East (SF) Bay EAA Chapter
The Honda Fit EV
Saturday, January 26, 2013
Participation: 16 members
Our first meeting of 2013 was held at the Rhythmix Cultural Works. which has become our regular monthly meeting location in Alameda. With those present we elected our Chapter leadership for the new year. Our new President is Tom Keenan (moved up from VP last year), Vice President is Paul Cooper (has been our Pres for the last 5 years) and Secretary/Treasure is Ed Thorpe (for many years). We had discussion about someone to be our point person for Chapter Events, which Scott Cornell and Ed Thorpe have handled in the past, but decided to leave this position open for now. At each meeting we will announce upcoming rallies and event, like the National EAA Annual meeting taking place in February.
We had 16 persons at the meeting today - ten EBEAA members and six guests. Some of the guests took EAA application forms, and others asked if there was an on-line sign up. They were directed to the electricauto.org site, with a reminder to sign up for the East Bay chapter.
Sam Lipson and Kevin Lo presented the Open EVSE project. In short, it is a way to home-build the 'fancy extension cord' modern vehicles need when they plug in to recharge. Commercial EVSE costs at a minimum around $700, and can easily top three times that price. The Open EVSE parts (enclosure, electronics, and J1772 plug) typically costs a little over $300 plus your labor - less than half the cost of a commercial unit.
Although most people place their Open EVSE charging station in a fixed location, the Open EVSE unit is built to be able to use 120, 208 or 240 volt wall outlets ranging from 6 to 70 amps. The kit includes an electronic, programmable timer, a multi-line display, and a GFCI for safety. If updates are needed, it can be easily reprogrammed via the Arduino serial interface. See http://code.google.com/p/open-evse/ for additional details. We have a tentative plan for building a few of these units for the meeting on May 18th. There were four members present that said they were interested in assembling a unit during that meeting. We may be able to advertise this for the Bay Area EV groups to see if there is additional interest from the clubs around the Bay. At a similar build day in Southern California, it was a great success. The originator of the Open EVSE project is interested in helping with the build day for the Bay Area.
As far as the Honda FIT EV, Sam signed up as a 'prospective owner' for the FIT back in June of 2012. In July, Honda did a survey of Sam's house, and declared it fit for a FIT. Honda surprised both the dealership and Sam by delivering a FIT EV in late July. Honda is in 'information' mode, and currently does not sell or lease the FIT EV. It is a Long Term Rental, which can be cancelled at any time by Honda, especially if Sam moves out of the service area.
The FIT EV has an EPA range of about 82 miles, and Sam says that with a light foot at moderate speeds in good weather the FIT matches the estimate. In colder weather he has noticed a somewhat decreased range. Overall, he is very pleased with the Honda FIT EV.
One of our members, Sam Lipson, has offered to start of the new year by showing his new Honda Fit EV. The 2013 Fit EV is a 4-door, 5-passenger family sedan, with Navigation. This new EV from Honda has a 123-horsepower, electric engine provides 132-mpg in the city and 105-mpg on the highway, without using any gas.
Sam is also involved with an open EVSE project for developing charging connections for electric vehicles. We will coordinate another meeting later this year to demo an actual build-out of the open EVSE board and attachments.
EVs were on display in the parking lot after the meeting.