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.
Jun 26th 2016
GEVA MINUTES 6/12/16
Minutes from 5/15/16 were read and approved.
Kyle reminded the club of Drive Electric Week in September. The St. Louis NDEW event will be on September 18 on the Planetarium parking lot from 11AM to 3PM.
Dan “the taxi man” told the club he may be able to get a BYD EV for the NDEW event. It is a car from a company called BYD and is made in China. It sells for $55,000 and has a 240 mile range. There are few of these cars in the USA but there are fleets of these in other countries. Three cities in China have 100% electric taxi vehicles. There are also BYD 2016E6 busses in Lancaster CA and in other countries. In Chicago there are federal and city tax breaks for electric vehicles. Dan has been trying to interest other taxi drivers in EVs to save fuel costs. The 240 mile range is adequate for taxi use.
Norm said BYD started as a battery company and that the Tesla 60 is designed for taxi service. He said that Tesla and BYD are the biggest players in electric vehicles on the planet.
Helmut chimed in and said that VW is serious about catching up in the EV market and plans to have many models available soon.
There was discussion about battery back-up of the power grid. Kyle said that Tesla would never consider this option for their batteries.
Kyle informed the club that he has been working with Kevin Smith (Illuminati Motor Works) to reverse engineer the control system on a smart electric vehicle. They have been able to write software to control the Smart EV.
Kyle suggested a fundraiser for the club. Since there is a growing problem with internal combustion engine (ICE) cars taking parking spots designated for electric vehicles (EV), our club could make up tickets to fine the illegal vehicle. The owner would send the fine to our club. Of course, this would be voluntary on their part. If EV allowed spaces would be marked with cross hatched lines (green), there would be less chance an ICE vehicle would park in the space. Currently Purple Heart spaces are marked with purple cross lines.
Wayne mentioned an EVTV video from Jack Rickard that Tesla is putting in a Supercharger in Sikeston MO just 30 miles south of Cape Girardeau MO. Jack thinks they are not locating it in Cape to prevent local Tesla owners from charging for free. This has been a problem in other areas of the country.
Mark told of his ideas to convert a Manta kit car to a hybrid. He would like to run it on various fuels such as natural gas, propane or electric. He thinks that fuel cells will eventually be the way to power transportation because the infrastructure of gas stations is already in place.
May 29th 2016
GEVA MINUTES 5/15/16
Minutes from 4/10/16 were read and approved.
Jim and Dave gave a report on Earth Day 4/24/16. There was a big crowd with good weather. Josh brought the EVie from the St. Louis Science Center and we had several vehicles. Kyle, Dennis, Ron S., Jim and Wayne brought vehicles. Liz and Brian in the Tesla group brought 2 Tesla Model S cars.
Wayne talked to Ron Freund at Electric Auto Association (EAA) about changing the president of our chapter from George to Wayne. Ron wanted our clubs ideas as to what direction EAA should go now that EVs are more common and can be purchased from several makers. Both Ron and Wayne agreed that the EAA is still needed promote EVs and to correct the many myths about EVs. Wayne spoke to Ron Erb and he suggested that all new owners of EVs should receive a free EAA Current Events newsletter in on-line form. This would connect EV owners to the EAA without any real cost to the EAA.
Ron Freund informed Wayne that there is a problem in California where Plug-in Hybrids are taking Level 2 charging spaces. Other EV owners are upset because the Hybrids only have a small battery pack and can charge in 1-2Hrs yet take the space for many more hours.
Kyle told the club that he had talked to a local Nissan dealer about purchasing Leaf. The dealer was not very interested. After the recent Tesla Model 3 video, Kyle received a call from the dealer who seemed very interested in selling a car. At $35,000 and a 200mile range, the Model 3 will open up a whole new market for EV buyers.
Wayne talked to Ron Erb and he said that Ford is interested in vehicle to vehicle communication to make the highways more efficient and to save gas. For example, communication between cars at a stop light would give information as to how long the car in front has been stopped. The car could then decide if it is efficient to turn off the engine to save gas. Ken said that some EV motorcycles can recognize cars and communicate with others using smart computers. BMW is working on communication too.
Wayne said the EZGO self propelled electric lawnmower has a 56V @ 7.5AH battery and can mow for about an hour.
Wayne said that Damian Herd, the Nissan Electric Vehicle Business Development Manager, has agreed to come and talk about their workplace charging initiative. The talk will be at our July 10th meeting. Save the date!
Wayne showed a video of the recent Tesla Model 3 rollout. Dave said that Tesla wanted to call it the Model E but Ford already had rights to the name.
Apr 29th 2016
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.
Apr 1st 2016
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 1st 2016
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.
Jan 19th 2016
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 (firstname.lastname@example.org) on their high power J1772 charging station. They have a single 80Amp WattZilla Uno from $2395 and a dual 80Amp WattZilla Duo from $3395.
Nov 12th 2015
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 email@example.com 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 firstname.lastname@example.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”.
Oct 27th 2015
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.
Oct 27th 2015
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
Aug 21st 2015
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)