East (SF) Bay EAA Chapter
Become a Member of the EAA
Chapter Meetings for 2005:
EV Battery Cables and Shunts
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.
Annual EAA National Meeting
This was the year for awards, as many different activities happened:
Certificates of Appreciation - RAN (Rainforest Action Network) and Global Exchange
Fellowship Award – Chip Gribben, EVA/DC Chapter
Fellowship Award – Mike Chancey, MAEAA Chapter
Lifetime Achievement Award – Lew Gulick, EVA/DC Chapter
Lifetime Achievement Award – Bill Shafer, FVEAA Chapter
Keith Crock Technical Award – Dr. Andy Frank and Team Fate of UC Davis.
Also, the EAA has provided a grant given to Prius Plus project to develop plug-in hybrid version of 2004 Prius.
EV Servicing - Auranthetic EV Motorcycle
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.
EV Range and Performance
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?
4th EVer All Chapters Conference
Great turnout in Austin!
Earth Day Events
Still there were various local events, at businesses and cities round the Bay.
Annual Spring EV Display and Drive/Ride Rally
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.
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.
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.
A True Plug-in Hybrid - the Prius+
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.
EV Battery Chemistry for Dummies
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.
We will explore EV related issues of:
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.
Alameda 4th of July Parade
EV Battery Layouts for Dummies
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:
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 -
Ford EV Ranger (39-8v battereies in a single box)
EV Display and Drive/Ride Rally
Silicon Valley Chapter Rally
Park St. Classic Car Show
EV LLR Tires for Dummies
Chapter Elections and End-of-Year party
Our annual chapter officer elections:
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: