East (SF) Bay EAA Chapter
Become a Member of the EAA
Chapter Meetings for 2006:
EVs for Dummies: Buying an EV
- Where to find and how to buy an EV
We started off the New Year with a healthy attendance. Many people have asked where they can find and buy an EV. This is a good and valid question, especially since none of the automakers currently make any all-electric models for sale, let alone for lease. So, under the guidance of our EV expert Scott Cornell, we had an "EVs for Dummies" exploration of what sources are available for people to find new and used EVs.
Scott took us through the internet search results for new EVs, and found most listings came up as either NEVs (low-speed neighorhood vehicles) or future/vapor-ware vehicles which might materialize in the future.
Annual EAA National Meeting
Our annual National Meeting coincides with our regular meeting schedule, so we met in Palo Alto, at the HP headquarters rather than Alameda. Ed was the only East Bay member who attended in person, but a couple of other members participated via the teleconference setup.
Overall, about 50 EAA members were physically present, with the 6 SF Bay Area chapters represented and even a couple of San Diego members. Various other Chapters around the USA and Canada participated via telephone. Some of the reports were also provided over the telephone, with powerpoint slides shown for those present.
Board of Directors Election Results:
Returning Board Members:
Some of the highlights of 2005:
The highlight typically is the Awards. Our winners this year are:
EVs for Dummies: The Kewet EV
Over the years various EVs have been produced in limited production. One common trend has been the creation of compact 2-seater vehicles for city and mid-range driving. From Denmark, there came a very practical EV called the Kewet.
This month we focused on this unique EV, of which there are about 4 working versions in our Chapter. Scott Cornell leading the talk on the history and background into the vehicle. The Kewet has gone through 5 different versions over the years, with the first version featuring a 4-speed Fiat transmission. From version 2 on, the vehicles used a compound motor, which allowed an electronic two-speed, by running in shunt-mode up to about 14 mph and then shift into series-mode for faster. Versions 1-3 were 48v, upgraded to 60v by version 4 and 72v in version 5. (Interesting side note - the history link above shows Scotts Blue ElJet 3 mistakenly identified as an ElJet 4.)
There even was a van version.
About 50 of the ElJet 3 versions (1993) were imported into California in 1995. Most of them went into a Station Car program around the SF Bay Area, at BART stations, and less than a dozen went to various institutions, like UC Davis. Because they were 1993 models, these vehicles were actually certified to comply with the USA safety standards for that year, even though they were imported two years later.
This vehicle is currently still in production in Norway, although it has been going through some changes in the recent year. In 2005, the Norwegan government required the vehicle to be improved to remain in the category of an automobile. The company desided to try a different approach, due to the small size & light weight of the vehicle. By changing the top to a canvas retracable roof, the vehicle was able to lose some more weight and thereby qualify as a quadracycle, rather than a car. This allowed for minimal modification and allows them to remain for use as city vehicles.
The current version is the "Buddy".
Scott was kind to have his two Kewet ElJet 3 cars at the meeting. The white one is a stock 48v, with large EV8D 12v batteries (about 132 lbs per battery). His other Kewet has been upgraded some, still at 48v but with an upgraded Curtus controller and some other enhancements. To add in the discussions, we had a modified gearbox provided by Bob, used to allow an Advanced DC 8" motor to be used. This improves performance by using a 17.5 hp (55 hp peak) motor over the stock 10 hp motor. The other example was provided by Ed, of a D&D motor attached to an ElJet 5 gearbox. Both Bob's ElJet 4 and Ed's ElJet 3 Kewets are going through some modifications to improve their performance, range and usability. They hope to have them up and running this summer, hopefully for the Fall Rally.
Earth Day Events
Still there were various local events, at businesses and cities round the Bay.
Annual Spring EV Display and Drive/Ride Rally
The weather was great at our Annual East Bay Display and Ride-Along in Pleasant Hill / Concord. We met next to the Engineering Technology Alternative Energy Lab at Diablo Valley College, to display and provide rides in our various EVs.
Annual East Bay EAA Rally - Spring 2006
Pictures can be found at:
Due to distances for members to bring their EVs, we are also planning other Display and Ride-Alongs throughout the Summer, including a Fall event in the San Leandro / Hayward area, based at Chabot College.
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