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.
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.
May 26th 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.
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.
Apr 18th 2014
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.
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.
Mar 18th 2014
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.