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.
Feb 16th 2015
GEVA MINUTES 2/8/15
Minutes from 1/11`/14 were read and approved.
Tyler said the 3rd Degree Glass Factory has Friday events. They are very interested in the environment and would probably headline our club for a Friday. Dale said he liked the idea.
The 2015 Drive Electric Week is coming up again in September. The St. Louis Science Center (SLSC) and our club (GEVA) have decided to host the St. Louis event again this year. The SLSC wants to fix the date as soon as possible so the date will be September 20 on the Planetarium parking lot. Time is the same as last year 11AM to 3PM. Last year we had Tyler’s Citicar in front of the Science center with a sign directing people to the Planetarium lot. John suggested that we may want to use a different car this year to show that EVs are not just glorified golf carts but “real” cars. We could add a sign to indicate that the event will have Telsa’s and other cars there. Some cars will be ride and some drive. Tyler said if we start early enough we should be able to get the event in Hemmings motor magazine. Josh (SLSC) said we may be able to put some signs in Forest Part as well. We should also invite Mike to bring his electric riding mower again this year. We will contact some car dealers to come again-especially Nissan. Tyler said Bill Paster, from the Cadillac dealership, is interested in showing their electric vehicles.
Steve told of his factory built Ranger EV with lead acid batteries. He would be interested in installing lithium cells. Dale said EVTV (www.evtv.me) has some new old stock 4 year old lithium cells at 100AH for $90 each while supply lasts. Steve has a 300 volt system so he would need about 90 cells. EVTV may not have that many on hand.
The Horseless Carriage Club is having their annual car show on Easter Sunday April 5. Tyler may contact them to see if we can bring some of our vehicles.
Bill Brynda from SLU business school would like to talk to us about setting up some more charging station in the St. Louis area. Josh and Wayne volunteered to meet with him to discuss their idea.
Norman passed around a flyer for the Magdalen Lenten Fish Fry with the theme “Electric Car Night”. Anyone can bring a vehicle. The address is 4323 S. Kingshighway and the time is 4 to 7 pm.
Ed. The meeting at Ranken Tech with ChargeUp on the 27th of this month has been postponed to another date.
Jan 17th 2015
GEVA MINUTES 1/11/15
Minutes from 12/14/14 were read and approved.
The EV task force in St. Louis is having a meeting at Ranken Tech on Feb 27 at 10AM to hear from a company called “ChargeUp”. The company would like to install DC fast charging stations in the metro area. If Nissan approves the site, the company will provide equipment and monitoring. The property owner pays for installation. In Georgia, GA Power has covered the installation cost because they can make money from the charger. In some cases the cost to the site owner is nothing.
The GEM neighborhood vehicle was discussed. The St. Louis Science Center has it in a warehouse nearby. Wayne, Dale and Josh looked at it last week. Most of the parts seem to be there. Wayne showed some pictures of the front and rear and the major components that are under the front dash panel. He showed some vehicle specifications from the owner’s manual. The vehicle was built around 2003 and is a 4 door vehicle built on an aluminum frame and fiberglass body. The hinge on the rear driver side door seems to need repair. Kyle knows how to work with fiberglass. The rear view mirror also needs to be reattached.
The GEM has a 72V system with a GE shunt motor and a Curtis controller with a rating of 360A. The GEM vehicle has 6 12V AGM batteries. Two are located in the front and four under the rear seat. As expected the batteries appear to be bad as they measure <1V. We think the major components are probably good and it just needs batteries and a good cleaning. Tyler said he could bring his ZEN vehicle over to test the components and see it the wheels turn. We would need to pump up the tires and move the GEM close to the dock to connect to the ZEN with jumper cables.
Ron E. had some information from Boston-Power on their new modular lithium battery packs. They are small cells that connect together to form series (higher voltage) and parallel (higher current) to make a large capacity battery. Wayne said, according to their literature, the energy density of these cells is 207Wh/Kg compared to the best large format CALB cells of 118Wh/Kg. The cycle life is claimed to be higher than 2000 and 90% depth of discharge. Ron thought that they may be interested in donating batteries to the GEM project as a way to publicize their product. Perhaps the Science Center could write a grant proposal for the batteries.
Tyler suggested that our club think about having some of our meetings at the Third Degree Glass Factory as a possible way to attract more people to the meetings. Perhaps a few spring meetings would work. Of course, we would still meet primarily at the Science Center.
Dec 21st 2014
GEVA MINUTES 12/14/14
Minutes from 11/9/14 were read and approved.
Josh said that the GEM neighborhood vehicle the Science Center (SLSC) owns cannot be moved from where it is in the warehouse. We need to work on it there. Security was enthusiastic about the club getting it working but there is no money (yet) allocated to repair it. Josh is willing to look for some money. Tyler said we should start a dialog with SLSC to work on it. Dale suggested that some of our members take a look at it, determine what is wrong and estimate a repair cost. He thought the batteries were probably bad and we could use the gokart batteries to test the other components.
Ron E. said that Earthday, in Forest Park, is coming up and that we had paid to attend the past few years. Many of the club members thought we should attend again this year but that maybe we could go in with the SLSC for this event.
ChadeMO fast charge stations were discussed. Wayne noted the specs are 350-500V and 125A max with the vehicle controlling the current. He said there is a connector that can be used for conversion vehicles. Dale remarked that stations need to be maintained as there are reports some are not in working order. This can be a real problem if the vehicle cannot make it to a nearby station. Also Dale noted, from a recent trip to California, that 80% of the EV parking spaces with cars did not have an EV in the space. He even saw some stations incomplete after 3 years of construction. John said the Tesla charge stations are usually better maintained. Josh said that there should be some stations along the freeways and John added that there needs to be some in cities for those who live in apartments. John and Wayne, in separate interviews, talked to a representative from the state of Illinois about the governor’s intention to put fast charging stations along Route 66.
The club has an invitation for members to bring EVs for a themed Lenten Fish Fry March 6 from 4-7PM. The location is Magdalen church 4323 S. Kingshighway.
Josh said that volunteers going to schools with him for the SLSC need to attend an orientation meeting.
Ron informed the club that Boston-Power has a modular lithium battery system and may be persuaded to donate batteries to the SLSC for a conversion. He may give a presentation to the club on this topic.
John said he would like to do a conversion on a classic Mustang convertible. Wayne and Dale said they would help with advice. Dale said the cost would be 20K-25K dollars not including the car. Range would be 60-80miles. A 100mi range is possible with enough batteries and less than 2000lb weight. Kyle and Ron said that some fiberglass body panels are available and would reduce the weight to make 100mi range possible.
Wayne wondered why we have fewer people at our meetings? Ron suggested that the club think of having some of our meetings at other locations. In the past, at Schlafely’s taproom, we were able to show our cars afterwards in the parking lot. It was also easier to attend because of parking.
Nov 13th 2014
GEVA MINUTES 11/9/14
Minutes from 10/12/14 were read and approved.
There was discussion about the Nash metropolitan that the SLSC owns. Kyle said he has seen it and it is in pristine condition. He said it was donated by someone. Dale said the SLSC spent the money on EVie instead of converting the car. We need to talk to Josh about what to do with it. There are some Nash’s for sale in St. Louis for between $600 and $6000 depending on condition. Most parts can still be found. Ron suggested that, since it is in excellent condition, maybe the SLSC could sell it and use the money to buy another vehicle and parts for a conversion. That would be his first choice. Ron said he would work with Josh to see what to do with it. Dale suggested that if the club fixes up the GEM neighborhood car, it could be carried in EVie for showing.
Tyler gave an estimate that about 500 people came to the National Drive Electric Week event we had in the planetarium parking lot Sep 21. He also said the Tesla group gave rides to about 44 people (about 15 trips).
Tyler and Wayne gave a report on the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) event on Oct 4. Tyler said that the SLSC always attends this event in thanks for the support it receives from the IBEW.
Wayne mentioned that Josh was looking into a crowd funded project to install more charging stations around St. Louis (Level 2). Tyler said there is already a charger project to put charging stations in some national parks in California. It is in the August issue of Current Events. Tyler said maybe we could piggyback on this project. Ed. The website is www.adoptacharger.org and is in memory of Craig Childers-a proponent of public charging.
Wayne brought up the topic of the legality of conversions. He said North Carolina has outlawed conversions because the original emission components in the vehicle were modified! Dale remarked that technically in Missouri the same is true but one can obtain a waiver from the MO department of natural resources.
Dale reported on Dale and Wayne driving their conversion vehicles to EVCCON 2014. They put two generators in Dale,s truck and stopped in a parking lot to charge a few hours. It added about 5 hours to the 2 hour driving time so it was not very practical- but it can be done.
Wayne told of a story (reported by Jack Rickard at EVTV) that someone bought a “salvage” Tesla with the intent to fix it up. He wanted to buy some parts from Tesla but they would not sell to him and furthermore they said they would remotely disable his car. Dale said this should not be so because the company who sells the vehicle should not interfere with the ability of someone to repair and modify it. Mark said that because the vehicles are controlled by software these days, the software IP is different. Helmut said that big trucks and cranes can be disabled remotely for liability reasons. He also said that in Europe, vehicles must be rust free to pass the vehicle inspection.
Ron said he did not have any information on the St. Louis Auto show coming up in Jan 2015. He is of the opinion that we should not attend this year since they did not seem to want our club at the show last year. We could not bring our vehicles. Wayne said if they do not let us bring our vehicles we should not attend this year. Others agreed.
Nov 8th 2014
GEVA MINUTES 10/12/14
Minutes from 9/14/14 were read and approved.
Jeff gave a report on the National Drive Electric Week event in St. Louis on September 21 at the planetarium parking lot. It was well attended by the public. Several car dealers gave rides to the public. Lydia and John gave rides in their Tesla’s. Several members also brought their conversions. Josh had EVie, the Smith electric truck, at the event.
Enterprise ECO fair in Weldon Springs location (620 Tech Dr. St. Charles MO 63304) will be on October 22 from 10AM to 1 PM. Volunteers are welcome to answer questions at the table inside. Wayne is planning to bring his Beetle but there should be room for a few more. Contact Wayne if you want to bring a vehicle.
The event at IBEW was on Sat Oct 4. It was from 9AM to 1 PM. Josh brought the SLSC Smith electric truck. Tyler, Wayne , and Don (SLSC) were also there. Attendance was fair since many people stayed inside. Outside it was cold and windy!
There was some discussion of the SLSC neighborhood vehicle (GEM) and if the club should take on the project. The club thought that it is a good project. There was also interest in doing a conversion of the Nash vehicle that is owned by the St. Louis Science Center.
Jeff showed a presentation of Wayne’s 1971 VW Beetle install of lithium batteries.
Sep 28th 2014
GEVA MINUTES 9/14/14
Minutes from 8/10/14 were read and approved.
The National Drive Electric Week event will be on Sep 21 from 11AM to 3 PM on the Planetarium parking lot. There will be displays of commercial EV such as Volt, Leaf, Cadillac ELS, BMW i3, Tesla S, and custom conversions. There will also be rides/drives for some of the vehicles.
The Enterprise Eco fair will be in Clayton on Oct 7 and Welden Spring on Oct 22 from 10AM-1PM. Wayne and possibly Dale will bring their vehicles. Contact Wayne if you would like to bring a vehicle. If you would like to answer questions or help with the information table, you can just come to the event.
Dale and Wayne drove their vehicles to EVCCON 2014 in Cape Girardeau. Cape is 120 miles from St. Louis so they had to bring generators and charge along the way. They reported on the convention and had pictures to show.
Josh proposed the St. Louis Science Center (SLSC), a nonprofit, be involved to collect funds by a group of all interested people to buy a Level 2 charger. This would be donated to a business if they pay for the installation. The program would be known as “St. Louis Get Charged”. People who use the charger could donate money into a special fund in the SLSC to buy more chargers and continue the process. The goal is to increase the number of charge locations in the St. Louis area. So far, the plan has not been approved by the SLSC.
Tyler said that Jim Currtan, a friend of Kevin Herdler of the Clean Cities group, is a member of the local electric union and could be contacted to help with charger installation for the St. Louis Get Charged program.
New Business: Josh said the SLSC has a neighborhood car that is in need of repair. Dale suggested that our club take it on as a project. Any parts needed could be paid for by the SLSC and the car be used by security. There also is a possibly the SLSC still has a Nash Metropolitan car that the club could help restore.
Lydia reported on the new Lithiium battery factory in Nevada. It is a joint project of Tesla and Panasonic and has been approved by the state. The “Giga factory” would have enough capacity for Tesla vehicles and other battery uses like remote storage and power grid storage.
Sep 1st 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!
Aug 19th 2014
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.
Jul 14th 2014
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.
Jun 10th 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.