Welcome

Welcome to the Gateway Electric Vehicle Club's website. We are a registered chapter of the Electric Auto Association (EAA) made up of individuals living in the Saint Louis area that believe electric vehicles (EVs) are an important part of the solution to our global energy crisis. The main goal of our group is to raise awareness around the benefits of EVs. We do this by attending community events, converting and helping others convert their cars into EVs, conducting EV club meetings, and providing EV information to interested parties. If you think our dependence on polluting gasoline burning vehicles needs to come to and end then consider joining our club to help us get our message across. Click on the join us link for more information on how to help.

National Drive Electric Week September 21, 2014

The St. Louis Science Center and Gateway Electric Vehicle Association are hosting a car show for the National Drive Electric Week on Sunday September 21, 2014. The event will be on the Planetarium parking lot in Forest Park from 11AM to 3PM. We will have all types of electric vehicles and will have rides in some of them.  For more information go to driveelectricweek.org and look for the St. Louis event. It should be a fun time!

GEVA Minutes 8/10/14

GEVA MINUTES 8/10/14

Minutes from 7/13/14 were read and approved.

Tyler reported on our efforts to host a car show event on Sep 21 for the National Drive Electric Week. The Tesla club is onboard and the Leaf and Volt owners groups are also interested. The Nissan and other dealers are interested and can give rides. The show will be on the Planetarium parking lot in Forest Park from 11AM to 3PM.  Cars can be registered on the driveelectric.org website. They need to be at the show by 10AM.

Josh reported that the SLSC is working on a promotion page for the car show. It can be distributed to the website of those clubs and organizations involved in the show.

Tyler told of his new Ebike he bought from Dan Chase and his ride at the Moonlight Ramble.

Dan Chase from Factory Direct Electric Bikes gave some information on the Ebikes he sells. The bikes are pedal assist with a speed of around 20mph and a range of up to 28miles. One bike he sells has a 36V  9AH battery and a 500 Watt motor. The price is about $1400. The batteries can be removed from the bike and then charged with a laptop- like charger.  The bikes are popular with people who are retired.

Wayne, Josh, Jeff and Tyler from our club attended a meeting July 14 with a Nissan Leaf representative who is promoting fast Chademo chargers around the country. He wants to find some local investors to put up several chargers at about $20,00 each. The idea would be to have fast charging in areas such as strip malls, food stores and quip stop stores to allow EVs (mainly LEAF owners) to add some charge. In other parts of the country where this has been tried the response has been good. The average charge time is 17min. Cost is variable but around $1.00 per 5min. Charging rate is about 44KW. He said only 20% of LEAF owners have a level 2 charger at home and some (including himself) have no charging because of living in an apartment. Nissan has already saturated 10 cities and is looking to add 15 more. St. Louis is at about 25th so may not be in the next group. There are currently about 5 fast chargers in the local area and they are at the Nissan dealers.

Dale suggested that few EV owners here would charge locally and that chargers between cities are what is needed.

Josh has approached the SLSC about putting a fast charger in Forest Park but no decision has been made.

Josh gave a talk on EVie- the Smith Electric truck. It travels around to schools and organizations in the area with energy and EV related exhibits.

Minutes 7/13/14

GEVA MINUTES 7/13/14

Minutes from 6/8/14 were read and approved.

Mark reported on a Power Wheel Makers Fair in Kansas City last week. The competition is with modified Power Wheels (kids cars). Maximum cost is $500. A 40 Amp fuse is provided before the race. Races are around a track and there is an endurance race at the end. Ron E. suggested that we might have a similar event to bring more attention to our club.

The ECO fair by Enterprise is in Clayton (600 Corporate Park Dr. Clayton, MO 63303) on Oct 7 from 10 to 1pm. It is also at their Welden Spring location (620 Tech Dr. St. Charles, MO 63304) on Oct 22 fro 10 to 1 pm. Tyler was at the event last year and said there were few people. Wayne said he may attend with his VW this year.

National Drive Electric Week this year is the week of Sept 21.  Mark suggested that we could hold the event at the Big Foot location. Josh from SLSC has contacted the main group and asked if our club and SLSC can host the event for the St. Louis area. They are happy to have us. Josh is waiting for the ok from the SLSC. He would like to have some members of the club help him organize the event with a couple of meetings. Wayne, Dale and Ron E. said they would help. Josh also asked our club to provide him contact info for the Tesla, Leaf, and Volt clubs as well as contacts in auto magazines.  Mark said to contact the southern Illinois chapter of “Hemmings Motor Magazine”. Wayne will give Josh the contact information.

Ron E. suggested that our club have a car show with the idea of having one of any kind of car and making a display showing the carbon footprint for it. This would give the consumer an idea of how “clean” is the car.  This could lead to buying a “cleaner “car. The representation of the carbon footprint might be the size of a trash can, or outline of a foot, a bar graph on a poster or something else. As a fundraiser, we could charge a fee to bring a car.  The event may draw in some of the public that has not attended our other events.

Ron E. asked if there are any stores in the St. Louis area that sell electric bikes. Tyler mentioned that we received a flyer at Earth Day from an on-line store in the area.

Wayne reported on his trip to Festus High School with Josh from SLSC. Wayne drove his electric VW and Josh drove EVie. The event went well but on the way home I-55 was shut down due to several truck accidents. Wayne had to wait several hours and finally take a detour to get home. Josh was stranded near the Missouri Botanical Garden (with dead batteries)  and needed a tow to get back to the SLSC.

The electric vehicle conversion convention (EVCCON) will be hosted again this year by EVTV at Cape Girardeau, MO from Aug 12-17. Wayne G., Dale F., Keith M., Dennis P., Ron S. and his son are planning to attend.

Wayne gave a presentation by Dale F. and himself on “A Temperature Display System for EVs”. This system monitors the temperatures of the motor, controller, ambient, and cells. It has a custom digital readout with flashing LEDs whenever the temperature is greater than a programmed maximum temp. With the longer range of the Lithium batteries and higher speeds, it is important to closely monitor temperatures.

GEVA Minutes 6/8/2014

GEVA MINUTES 6/8/14

Minutes from 5/18/14 were read and approved.

Josh from the SLSC said that he is teaching an EV Summer Camp at St. Louis High School (next to the SLSC) for 5-6 graders from July 7-11. They are building small electric car kits and are racing them uphill. He is also teaching an EV Summer Camp for 3-4 graders from July 21-25. They will also be building EV kits. The students, about 20 for each class, are from the greater St. Louis area and pay a fee for the camp. Wayne volunteered to bring his VW Beetle to show the classes. They can identify the components found in all EVs.

Josh also reported that he is planning to take EVie , the Smith Electric Truck owned by SLSC, to a summer camp in Festus, MO on June 19. He asked for help with the exhibits in Evie. Wayne said he could help and may drive his VW there.

Josh said that EVie is going to be at Fair St. Louis this year. He has enough help, but if someone from the club would like to help they would need to fill out a new application form with a new background check.

Wayne suggested that our club have a St. Louis EV show this year possibly at Schlafley Bottleworks. He would like to have a Ride and Drive area to give the public some experience in an EV. Tyler said the Plug-in America event, held last year at Metro Lighting in Brentwood, is now a week- long event called National Drive Electric Week. It is from Sept 15-21. Mark suggested that our club be the St. Louis host for this event at the SLSC. The idea had widespread support from those at the meeting.

Josh said he would like to host the National show at the SLSC. It can be in the back parking lot. He emailed the National Drive Electric Week organization asking for more information and to request our EAA chapter (GEVA) and SLSC host the event for the St. Louis area.  Mark said that since the dealers are invited (Nissan is a sponsor), they could give rides and could take on any legal responsibility. He also said it would be a good idea to advertize in Hemmings Motor News. Tentatively, the show would be on Sept 21 and replace our normal Sept meeting. The members present agreed. Our club will contact the dealers to see if the date would work.

Wayne gave a talk on “Keeping EVs Cool”. He talked about the need to keep the motor, and (especially) the controller cool using air or water cooling. This is important when driving on highways at 50+mph speeds. He gave some temperature data taken on his VW.

Tyler showed the club the Horseless Carriage Club report from the April, 20 2014 Easter Show in Forest Park. Our club was given special thanks for attending this year.

GEVA Minutes 5-18-2014

GEVA MINUTES 5/18/14

Minutes from April 13th Meeting Read and Approved

Josh had left:           (1.) Signage for Future Meeting
(2.) Schedule of 2014 First Fridays and Themes
(3.) Volunteer Packets (Jeff and Tyler – received, Wayne and Dale – Tyler has)
Derek met with us, serving as Josh’s Alternate, to verify we had everything for the meeting.
Electronics Maintenance Person provided us with a projector and computer for photo display

Tyler suggested we get permission to Display one of our EVs at the front entrance complete with signage on the day of our Meetings.

Jeff and Helmut gave information on the 3rd Degree Glass Factory Open House on April 18th, Neither were able to bring their vehicles but a couple of Tesla’s were present, There were demonstrations of glass blowing and refreshments available. This event is held every month on the 3rd Friday @ 5200 Delmar

Tyler informed the group that NO EVs would be attending the Green Homes Festival at Missouri Botanical Garden on June 7th. This message was relayed through Ron from the Festival Coordinator Brian DeSmet. This year it will be held in the William T. Kemper Center for Home Gardening and the Cohen Amphitheater and there will no space for our vehicles. However there may be a separate event later in the year that focuses on Alternate Energy Vehicles. If the event is on, the message will be communicated through Joyce.

New Business

Tyler presented the information from Liz Gattra of the St. Louis Tesla Enthusiasts Group about Missouri House Bill 1124 (HB1124) that would ban Sales and Service of Tesla’s in Missouri through the company owned stores such as the St. Louis Service Center. In her email she requested our help through letters to our Representatives to prevent this legislation. If passed some 15 employees would be out of a job and leave local customers without vehicle services and purchase opportunities. Jim added he contacted his representative to voice his disapproval of the HB1124.

Ron informed the group that Chevrolet had produced Factory Electric S10 around 1990 that was front wheel drive having the designation  S10-EV and about 850 units were built. Tyler added he saw one for sale on eBay built by Solectria with a bid of $5500.

Tyler presented a photo slide show from the Easter Show at the Muny Opera upper lot in Forest Park held on Easter Sunday for the past  37 years. GEVA had in attendance Wayne’s VW Beetle, Helmut’s CitiCar, Josh presented Evie, Jeff’s BMW, Brian’s Silver Tesla and Jon’s Black Tesla. It was noted that the Tesla’s had a lot of attention and show-goers asking lots of questions at their end of the display.

Tyler presented  a photo slide show of the Earth Day show on April 27th in the Transportation area of the show at the lower lot of the Muny Opera in Forest Park. GEVA Vehicles in attendance were Helmut’s CitiCar, GEVA Go-Kart, Jeff’s BMW, Mike’s Zeon Hustler Lawn Tractor  and Blue Chevrolet Volt, (Jon?) White Chevrolet Volt, Jim’s Nissan Leaf.

Ron commented on an EV video he and George hosted, Filmed at the New Life Evangelistic Center through Larry Rice’s Missouri Renewable Energy (M.O.R.E.). It  may be titled “Electric Cars – Making One Yourself”. If we can get a copy he would like to present it to the club in an upcoming meeting.

GEVA Minutes 4/13/14

GEVA MINUTES 4/13/14

Minutes of 3/9/14 were read and approved.

Josh asked to use our LOGO for his SLSC publicity.  We will check it out with the national office of Electric Vehicle Association but it should be ok.

Tyler reported on the Easter Car show at Forest Park.  He said that our display should be tied in with some history of vehicles. The turn of the century Baker electric car will not be there. Our presentation will cover conversions and historic cars- no new electric vehicles. We plan to bring Jeff’s BMW (Tyler will transport it from Alton), Wayne’s VW Beetle, Helmut’s Citicar, SLSC EVie. Tyler will contact Mary to see if she can bring her Karman Ghia.  The show starts at 11AM but we need to have our cars there by 9AM. The entrance is from Macklind Ave to the upper Muni parking lot.  Wayne will bring the EV display board and EVie will bring our electric gokart.  Tyler said that Norman would be willing to bring a camera and shoot some video.

Josh reported that we can bring our EV’s to any First Friday event at the SLSC.  We would be able to park out in the front circle. We can bring our EV demo board and can put the gokart inside the SLCS.

Wayne reported on Earth Day this year. It is Sunday April 27 at Forest Park. Dan has registered us for 5-6 cars at a cost of $150 from our club funds. There was discussion that we should not have to pay for this event since we bring our cars down at our expense and provide free information. There was a suggestion that since we are working with EVie , we may be able to add our EVs to the SLSC display in future years.

Dave reported that our Earth Day location is the same as last years- the transportation area. Our EVs will need to be there by 8:30AM.  Earth Day opens at 11AM and runs until 6PM.  We plan to bring a Leaf (Jim), Volt (Mike), BMW (Jeff), Citicar (Helmut), VW Beetle (Wayne), Ranger (Dale). Helmut will be in charge of saving our parking spots. Wayne reported that last year we had 8 EVs at the show.  Josh asked that we bring some big fans to run off the solar panels on top of EVie.

Josh informed the club that the SLSC gives a membership with 50 hrs of volunteer service. EVie is now getting requests from schools for demonstrations. Josh will email Wayne on the upcoming schools events. Volunteers need to fill out paperwork before they can help with EVie.

New Business:

Dale reported that George blew up his controller after putting in Lithium batteries and that Jack Rickard, at EVTV, suggested it was because of controller temperature of over 100F. Wayne said he talked to George and he plans to have the controller rebuilt.

Ron is working on adding power steering to his Range EV conversion. He showed us a picture of a cooling fan his son made on a 3D printer.

Dale and Wayne gave a talk on some common misunderstandings. Charging EVs with solar power or using a generator driven from the wheels or wind turbine. Both are not practical.

GEVA Minutes 3/9/14

GEVA MINUTES 3/9/14

Minutes of 2/9/14 were read and approved.

Dale reported that Jack Rickard had some new Leaf batteries from Better Place. Better Place tried to make a battery swap business but failed. Jack sold out of the ones he had at $3600. They are 24KWH.

Jeff reported that the Leaf plant in Tennessee makes batteries and could sell them to the public since they make more than what they sell in cars. The batteries are Lithium Manganese and are lighter and have more capacity than Lithium Phosphate.

There is a St. Louis Glass Factory event on Apr 18. Wayne is bringing his electric VW beetle.

Tyler reported that the Easter Show is at Forest Park Apr 20 from 10-5. The Horseless Carriage Club has allowed us 10 reserved spaces in the upper lot. They want a tie-in to history. We plan to bring the Citicar, 71 VW Beetle and possibly a Leaf, Tesla, and an early 1900’s EV . Our cars need to be there by 9 AM.  EVie from SLSC will be there with a video on the flat screens to show the history of EVs.

Josh from SLSC would like to have a sign in the lobby on our meeting day to direct people upstairs.

First Friday’s at SLSC are geared to adults and feature a theme. In the past, cars have been allowed to park in the front circle so we may also.  The gokart would be allowed inside the building but would need to be attended at all times. Josh will let us know when the theme would be suitable for us to bring our cars.

Earth Day is Apr 27 at Forest Park. Details will be coming. Josh would like to have EVie again at the event this year.

Josh is pushing for the SLSC to go out to schools this year. He said we could combine our EVs with EVie. Anyone in our club that wants to come along would need to fill out some paper work and be approved.

Dale and Wayne gave a talk on a “Simplified Demonstration of How an EV Works”. It was a great talk and there was much discussion on the components displayed. There was a question about how Emergency Responders should deal with EVs. What are the dangers?  Wayne said that emergency responders need to have some indication (sign etc) that it is an electric vehicle.

Jeff reported finding a wrecked Honda Hybrid in a junk yard. It had Ni Metal batteries. The price was $500 but he did not know about the capacity or battery condition.

Norman reported that Emerald Automotive is building a plant in St. Louis to make fleet delivery vehicles. They will have a 66mi range at a cost of 7 cents per mile. He passed out flyers with fuel savings over $45,000 in 5 years based on 50,000 annual miles. No mention of the price.

Two members of the Tesla Club in St. Louis attended the meeting. They invited our members to their meetings. They do not have a regular meeting place but upcoming meeting and information are at www.stltesla.org. They mentioned the “Cars and Coffee” car event on the first Saturday of the month. Cliff said it is near Manchester and Mcnight roads.

Minutes of 2/9/14

GEVA MINUTES 2/9/14

Minutes of 1/12/14 were read and approved.

Jeff reported that the Clean Cities Taskforce has been disbanded due to lack of interest in promoting electric vehicles with charging stations and infrastructure. There was some interest in tapping methane in coal mines for use in vehicles.

Jeff also reported that he had talked to some members of the Tesla owners club in St. Louis and learned than we are more than welcome to attend their meetings at the Schlafly Bottleworks.

Ron told the club of a new type of oscillating windmill that is cheap to build and is 80% efficient compared to the standard wind turbine of 60%.

Wayne gave a talk on the “Science and Economics of an Electric Vehicle”. There was a good discussion of the information presented and many members added information. Jim said that operating the heater in his Leaf seriously reduces his range. He also reported that Nissan said to not drive the Leaf at temperatures of -4F and below.

The club discussed the St. Louis Auto Show this year. We partnered with the St. Louis Science Center (SLSC) to bring their Smith electric truck (EVie) with exhibits. They also brought the club’s gokart that fit inside EVie.  The club did not bring any vehicles. Jeff said there was less interest in our display than in the past. There was some discussion about not attending the show next year.

Wayne mentioned that the Third Degree Glass Factory will host an auto theme event on April 18 from 6-10PM at their place on 5200 Delmar. Wayne will attend with his VW Beetle.

Tyler proposed to the Horseless Carriage Club that our club be able to attend the Easter Show at Forest Park. He asked tor 10-20 spaces on the Upper Muni Lot and he would also like to bring EVie. The date is April 20 and the time 10AM-5PM. The Hot Rod club has an event on the Lower Muni Lot and they said we could attend. Tyler would like us to use the Upper lot since it would be quieter.

Ron Erb said that Ron S. suggested our club make an informational video of some of our cars and that it could be shown in the SLSC for visitors. Many of our members liked the idea. George will talk to Josh at the SLSC about the idea.2/9

 

GEVA Minutes 1/12/14

Minutes of 12/15/13 were read and approved.

The “First Friday” meetings at the Saint Louis Science Center (SLSC) were discussed.  Mark said each month has a theme and he would help coordinate these meeting with our club. The club could possible bring some EVs and display them in the front circle as well as bring the gokart inside for a showing. Josh from SLSC said he will send out a schedule to the club. Events are typically scheduled 3 months in advance.

Ron passed around a design for a new business card for the club. It is a simpler design with the Electric Auto Association logo. George suggested having a contact on the card- either email or phone number.

Jeff reported on the St. Louis Clean Cities Taskforce. Because of many new charging stations in the area for Volts and Leaf EVs, they are now meeting only quarterly and focusing on Compressed Natural Gas (CNG). There are only a few CNG filling stations in The St. Louis region. There was discussion of the need of more home stations but the problem is the high pressures needed -3500psi. Home compressors for this pressure are expensive, take time to maintain, and can be dangerous. Keith mentioned he knows of a home compressor but it is slow unit.   Keven Herdler is director of the taskforce.

Tyler talked about his poster for members to use on their EVs at events. They can be made to fit the windshield or side window with the cost around $20. Members who want a poster for their EV should send him a photo of themselves with the car and a description of the information for the poster. Ron suggested using bullets for the format. He went on to say that despite the commercial EVs, our club still has a role to educate the public of the advantages of EVs. Dale said he has been keeping a log of his EV usage and notes the summer electric rate are $.11/KWH and winter rates are $.07/KWH.

Wayne gave a talk on a conversion of his 71 Beetle from lead acid batteries to Lithium (LiFePO4) cells.  He also included an electric heater with temperature control for the new cells.

Ron reported that the SLSC Smith truck EV (EVIE) will be at the St. Louis Auto Show from Jan23-26. There is not enough room to bring our EVs but that may change as the show becomes closer. Any member willing to help out with EVIE at the show was asked to see Josh.

 

 

 

New Meeting Space @ St. Louis Science Center

December 15, 2013 saw our first meeting in the board room at St. Louis Science Center. We plan on having most meetings there now, at 2 pm on the second Sunday of each month. We are planning some join events with Josh Linn, EVie’s manager. EVie, a Smith Medium 24,000 lb electric truck, lives at the St. Louis Science Center. Gateway EV hopes EVie, her exhibits and our invisible go-cart will help teach younger children about energy use. Please contact me, Ron Erb, at ron.erb@gmail.com with questions. Thanks!