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.
Jul 24th 2015
GEVA MINUTES 7/12/15
Minutes from 6/14/15 were read and approved.
Tyler informed the club on the upcoming National Drive Electric Week (NDEW) event here at the Planetarium parking lot September 20, 2105. He is hosting a C-Car show event in the circle drive. The C cars are neighborhood vehicles like the Citi Car, and Commucar made in the ‘70s. He expects to have about 20 cars from across the country with prizes awarded in several categories. There will be an EV vehicle parade before or after the show.
Tyler is working on getting some NDEW shirts and has about 100 handout tags. He said that NDEW has lots of tips and tricks to make the show VERY big if we want.
Tyler said that Nissan and ELCO Cadillac could be charged a fee for coming. Their sales have been up over 12% for people that ride and drive their cars. Maybe the dealers would provide water bottles for the event. Tyler suggested that the clubs that sponsor the event such as the Sierrra Club and EAA could help with any insurance issues pertaining to bringing our vehicles. Many dealers have canopy’s that they use for events and they may be able to loan them to us if we need them.
Tyler gave a letter to Josh that he had sent to Mayor Slay (St. Louis) inviting him to be a sponsor or promote the event. Josh will see if the Science Center (SLSC) can follow up on the letter with their connections to St. Louis City.
John said that he will organize the Tesla group to give rides in their cars. Tesla also has canopy’s that they can bring. Tyler suggested that maybe Tesla could handout shirts an or water bottles.
Josh said that the SLSC is working on graphics for the event and will let us know when they are done.
Tyler asked Bill Pastor of ELCO if he could put an EV car in front of the SLSC for advertizing a week before. Bill indicated that they could. The dealers will give rides and drives as they have insurance for the drives.
Wayne said he brought his VW Beetle conversion to the Green Homes Festival (June 20) held this year in Faust Park. There was no rain and there was quite a bit of interest in his vehicle. The Solar car from MS&T (Rolla) was there too. Their cars are required to have a “battery monitoring system (BMS)”. They top balance their cells for maximum range.
Dale and Wayne gave a presentation on “Finding a bad cell in a lithium battery pack”. Dale has been having some problems with cells in his pack and is trying to understand the cause.
Jun 21st 2015
GEVA MINUTES 6/14/15
Minutes from 5/10/15 were read and approved.
Helmut said he would take over from Kyle the social meeting at the Schlafley bottleworks. It will be one likely the last week of the month on a Thursday.
Wayne brought up the requirement of insurance at the Green Homes Festival June 20. They required 1 million dollars of liability insurance for us to bring our cars. After he told them that we are individual owners of EVs and do not have that amount of insurance, they contacted St. Louis County who allowed us to come without insurance. Tyler said that the insurance was because our cars were on a county parking lot and not on the street. Josh offered that the Science Center may be able to represent us and avoid the insurance in the future.
Wayne told of his meeting with the SLU “Charge Starter” group last week. The group is starting a non-profit company for this project. The company would be non-profit but would not be able to accept tax deductible contributions. Wayne thought that would not be much of a problem if the donations were small. The SLU group is graduating and will not be able to continue the project. They have asked if the EV clubs in town (Volt, Tesla, and GEVA) if they would continue the project. SLU will provide the legal services to set up the company. Mike Murphy from the Volt group and John VonBokel from the Tesla group said they would like to help. Josh said he would like to see the project go forward -perhaps with help from the SLSC. There were no objections to GEVA assisting the project. The SLU group said they could give a presentation of the plan to GEVA and the club liked that idea.
The Drive Electric Week event is September 20 on the Planetarium parking lot. Tyler is working on advertizing in Hemmings motor magazine. He is also working on Posters and stickers for the event. He is in charge of the C Car group at the event and is locating lodging and entertainment for out of town participants.
Dale gave some information on the depreciation of Nissan LEAF electric vehicles. He said that new EVs should not have a $40,000 price tag because the parts do not cost near that much. Recently many LEAF EVs are coming in after lease and, because the owners want a new vehicle, the used vehicles are not holding their value. There is not a market for these “used” vehicles because of concerns about buying a vehicle with a used battery. There have been concerns about the vehicles because they cannot work on them. Tyler said that Nissan is now offering an 8 year warranty on the LEAF battery. Wayne said some used LEAF vehicles are selling for under $15,000.
Dale said that some ChadeMO charging stations do not meet the specification of 50-500V and that the companies making the stations are designing them for battery packs over 300 volts (as in the LEAF). This would mean that some conversion vehicles would not be able to charge at a ChadeMO station.
Norman gave a talk on the “History of Electric Vehicles”. It was a very interesting and informative presentation. It presented the real factors that lead to the adoption of gas vehicles over electric vehicle in the early days of the automobile. It also explained the advantages of electric vehicles over ICE vehicles.
May 15th 2015
GEVA MINUTES 5/10/15
Minutes from 4/12/15 were read and approved.
Wayne said that Josh (SLSC) has a Honda Civic conversion for sale by his father. It has lead acid batteries that need replacing. It should be a good candidate for using lithium batteries. Terry Ferguson is also selling a 1980 Electric Comuta car at auction. Date and time is May 20 at 10:30AM. Location is 16 Provence, Lake St. Louis, MO 63367.
Kyle said that he talked to Schlafleys Bottleworks and they are happy to have our club meet there during the week for social meetings to show and talk about our electric vehicles. They may also provide a meeting room.
Wayne reported on Earth Day this year Apr 26 at Forest Park. There were 7 EVs there. 2 Teslas, a Leaf, a Zenn and 3 conversions, VW Beetle, Ranger, and Vanagen with solar panels. The cars were in front of the Muny box office next to the Science Center EVie truck. There was quite a bit of interest in the cars.
Wayne told of the Green Homes Festival held this year in Faust Park instead of at the Missouri Botanical Garden. The date is June 20 and time from 9-4. They requested an EV and Wayne said he could bring his Beetle conversion. They also wanted to know if they could have a Tesla as well.
Rick said that he recently bought a replacement lead acid battery from Staab Battery. They are in town. He said the battery was quite a bit cheaper than from Batteries Plus.
Josh took the Smith Electric Truck (EVie) from the SLSC to the Laumeier Art Fair on May 9. Wayne helped him unload the exhibits and set up the displays. It was a rainy day so the crowds were small.
Wayne gave the club some information from Jack Rickard at EVTV about the Digital Millennia Copyright Act (DMCA) that congress passed in 1998. It was originally passed for protection of CDs and DVDs but is now being threatened by the automakers to make it illegal to attempt to defeat protection means of copyrighted material. In effect, it would bar individuals from attempting to decode or reverse engineer software contained on vehicles made by the automakers. The Electronic Frontier Foundation has filed an exemption to prevent automakers from filing lawsuits against people repairing or modifying their vehicles.
Alessandro informed the club of the company Biotrode that makes lead acid battery packs and is looking to develop lithium packs. He has a connection with the company and suggested that our club may be able to collaborate with them in this endeavor. Biotrode currently works with the university RIT in New York. Alessandro also said that Indy Power is working on a system to combine different types of batteries in a pack. Kyle said that Boston Power is working on new modular lithium packs with a high power to weight ratio.
Kathy gave a very informative talk on Solar Power. It highlighted the design considerations as well as the cost.
May 8th 2015
GEVA will be at the Green Homes Festival on Saturday June 20. It will be at Faust Park in St. Louis from 9AM to 4PM. We plan to have two Electric Vehicles at the event. Come and talk about EVs!
Apr 17th 2015
GEVA MINUTES 4/12/15
Minutes from 3/8/15 were read and approved.
Kyle and Tyler reported on the Easter Show which we did not attend. Only one third of the normal number attended the show.
Josh informed the club on the Earth Day coming up on April 26. This year the roads to the event will be closed on the day of the event so groups will have to unload the night before. Josh will ask for an exception for our vehicles as we would not want to leave them overnight. Jim, Cliff, Kyle and Wayne said they could bring vehicles. Ed. Earth Day will allow us to bring our vehicles in by 7:45AM the day of the event. Dale and Tyler said they will also bring vehicles so we are now full at 6 vehicles.
John from the Tesla group said they are planning to have a Model S and possibly a P85D at Earth Day.
Josh told of his efforts to organize the National Drive Electric Week event Sep 20 on the Planetarium parking lot in Forest Park. He is working on getting a website up through the Science Center. Tyler volunteered to put this event on some free publications of car shows such as Hemmings. He mentioned that flyers advertising future car shows are put in vehicles at shows, so we might think to have some flyers made to advertise the Drive Electric show. Wayne said the flyers could be paid for from the club funds. Tyler would also like to include a C-car show at the Drive Electric show.
Josh said the Science Center (SLSC) would like an exhibit or display to show an electric vehicle conversion in progress. The conversion would happen over one or two months. Members of the club are interested in working with this project and we could do the conversion so that it could be easily taken apart to show the different parts and stages in the conversion project.
Wayne asked about the SLSC GEM neighborhood vehicle and its progress to get it running. Wayne and Dale have already inspected it and volunteered to work on it. Kyle and Tyler said they would help as well.
New Business: Kyle suggested that our club have social meeting once a month at a local business. The club thought it was a good idea. He said Schlafly Bottleworks would be a good place to meet. This would not be a business meeting but a chance for all to come and talk and show their vehicles. The last Thursday of the month, in the evening, was considered. Cliff said that this event would bring a different crowd and might bring new members to the club. John said Schlafly might reserve some parking spaces with cones for us.
Tyler suggested that Dale might be interested in the VP position for the club. The members voted in favor. Dale was not at the meeting but, Wayne said he would talk to Dale and see if he would accept the position.
Wayne reported on a new “Right to Repair” law passed in Massachusetts. It requires all auto dealers that sell vehicles in the state, make all the information provided to the dealers available to any resident of the state at reasonable cost. The law was put on the ballot by petition and passed by over 85% of the vote. Ed. As far as known, no other state has such a law.
Josh showed an informative 3D movie in a SLSC room downstairs on “Electrifying the Grid”.
Mar 15th 2015
GEVA MINUTES 3/8/15
Minutes from 2/8/15 were read and approved.
Tyler talked about the Easter Show with the Horseless Carriage Club. There is construction in the upper Muny parking lot so the only space for vehicles is on the side of the roads. The club decided not to attend this event.
Wayne reported on the Electric Car Night at the Magdalen Fish Fry on Mar 6. Electric cars included two Volts, Tesla, and VW Beetle conversion. Attendees were John, Mike, John, and Wayne and Norman. There were over a hundred at the event and several rides were given.
Josh reported on Earth Day at Forest Park this year. Our club is partnering with the Science Center this year. We have been given space for 2 vehicles so far but we hope to have a few more. The transportation area this year has been moved to the front of the Muny so there is limited space for vehicles.
Wayne reported on the Mindfest class scheduled for April 8 at 7PM at the Novel Neighbor bookstore at 7905 Big Bend Rd. Wayne, Dale, and Ron E. will present the class “Electric Vehicles Explained”. Cost is $20 with registration at www.mindfeststl.com.
Wayne reported that another St. Louis University group headed by Bill Brynda is also planning to increase charging options for the St. Louis area. Their plan is to set up a non-profit company and use crowd funding to install Level 2 charging stations at locations determined by the crowd. The group would identify businesses that would be willing to have a station installed. The cost to install a station would be determined and when the crowd put in enough money, the station would be built. The business would only be required to pay the minimal cost of electricity but would benefit with increased sales. Wayne said that Dr. Mike has installed a charging station at his business and it has already paid for itself in sales.
Austin and Sukant, from St. Louis University, told of their business plan increase the use of EV’s by reducing “range anxiously”. The plan would include a mobile DC fast charging vehicle that would come to a location to charge an EV when called. EV owners would pay a monthly fee for the service. Corporate partners would help with the capital costs. The hope is that people would feel better about buying and EV with this support.
Austin and Sukant provided this survey they took at the meeting.
Meeting Minutes from EV Club meeting 03/08/2015
Motivation for EV
Cost of ownership . Lot cheaper to run , 3 cent per mile compared to 20 Cent per mile on the lower side
( vary based on gas prices). Environmental impact .
Barrier for EV Adoption
Charging stations , Initial cost – Volt 38K / Sticker shock .
Its a perception problem . Good questions – how much would you pay for a car that run 150 mile per
EV Owner driving pattern
30 – 40 miles avg per day . Carry around a generator .
60 Miles per day – Drives a leaf . 40 Miles – Nissan leaf , No issues , had to charge 2 hr for a
detour/tour . Generally on a day to day not a problem.
c-max energy , 20 miles , 240 V charging set at home , 14 mile one way commute , No problem .
Switch over electric or gas.
Certainly to a degree , needs planning .
On demand service – Could use for convenience , there could be a problem for accessing the car for
getting the truck to the car
Paying service – Much more willing to pay for Quick charge than Level 2. Prefer to have Quick Charge –
Right off the highway.
Strategic Location is key.
Demographics – EV owner are generally rich clientele , Golf clubs , Hospitals.
Level 2 Charger would work for places – Ballpark, Football stadium , Convention center , Grant farm ,
People living in Apartments , compared to someone who have Garages – Willingness to pay is different.
People living in apartment are not a demographics who buy ev , true for stl not for california. Upscale
apartments could be a target.
People living in apartment have a greater need for Public charging in absence of in-home charging
Value added services along with On-demand charging /trucks – Check the air pressure , Towing service.
Partnership – MetroLink . Ameren , AAA
CarShare programs , ZipCar. Book it from your phone and pick it from Charging stations while charging
Existing charging options in St. Luis
- ChargePoint level II Charging station
- Dealership . Nissan Dealership – DC Fast charge. 20-30 minutes to top it off ( 80% charge)
Dealership charge money for charging if you haven’t bought the car from them. 5$ for 20 minutes .
- Corporate Campus
Bausch and Lomb – Both got level 2 chargers . Science center have 2 . Strictly for employee.
Management decision to put the chargers.
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.