybrid - the Prius+
  • June - EV Battery Chemistry for Dummies
  • July - 4th of July Parade, Alameda
  • July - EV Battery Layouts for Dummies
  • August - Annual EV Display and Drive/Ride Rally, Hayward
  • September - Silicon Valley Chapter Rally, Palo Alto
  • October - Park St. Classic Car Show, Alameda
  • October - TBD
  • November - Elections and End of Year party
  • December - no regular meeting

January 26 (standard meeting)

EV Battery Cables and Shunts
Meeting Location: Alameda

We started the New Year with nine members at our meeting.

Our Chapter President Scott Cornell will lead us in an interactive and hands-on discussion of EV cable fabrication and shunts. The discussion will focus on the care and thought involved with building cables which interconnect batteries to create one dependable battery pack. Will focus on wire sizing, connectors and fabrication techniques.

Along with this, Scott will describe how to create shunts to use with instrumentation to measure/monitor electric current. Wire shunts can easily be incorporated to feed analog and digital meters for the dash, while the traditional dedicated shunt also has its role, for use with precision meters like the E-meter.

February 19 (annual meeting)

Annual EAA National Meeting
Meeting Location: Palo Alto

This was the year for awards, as many different activities happened:

Certificates of Appreciation - RAN (Rainforest Action Network) and Global Exchange
Formed “Jumpstart Ford” project.
Recognizing the Sacramento RangerEV Vigil and helping to save the Ford Think Cityes so those vehicles could be returned to Norway.

Fellowship Award – Chip Gribben, EVA/DC Chapter
Driving force behind NEDRA and the Power of DC East Coast EV Drag Races.

Fellowship Award – Mike Chancey, MAEAA Chapter
Founder of the Mid-America Chapter and owner of the EV Album and EV Trading Post.
For his tireless work in support of the MAEAA and the internet based EV Photo Album and EV Trading post.

Lifetime Achievement Award – Lew Gulick, EVA/DC Chapter
Best known for publication of the EV News and his support of EVs.
Editor of the EVA/DC newsletter and more importantly editor of EV News, a nationwide EV magazine during the lat 80's and 90's.

Lifetime Achievement Award – Bill Shafer, FVEAA Chapter
Founder of Fox Valley EAA (Chicago area).
The award was accepted in person by his son David who attended the meeting.

Keith Crock Technical Award – Dr. Andy Frank and Team Fate of UC Davis.
For his pioneering work on plug in hybrids with the support of Ford and GM.
Presentation was augmented by a slide show describing the 4 Plug-In Hybrids his team has developed at UCS, with 40-60 EV mile range and unlimited hybrid range.

Also, the EAA has provided a grant given to Prius Plus project to develop plug-in hybrid version of 2004 Prius.

February 26 (standard meeting)

EV Servicing - Auranthetic EV Motorcycle
Meeting Location: Alameda

We had 14 members gathered to discuss what has been happening in the EV world.

Our representative, Ed Thorpe, attended the National EAA meeting, the weekend before. He reviewed what took place, and described the following Awards given at the National EAA meeting (listed under the National Meeting notes above).

After futher discussion about the EV1 Vigil and other efforts to retain the few remaining production EVs (see the EV1 website for more details).

Then we moved outside to have a hands-on experience with a '73 Auranthetic Charger. This EV motorcycle has a contactor controller and a new set of batteries, but needed some attention to get back to driving condition. Using the manuals and people with experience, like Scott, we went through the paces and got it running.

First we confirmed that motor worked, by lifting up the rear and connecting the motor to 12v using jumper cables - success. Then uncovered the controls and tested the main contactor - good. The relays needed to be exercised, to knock off the crud from years of non-use, and then, quickly, we were able to get it going. Lights worked, brakes were adjusted and off it went. Several members took it for a spin around the lot and into the street.

This old style EV uses contactors to basically have 2 speeds - slow as 12v, fast as 24v. Still needs some updating at least use both 12v batteries in parallel for low speed, otherwise the first battery gets drained too much, causing the batteries to be out of balance. The charger is a 24v, charging them in series. Simple system.

March 26 (standard meeting)

EV Range and Performance
Meeting Location: Alameda

We had 14 members gathered on a holiday weekend to discuss EV performance.

How should we respond to claims of EV conversions getting 50-70 miles per charge with standard lead-acid batteries? Is this realistic and truthful? How can you figure out the realistic range, and what can we do to improve performance? Do you need higher voltage or expensive batteries? How much energy does it take to drive an EV?

June 6 (special event)

4th EVer All Chapters Conference
Meeting Location: Austin, TX

Great turnout in Austin!


Earth Day Events

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

Our Annual East Bay Rally in Pleasant Hill / Concord was almost cancelled, at the last minute, due to a global-warming induced cold spell and heavy rain. Just as Scott was getting ready to call it quits at 10am, the rain stopped and several EVers showed up. So the Rally took place, people gathered, until the rains returned at 3pm.

Annual East Bay EAA Rally - Spring

Here's the report and photos, provided by Lou MacMillian, faithful long-time member:

Above and below are two Type-3 VWs. Both have 96 Volt 2300 batteries with prestolite motors. I was hoping to see performance and distance trials comparing these two.
The blue fast back belongs to KO. It has 4 speed standard transmission with 90 weight oil, and 500 Amp 1231 Curtis controller. KO standing at left in picture below.
The beige square back belongs to Lou MacMillan. It has 6 speed automatic transmission with Red Line oil, and #25 PMC (now Curtis) controller.

Above: Proud new owner of Electrica #007 stopped by on her maiden voyage from Clayton. I didn't catch her name.

Below: Better view of Anna Cornell's tan Rabbit. Anna hiding behind lady in red shirt. Also Kewet behind Rabbit, belongs to Cornell's, as does scooter in back right.

Above: better view of Kewet.

Below: Under the hood of a Rav4-EV. The controller can be purchased at Toyota for $33,000. (That's slightly more than the car cost new.)

Attempted close ups of Rav4-EV.

Thanks to those who showed up. Many thanks to Scott and Anna for hosting this Rally, once again.
The weather will be more cooperative for our Rally in Hayward in September.

May 21 (standard meeting)

A True Plug-in Hybrid - the Prius+
Meeting Location: Alameda

Even though our meeting was offset (a week earlier than usual, and in the afternoon), still we had a health attendence of 23 people..

We will have Felix Kamer and Ron Gremban of the CalCar/Prius+ team come and present how teams in Northern and Southern California have been Green-Tuning 2004 Prius into PRIUS+ Plug-In Hybrids. Through this enhancement, they have been improving the 40-50mpg electric-assisted gas hybrid into a 100-150mpg dual-power vehicle, with up to 30 miles all-electric range. Afterwards we were shown the differences between the standard Hybrid Prius and the enhanced Prius+ that Ron been testing and refining, and provided some real-world demonstration rides.

June 26 (standard meeting)

EV Battery Chemistry for Dummies
Meeting Location: Alameda

There's a lot of discussion these days about batteries - what types are available and how can we use them. Many of the higher capacity batteries are not yet available in the sizing needed for EV usage, although there might be some creative ways to get there.

General Chemistries:

  • PbA (Lead Acid - as Flooded, AGM and GEL).
  • NiCd (Nickel Cadnium).
  • NiMH (Nickel Metal Hydrid).
  • Lith (Lithium - various forms). Can you identify each of the battery chemistries according to the shape in this photo?

    We will explore EV related issues of:
  • charging requirements.
  • discharge performance.
  • use of parallel vs series string arrangements.
  • temperature controls.
  • other issues.

    As we progress forward, battery technology *is* improving, through the continued development of computer and other technologies. The use of battery packs in Hybrids contributes to the development of batteries worthy of EV usage.

    July 4 (special event)

    Alameda 4th of July Parade
    Meeting Location: Alameda Photos from the Parade

    July 23 (standard meeting)

    EV Battery Layouts for Dummies
    Meeting Location: Alameda

    Great turn-out of 15 people.

    The "fuel tank" for an EV is a group of batteries, called a battery pack. This may consist of a large single battery, such as the Mercedes-Benz A1 with the specialized Zebra battery

    to a series of individual battery cells, like the 6,120 NiMH cells used in the White Lightning for achieving 245 mph speeds.

    Great discussion about battery layout. Major goal is to keep as much of the batteries together in one space, with short cables to interconnect the batteries into a single series string.

    We did a hands-on mockup using Optima D51 batteries, to show that even a set of 8 batteries can be arranged several different ways, depending on the space requirements. In addition, we explored how AGM (maintenance-free) batteries can be mounted sideways, it this case creating a pack only 5" tall.

    Battery packs need to consider:

  • Need to keeping batteries upright - typical flooded, not to spill
  • Location of +/- terminals - corners and spacing
  • Spacing between batteries - account for case swelling
  • Spacing and air circulation - for cooling
  • Placement of holddowns - to keep batteries from shifting
  • Adjacency of +/- terminals for cabling - cross-over vs. short interconnects

    Also, need to consider the impact of weight distribution on the vehicle, since batteries are the heaviest componient and affects vehicle handling. We discussed the impacts of the CitiCar/Commuti-Cars of the 1970s as an example. The first versions of these 48v cars had all 8 6-v batteries under the seat, in a central location. The later versions moved the batteries outboard, with 4 behind the front bumpers and the other 4 in front of the rear bumpers. This later arrangement created more of a dumbbell arrangement that causes overstearing. Some people have upgraded these vehicles to higher 60v-72v setups by adding additional batteries back into the underseat location, redistributing the weight for more even handling.

    Example of the battery layout and cabling for a typical (jellybean) Sparrow:

    Another example of how to squeeze 24-6v NiCd batteries into a Kewet, originally designed to hold 8-6v flooded PbA batteries:

    For production vehicle layouts -
    Honda EV+ (24-12v batteries in a single box)

    Ford EV Ranger (39-8v battereies in a single box)

    August 27 (standard meeting/rally)

    EV Display and Drive/Ride Rally
    Meeting Location: Hayward

    September 24 (special event/standard meeting)

    Silicon Valley Chapter Rally
    Meeting Location: Palo Alto

    October 8 (special event)

    Park St. Classic Car Show
    Meeting Location: Alameda

    October 22 (standard meeting)

    EV LLR Tires for Dummies
    Meeting Location: Alameda

    November 19 (standard meeting)

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

    Our annual chapter officer elections:

    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

    We had a good turnout and lively discussion about the current availability of EVs. It's unfortunate that the automakers stopped making EVs in 2000 due to their successful efforts to defeat California's ZEV requirements. Since then there have been a number of new main-stream EV prototypes, like Volvo's 3CC and Subaru's R1e.

    In the USA, Commuter Cars released its first production edition of the Tango. Here in the Bay Area, several people have been buying Ford's reissued Ranger EV pickup trucks.


    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