Welcome

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

GEVA minutes 4/10/16

GEVA MINUTES 4/10/16

Minutes from 3/13/16 were read and approved.

Wayne reported that he had talked to Damian Herd, the Nissan representative for EV Sales Operations. She said that they are interested in promoting EV charging stations and especially workplace charging stations. They want to work with businesses, universities and schools. Wayne asked if the chargers at Nissan dealers are open to any EV. She replied that the dealers decide who can charge, but the chargers are there for Nissan owners only. Wayne asked if Nissan had any interest in chargers between cities and she said no. She said that Ameren has recently changed their position and is now interested in promoting chargers in the St. Louis area.

Kyle reported that the ChadeMo charger will work on Nissan and Tesla. Also, that the Avcon charger has a square handle but the charging protocol is the same as ChadeMo.

Cliff said that in the 90’s, California GM EV1 chargers were located in grocery stores.

Norm said that Tesla gives free “destination chargers” to businesses but only Tesla can use them. This is  because they read the serial number of the car.

Wayne asked for suggestions of locations to put in charging stations through the crowd funded ChargeStarter program. Cliff said that Southwest Ave is open to Schlafely bottle works in Maplewood and that may be a good location for a charger. They have been interested in supporting EVs and have hosted our club in the past.  Kyle said he could talk to them. Wayne also suggested South County Mall as a possible charging location.

Tyler suggested that our club contact Green Dining Alliance , Atomic Cowboy, and Urban Chestnut as businesses interested in the environment. They would be good locations for charging stations.

Norm gave an update on the Tesla Model 3.  It is designed to be “manufactured” so it can be quickly ramped up in production. There have been over 300,000 pre-orders. It has about a 60KWH pack good for over 200miles per charge. Base price is $35,000.

Earth Day April 24 was discussed. Ron, Kyle, Ken, Jim, Dennis, and Wayne plan to bring their vehicles. The Tesla group plans to bring 2 vehicles.

Wayne gave a talk on “The Use and Adoption of Electric Vehicles”. Tyler commented that electric Postal vehicles may have problems with controllers because of the stop and go driving. Kyle remarked that battery storage and charging for EVs will get better so the limitations of charge time and range will be less of a problem compared to gas powered vehicles. Dave said that Tesla now has 3000 superchargers across the country and is planning to double that by next year.

GEVA minutes 3/13/16

GEVA MINUTES 3/13/16

Minutes from 1/10/16 were read and approved.

Tyler said that he has a contact with Ameren MO. They have 9 charging stations for employees and are collecting data of the EVs parked in the lot. Norm said that the relative cost of electricity is small and that it was 10 cents/KWH 100 years ago. This is about the same as it is today.

Alessandro said that Ameren MO is a good company to help put in chargers since they have unused power at night when most EV charging occurs. Ameren IL has a different rate structure than Ameren MO.

Tyler told the club that new electric rates are coming soon. He made a suggestion that the club could promote the EV infrastructure by checking out the current charge stations and publishing the ones that are working and not working. People using EVs get frustrated when a charging station is not working because many times they depend on the charge to make it  to another station or home.

There was a question about the cost and finding someone to put in a Level 2 (220VAC) charging station at home. Tyler suggested that one option is to buy a charging station with a standard plug and have a electrician just install the outlet. Another is to buy a charger from Home Depot or Lowes and have them do the installation. They already have contractors.

Wayne said that EV users should use some kind of tag to indicate the intent when using public charging. The tag should indicate if the charging is done for opportunity or necessary and if someone else can unplug their vehicle and use the EVSE. Dale suggested that the Electric Auto Association (EAA) promote the rules of charging.

Ken reported on the St. Louis Auto Show in January. Tesla had their new AutoDrive vehicle and it drew a crowd. Kyle’s Think EV was popular and many people wanted to touch it since the body panels are made of ABS plastic. The gokart was popular since it was next to the Tesla exhibit and near the isle. It was a good photo opportunity for children -as they like to sit in it.

Dale said that parking garages should have free EV charging signs near existing 120V outlets.

Alessandro mentioned that free EV charging today is in a similar state to WiFi a few years ago. WiFi started as a paid  service  but now the public demands it for free.

Jim said that he received a letter recently about his Nissan Leaf. It said that the 2G car wings software is no longer available. It was only available from 2011 – 2014.

Wayne and Dale gave a presentation on the “Performance of a Battery Heating System”.

Feb 14 GEVA meeting cancelled

The Feb 14, 2016 GEVA meeting is cancelled because of Valentines Day. Our next meeting will be Mar 13 at 2PM at the St. Louis Science Center in the 3rd floor meeting room.

Wayne

President GEVA

GEVA minutes 1/10/16

GEVA MINUTES 1/10/16

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

Josh talked about the non-profit ChargeStarter company. He explained how it seeks to crowd fund public charging stations in the St. Louis area. He said the company is in need of someone to build a web site and app. Any one that can help with these would be welcome. Any suggestions as to how the app would work would also be appreciated.

Tyler suggested that maybe Kyle could bring his Segway to the St. Louis Auto Show Jan 29-31, 2016. Kyle replied that his batteries are bad and that the Segway is very sensitive to the voltage of the batteries.

Wayne asked for a list of anyone willing to work at the Auto Show this year. Mark, Kyle, Helmut, Norm, Ken, Josh, Tyler and Wayne all said they could work. He will send these names to Keven Herdler so that they can get in at no charge.  Josh will bring EVie but will not be there very much. Our club will be there to watch it. Kyle agreed to bring his newly acquired Think EV.

Earth Day is Sunday April 24, 2016 in Forest Park. We should be in the same area as last year (lower Muny lot) and should be able to bring about 6 vehicles. Wayne said that surveys of the event had an excellent response to our Transportation Area last year.

Ken mentioned that the federal tax credit is $2500 max for 2 wheeled vehicles such as motorcycles. They are also road tax exempt for Missouri.

Wayne gave a talk on “Why Electric Vehicles with gas under $2.00/gal?”  In addition to his reasons, Norm said the EV driving experience is simply much better. Instead of the car driving you, you drive the car. There was talk of the cost of refining oil to gasoline. Dennis said that the largest single users of electricity in the country are the refineries. Kyle said 6-8 KWH is needed to refine one gallon of gas. An EV can go about 25miles on this amount of energy. Kyle said the price of used EVs is coming down. Some used Teslas can be had for around $50,000.

Wayne passed around a brochure from WattZilla (info@wattzilla.com) on their high power J1772 charging station. They have a single 80Amp WattZilla Uno from $2395 and a dual 80Amp WattZilla Duo from $3395.

GEVA minutes 11/8/15

GEVA MINUTES 11/8/15

Minutes from 10/11/15 were read and approved.

The unofficial EVCCON 2015 event was discussed. Dale said that Jack and EVTV would probably have a similar event for next year- smaller and at the EVTV shop.

Wayne asked about the numbers for the National Drive Electric Event (NDEW) event in St. Louis this year. He thought it was about half as big as last year. Dale said that it is probably because EVs are old news now that dealers are selling them. Helmut said another reason is that gas is cheap now.

Dale informed the club that he had a problem with his small 12V (30AH) aux battery in his Ranger conversion discharging when the truck was not used for several months.  Wayne said the drain when off was about 200mA and this could cause the problem over time. Dale bought a $5 disconnect switch on Ebay to solve the problem.

Jason asked what makes EVs so expensive and Dale said that they should not be. He said that there is much expense of pollution and other regulation equipment on gas cars and that the makers of EVs are simply greedy.

Wayne told of an email he received on a Renewable Energy Project hosted by the Rockwood Summit High School. They are having a benefit car show on April 2, 2016. They are looking to have more than 200 EVs in the show. The registration fee is $15. The website is www.facebook.com/RSHSBiodiesel or contact Darin Peters petersdarrin@rsdmo.org  for more info.

Wayne said there is a Webinar on 11/19/15 at 2PM ET talking about EVs and charging stations. It is sponsored by plug- in- America. Contact info@pluginamerica.org

Keven Herdler of the Clean Cities group informed Wayne of an Electric Transportation Summit 2015 to be held on 12/1/15 in St. Louis. Ameren and others are hosting it. www.eei.org/meetings gives more information. The deadline to sign up is 11/13/15.

Mark Luedde asked Wayne to see if anyone in the club would like to be the administrator for the Facebook page he started for GEVA some time ago.

Wayne informed the club that Josh told him the broken GEM (from the Science Center) has been trashed.

Wayne said that next month the president of Charge Starter (Mike Murphy) will discuss how the non-profit company plans to crowd fund charging stations in the St. Louis area.

Wayne showed the Tesla model X rollout video from EVTV’s website. It is titled “The Safest SUV Ever”.

GEVA minutes 10/11/15

GEVA MINUTES 10/11/15

Minutes from 9/13/15 were read and approved.

Kyle spoke about the unofficial EVCCON 2015 event the week of 9/20/15 in Cape Girardeau. It was held at the EVTV facility and hosted by Jack Rickard.   Kyle lead a lengthy discussion on a new motorcycle motor and Jack’s hacking of a Tesla drive train. Results of the EVs at the drag strip at Sikeston were reported. Smart Electronics (ed CAN bus) was also a topic at the event. Kyle said that Jack is working on hacking the Tesla supercharger as well as working on other interesting topics.

Tyler spoke about the numbers from the NDEW event and passed the NDEW City Captains final report around for the group to view.

An article on “The Five Most Ignorant Media Myths about Electric Cars”  from a recent issue  of Current Events (EAA publication) was passed around and discussed.

Kyle played the video on Leaf Battery Testing aired by EVTV and hosted by Jack Rickard.

GEVA minutes 9/13/15

GEVA MINUTES 9/13/15

Minutes from 8/9/15 were read and approved.

Tyler announced the Green Products and Services EXPO at the Science Center for 10/14/15 at 5:00 pm. It is by invitation of Keven Herdler of the Clean Cities Program  StLCleanCities.org

GEVA minutes 8/9/15

GEVA MINUTES 8/9/15

Minutes from 7/12/15 were read and approved.

Tyler informed the club on the NDEW event Sep 20 at the planetarium. He said there should be 10 – 20  C-cars at the event. He said that he has 100 charge hangers to be given to people who bring their EVs for display. Charge hangers are placed on the J1772 charging plug when in public use. They give information as to the time the charge started and whether it is an “opportunity” or “necessary” charge. This will tell others if they can unplug the charging vehicle and use the charger for their own vehicle. Owner contact information can also be supplied.

Tyler also said there will be a Drive-in movie event on Sep 19 that is not part of the NDEW event. The show is “What is an Electric Vehicle”. It is at Clean Cut Creations Vintage Auto Works and is limited to 50 plug-in electric vehicles. Gates open at 5:00 with $20 for dinner and the show. At 6:45 it is $10 for snacks and the show.

Wayne said he was contacted by Erik at EnergyCurb. EnergyCurb is a company that sells a device to track home energy usage. It can be accessed through the internet. Erik said Evers were interested in the device to track their vehicle energy usage. You can contact him at Erik@EnergyCurb.com.

Wayne asked if anyone had ideas for upcoming presentations for the club. Any question they have or an article they have seen about EVs would be fair game.

Wayne said he saw a study asking whether charging stations (or lack of them) influence the buying of and electric vehicle. The study revealed that charging stations are not the main reasons for people buying EVs. Instead, the sales are more influenced by price and tax incentives.

Jim showed some videos he recorded about electric vehicles. The club members enjoyed them and they are shown below.

How it’s Made…Charging Station  (Previously Shown)

Formula E Report  (New? – about 4 minutes)

60 Minutes…Car Hack  (New – about 8 minutes)

We’ve Got the Power  (New – about 48 minutes)

GEVA minutes 7/12/15

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.

GEVA minutes 6/14/15

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.