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.
Apr 21st 2017
GEVA MINUTES 4/9/17
Minutes from 3/12/17 were read and approved.
Wayne reported from Ron Freund that the club has a fund balance of $629.26 as of 12/31/2016. Let the club know of any ideas to use some of this money.
Wayne also said that the Nisssan discount of $10,000 on a new Leaf is extended until April 30, 2017.
EarthDay will be Saturday and Sunday April 22 and 23. It will be from 11AM to 5PM at Forest Park. Our club will have several EVs to show and information on EVs will be available. Those bringing an EV need to be there by 8:30AM.
Kyle said that the new 2018 Leaf will be available sometime in September. The Chevy Bolt will also be available by the end of the year. It does not have a ChadeMo plug but only a SAE Combo plug.
Mike said that our website ( gatewayev.org) has a broken link to our sponsor EAA site. Wayne said he would fix it. Ed. The link has been fixed.
Josh informed the club that he will be joining the National Guard and will be in basic training from the end of May until September. He will not be able to help with the National Drive Electric Week (NDEW) hosted by the Science Center on the planetarium parking lot on 9/17/17. He will register the event with NDEW. He reminded the club that he still has the go-kart. Kyle mentioned that lifetime plates are available for trailers if we need to transport the go-kart.
Dan said that he wants to check out the charging stations around the St. Louis area to see which ones are available for public use. Wayne suggested that he make notes of the ones that work (or do not work) as information the club could publish.
Wayne told the club of an invitation from the Webster University Sustainability Conference this summer. They would like to have a short 30-40 minute lecture on EVs with emphasis on “connecting the dots” of sustainability, technology, and infrastructure. The talk will be at Webster University on a Wednesday at noon on a date to be determined. Wayne said he could make some slides and John said he may be able to help.
Mike said he is having a ribbon cutting for his new Optometry office in Swansea, IL on April 20 from 12-6PM. He has installed 24KWH of solar panels and has two Level 2 chargers (J1772) at no charge for public use. You can charge from sunshine at this station!
Apr 7th 2017
GEVA MINUTES 3/12/17
Minutes from 2/13/17 were read and approved.
Todd (the top salesman from Bommarito Nissan) attended the meeting and said that Bommarito ordered 40 Leafs to sell during the Ameren $10,000 discount promotion this March. They were happy to sell all but 6 vehicles.
Wayne sent out an email saying that EarthDay needed a certificate of insurance from our insurance company in order to bring our vehicles to the event. Wayne contacted his insurance company and was told that since EarthDay has no interest in the vehicle, they could not do it. A few days later Wayne received an email from Earthday stating that only a copy of the insurance card is needed. Wayne asked Todd how they would respond if asked for a certificate of insurance. He said they would say “no” to the event.
Todd told of efforts to get more charging stations for vehicles and that it would be a selling point for the Leafs. He wanted to know if there is a way to convert any 240 outlet from a welder or dryer to a J1772 plug. Tyler said there are adaptors for this use. Indeed, many campgrounds have NEMA 14-50 outlets that provide up to 50A at 240V. These can also be adopted for use with the J1772 plug.
Wayne informed Todd about ChargeStarter and how the business model works. Todd would like to be involved with our club and said Bommarito may be able to help with funding for charging stations.
Todd said that the NV200 Taxis from Nissan should be here in 2-3 years. In addition, the 2018 Leaf with extended range will be coming soon. It will be available in several ranges from a 30KWH (100+mile) battery for $30,895 to a 60KWH (200+mile SV version) battery for $38,000.
Wayne talked to Ron Freund who is president of our parent organization Electric Auto Association. He has driven the all electric Bolt there in California and discovered that the seats are only 17 inches wide and it made for an uncomfortable ride. In comparison, the Leaf seats are 22 inches wide. Also coming in 2021 is a fully electric version of the Maxima.
Jim showed an interesting video on “Searching for a better battery”. The video had a good explanation of the how lithium cells work and their limitations including capacity and safety. New technology was presented including a demonstration of a cell, while connected to a light bulb, was cut with scissors multiple times with no effect!
Feb 17th 2017
GEVA MINUTES 2/13/17
Minutes from 1/8/17 were read and approved.
Kyle told of a charging kit from OpenEVSE. It is an open source device with adjustable charging current.
Ken said that the Barns Hospital garage (near Kingshighway) has chargers for people who park there. They accept tap credit cards.
Wayne said that the St. Louis EarthDay event in Forest Park (Apr 22-23) will allow us to bring our vehicles each day and take them home at night.
Josh informed the club that Evie (the St. Louis Science Center(SLSC) electric truck) is not working. It has a bad 24V start-up lead acid battery. The cost to take it to a school is $600-$700 per day so not many schools can afford it. Kyle said that he has some batteries that may work to fix it. He wanted to know if the SLSC would use (maybe for no charge) if the club fixed it. Josh will look into that possibility. There is also the question if Josh has the time to take it for no charge. Josh said he would like to see it used at least as a moving van since the SLSC rents trucks a few times during the year to move things to and from the warehouse.
Wayne related and article he saw on converting school buses to electric power. The article said the conversion would be $200,000-$300,000 and that seemed much higher than it should be. He figured it should be more like $90,000 for a conversion with a 150KW motor/controller and a 100KWH Lithium battery. Range would be over 60miles without electric passenger heat. Kyle said that he favors using propane or some other fuel for heat as this would not reduce the range and would not use much fuel either. Ken said that campers use propane heaters already. He also said that electrically heated seats would be another option. Ken said that Wright Speed does bus conversions.
Pat said that he has had only a few EVs plug in at his downtown St. Louis Auto Park. He now has J1772 J plug level II charging. Kyle said that the J1772 plugs are not listed on the Plug Share website. He updated the website to include them. Tyler suggested that our club try to get the word out about all of the charging stations in the St. Louis area. Kyle said we should make a map showing all of the charging locations in the St. Louis area and display it at our table at the EarthDay event.
Josh suggested our club have a social EV car show at the Schlafley bottle works in Maplewood once a month. This would be a chance to show off EVs in an informal setting and provide information to the public.
Norm gave an interesting presentation on “Global Warming”. It provided a lively discussion for the club.
Feb 3rd 2017
GEVA MINUTES 1/8/17
Minutes from 12/11/16 were read and approved.
Kyle recently installed a ChargePoint charger at home. He is impressed with its performance and price. It has internet access, is a 6.6KW charger and cost about $500. He would like to make a bare bones charger very cheap without contactors. Kyle had a GE Durawatt charger and thinks they are junk.
Dale said he built a homemade charger some years ago at a cost of about $1200.
Ken said that Barnes Jewish Hospital has more than 6 chargers in its garage downtown. They are free for those parking in the garage.
Wayne said the Earth Day event at Forest Part will be two days this year April 22-23. They want to know how much space we need for each vehicle. Dale said to tell them we need 12ft x 20ft. We will have 4 vehicles and a motorcycle. Kyle wanted to know if we can take our vehicles home each day.
Tyler took the EV that Srdjan was giving away. It is a Ford Explorer with 120V and needs batteries.
Kyle said that the court ruled that Tesla can sell cars in Missouri. This may be a temporary ruling.
Kyle said that he plans to bring his Think EV to the Auto Show later this month.
Wayne asked about the performance of the Nissan Leaf in cold weather. Jim said that there is a winter package as an option to heat the batteries. On 2013 and newer it is standard. Dale said that Wayne and he have insulated and heated battery packs in their conversions that maintain the temperature in the winter. Typically it is 80F. Ken said that the Zero motorcycles do not have heated batteries.
Ken also said that the Zero batteries get quite hot in the summer. Dale said he has had his batteries get over 110F when using a clear plastic cover in the sun. Normally they do not get over 108F. Kyle said he had a problem with Leaf batteries when on a long trip. They overheat when charging over 3 times in a row.
Wayne gave a talk on “Installing an AC motor in a VW Beetle”
Dec 31st 2016
GEVA MINUTES 12/11/16
Minutes from 11/13/16 were read and approved.
Electric vehicle adaptors in Europe and America were discussed. Kyle said that the EU uses Manganese Charging.
Josh talked about the non-profit Charge Starter Company. He said Charge Starter would like to start a funding campaign to install charging stations in parking garages like Auto Park. Josh wanted to know the best way to fund the stations.
Kyle said that he has recently installed a ChargePoint Home charger and he highly recommends it.
Srdjan offered a free conversion electric vehicle. He needs it removed ASAP and will offer it to anyone for free. It functions but it is somewhat underpowered and needs a new battery pack.
Dennis gave a report on his Vega EV conversion with lots of pictures and a handout of his wiring. He plans to give an update talk when he is finished.
Nov 23rd 2016
GEVA MINUTES 11/13/16
Minutes from 10/9/16 were read and approved.
Wayne reported on the Missouri Renewable Energy Fair held in Overland October 20, 2016. He brought his VW Beetle conversion. There was a solar cooker, photovoltaic panel array, wind generators, and energy efficient wood stove and other energy related devices.
Wayne said that the new science building at UMSL has 9 parking spots for FEV/LEV vehicles but no standard 120V outlets. Maybe ChargeStarter would be interested in funding some outlets.
Jim told of his recent purchase of a new 2013 Nissan Leaf to replace his older 2011 Leaf that had gone down in battery capacity from 12 bars to 8 bars. He planned to replace his battery pack for $6,000 but sold his 2011 Leaf to Kyle for $5,000 and bought a 2013 Leaf with 12bars for $11,000. He found it online through CarMax. It was turned in from a lease.
The 2011 Leaf had a poorly designed sun shade, only a 3.3 KW charger and inefficient resistive heat.
The 2013 Leaf has a better sunshade, heated steering wheel, a 6.6KW charger and an efficient heat pump. It has less than 20,000 miles.
Dan asked about the loss of bars and Jim said it was about 1 bar per year. Jim also said that he has always garaged his Leaf and never run the pack down too far. Dan said new Leafs have 8yr/ 100,000 mile pack warranty. Dan wanted to know if an older Leaf could be retrofitted with a new 30KWH pack as the new 2016 Leafs have. Jim said maybe but the dealer will not do it.
Norm reported that Tesla built the Gigifactory to make Li cells because they could not buy enough cells from existing manufactures.
Jeanne asked about a long lived Edison battery for electric vehicles. Cliff said he had checked into that cell and the problem is lack of high enough power density that is needed for electric vehicles. i.e. They do not put out the high currents needed to run vehicles.
Ilya works for a Raintree school and wants to convert a school bus to electric. I would need to take more than 20 students. Ken said IVA Wright makes conversion kits for busses.
Dan (the taxi man) gave a talk on his efforts to buy some BYD electric vehicles from China. He spoke with Kevin Kerdler from Clean Cities about the effort. The BYD vehicle has a 60KWH battery and its range is from 125-185 miles. He said taxis drive 50,000 -80,000 miles/year and the EVs would save a large amount of money for fuel cost. He is negotiating the number of vehicles he can buy but not the price. He can get as few as one on a lease with right to buy deal. The BYD vehicles have a special charger but can work with a J1772 with a special adaptor.
Oct 16th 2016
GEVA MINUTES 10/9/16
Minutes from 8/14/16 were read and approved.
Tyler reported on the NDEW event 9/18/16 at the Science Center planetarium lot. There were about 30 electric vehicles on display with an attendance of an estimated 400 people. There were about 70 rides in EVs. There were rides in some Teslas including a Model X with falcon wing doors. Zero motorcycle had a display of electric motorcycles with drives for people with motorcycle endorsements. Face painting for kids did well and the photo booth was set up for free photos. No funds were donated.
Wayne reported on the Sustainability Conference at Webster University. Mike brought his 1016 Volt and Wayne his 1971 VW Beetle conversion. There were talks inside the LEED certified East Academic Building with about 30 in attendance. There is a public solar powered cell phone in front of the building. Mike and Wayne talked to the event organizers and suggested they put in standard inexpensive 120V outlets for students and staff in a new parking garage under construction across the street. They said the administration would likely not do it because they could not get LEED credit for it.
Wayne told of the Missouri Renewable Energy center that offered space for our meetings. Helmut like the idea of meeting there because there is no parking charge and it would be similar to our meetings at Schlafleys. There is an Energy Fair at the center on 10/20/16 from 10AM-3PM. Wayne is planning to be there.
Wayne informed the club of Ameren’s intention of installing 6 DC fast charge stations (DCFC) along the I-70 corridor. The proposed rate would be $10 for a DCFC with both ChadeMO and SAEcombo plugs. Level 2 charging would also be available at $3.60/hr. Ameren has applied to the MO public service commission (MPSC) for permission to install chargers. There could be a problem if the MPSC views charging to benefit only expensive cars like the Tesla.
Tyler talked to Kevin Herdler of the St. Louis Clean Cities group. He learned that they plan to re-start meetings again to try and develop better relations with Ameren now that they are more interested in charging infrastructure.
Norm told the club that Nicola motors has natural gas wells and plan to run fuel cell vehicles on hydrogen. They expect to get 26mpg on the road, have a range of 1200miles and lease them for $5000/month including fuel.
Wayne gave a presentation on “A Comparison of Gas and Electric Vehicles”.
Oct 2nd 2016
GEVA MINUTES 8/14/16
Minutes from 7/10/16 were read and approved.
The National Drive Electric Week (NDEW) for St. Louis was discussed. It will be September 18 from 11AM to 3PM and will be at the St. Louis Science Center in the Planetarium lot. Vehicles on display should arrive by 10AM. There are over 30 vehicles registered for the event. There will be rides in a Tesla and drives in a Leaf. Drives will also be offered for ZERO EV motorcycles.
Josh said to spread the work about the event. He has flyers that can be picked up at the Science Center.
Wayne said to go to car shows and auto parts stores to hand out flyers.
Tyler has some flyers and other stuff to hand out at the event.
Wayne told of the Tour De Fun event scheduled for September 11 at the JCCA on Schuetz Rd. near Lindberg Blvd. It is from 11AM to 3PM and EVs are welcome by 9AM.
Wayne informed the club of a Sustainability Conference held at Webster University on October 8 from 9AM to 5PM. They have invited our club to bring vehicles.
Dave said that the Chevy Bolt will be available in the fall of 2016. It has a 200mi range and will be available in the CARB states first but after that in all 50 states.
Wayne gave a talk on “DC and AC motors for EVs”
Sep 8th 2016
We will NOT have a GEVA meeting this Sunday (9/11) because of the National Drive Electric Week event(9/18). It is at the St. Louis Science Center James S. McDonnel Planetarium lot. Come and see all types of EVs and take a ride in some of them. The Missouri Science and Technology will display their solar car too!
See you there!
Jul 25th 2016
GEVA MINUTES 7/10/16
Minutes from 6/12/16 were read and approved.
Mark informed the club of his efforts to do a Manta kit car conversion using various fuels including natural gas, propane, and electric. He said that Utah, because of subsidies, has very low natural gas prices. Off-road enthusiasts want to only use propane in their vehicles because it is easy to handle. Because natural gas is lighter than air, Mark found out that if h because of subsidies because of subsidies e uses natural gas in a garage, he needs to install explosion proof lights. Also, natural gas tends to burn valves because it does not provide any lubrication.
Josh discussed the National Drive Electric Week (NDEW) event here at the planetarium on September 18 from 11AM to 3PM. He needs some dealerships to participate this year. The Tesla Model 3 rollout should motivate the other dealers. Josh will talk to Nissan he would l like to have someone talk to the Volt dealers. He said that he would like to promote ChargeStarter at the event. The St. Louis Science Center (SLSC) will cover the media- social, TV etc.
Tyler said that we should get our information to the NDEW website as soon as possible. Ed. The NEEW website has our event location, time and the range of vehicles to be displayed. Kyle will contact Kevin Smith to see if he can bring his custom Illuminati vehicle.
Ken told the club that he knows a ZERO electric motorcycle dealer who would be interested in the NDEW event. Ed. The dealer said they would allow drives with a valid driver’s license and motorcycle endorsement.
Tyler said he could contact a dealer for a BMW i3 and i8 vehicle.
Josh reminded the club we are welcome to bring electric vehicles to the First Friday (of the month) events at the SLSC. The themes are geared to adults and the vehicles can be parked out in front from 6 to PM.
Ken asked if he could get some more GEVA business cards because he has been handing out a lot of them lately. Wayne said he would bring some to the next meeting.