St. Louis Drive Electric Week event this Sunday

The St Louis National Drive Electric Week event is this Sunday (9/17) on the St. Louis Science Center planetarium parking lot in Forest Park. Time is 11AM-3PM. We expect to have over 40 vehicles of all types with some available for rides. Go to driveelectricweek.org and www.slsc.org for more information.


GEVA minutes 8/13/17


Minutes from 7/9/17 were read and approved.

Wayne said Friends of Earthday have a Happy Hour the 3rd Tuesday of the month at Schlafly Bottleworks in Maplewood. The time is 5:30-7:30 PM with a $10 donation at the door. All are invited.

Wayne also received information on a movie called Evolve: Driving a clean future in coal country. They are raising funds to complete and distribute it free to NDEW events. More information is at www.evolveky.org

Wayne said that the St. Louis National Drive Electric Week (NDEW) will be Sunday Sept 17, 2017 at the St. Louis Science Center planetarium parking lot. Time is 11AM-3PM. All vehicles to be shown need to be there by 10AM.

Wayne told the club about a webinar he saw for the national 2017 NDEW. The goals for this year are 250 events in 230 cities with 550 media hits and over 10,000 rides and drives. Most events will have ride/drives, conversion cars, exhibit booths, and entertainment. Shared electric vehicles are becoming a reality in the state of Washington. Uber and Nissan are planning to use Nissan Leaf vehicles for this service.

Dan reported that the Fast Charging stations at Commerce Banks were installed by a joint effort between the bank and Nissan. They were paid for by Nissan. He said that BP gas stations are also planning to install charging stations.

Wayne noted that there is a Level 2 charger at Straight Up Solar but the plug was damaged and could not be used. Greg said that Plugshare has a place to add a comment for charging station problems.

Greg said that France is planning to ban gas only vehicles by 2020. Hybrids would still be allowed as long as it has an electric motor.

Dennis talked about his Vega conversion. It is a DC motor with direct drive. He is still braking in the brushes and plans to drag race it at Gateway raceway in the future.

Dan told of his experience with his Leaf and driving it into “yellow turtle mode” which is very close to zero battery charge. Mike said that the turtle modes limit the speed to 25mph to optimize the battery range.

Wayne showed some charging station pictures that were sent in by the club members.  One was a standard 120V outlet (with EV sign) at a Post Office.

GEVA minutes 7/9/17


Minutes from 6/11/17 were read and approved.

Kyle posted some pictures of charging stations on Facebook and will continue to do so.

The club talked about the NDEW event at the Science Center Planetarium parking lot on September 17. Dennis asked if a Bolt will be there?  Ralph said that he had ordered one and expects delivery in 6-8 weeks. He will bring it if he gets it in time. Kyle said he was in Nashville recently and saw a Bolt. Wayne said he would talk to Dandan the driving man about getting a 2018 Leaf for the event. He has contacts at Nissan.

Dave said that the Tesla Model 3 is coming off the production line this week but employees will be the first to get them. The Tesla EV comes either as rear wheel drive or all wheel drive. Tesla has a software update on the Model S to make it 1 second faster for 0-60mph. Kyle said that there is a change in some of its parts to give  the Tesla a lifetime of 1 million miles.

Dave said that Quik Trip plans to install charging stations in its stores. Kyle mentioned that Tesla also has a model for a charger/ store combination. Dave said Shell Oil Company in England is installing electric vehicle chargers in its gas stations.

Wayne asked about how to report a charging station that is not working. He recently had a problem with a faulty station. Kyle has had the problem with a Chargepoint station and said he called them. They told him they would fix it but so far he has not heard from them. Wayne asked if it is possible to set the charger power drawn by any commercial electric vehicle. Kyle knows that the Tesla EV can change the charge rate from the vehicle.

Gary told the club that Volvo is phasing out all gas vehicles buy 2025 and will only make hybrids or pure electric vehicles.

Wayne said that Jack at EVTV is planning to put a Tesla drive train in his Escalade conversion.

Dennis gave a short talk on safety regarding his DC motor in his Vega conversion. He said that the armature had shorted to the frame of the vehicle and it caused a spark when he accidently touched a battery terminal to the vehicle frame. He has since had the motor rebuilt to solve the problem but cautioned that builders should be aware of the problem.

Wayne showed the charger pictures that people have sent in.  He said that he will do it again next month- so send him more pictures.

GEVA minutes 6/11/17


Minutes from 5/21/17 were read and approved.

Kyle reported on the EV Social at Schlafly Bottleworks on 6/27/17. There were about 12 people in attendance.

The National Drive Electric Week event at the St. Louis Science Center (SLSC) was discussed. It will be September 17, 2017 from 11AM- 3PM in the planetarium lot. Wayne said he talked with Liz Murphy who is the SLSC contact now that Josh is in basic training. Wayne told Liz about the location, times and organization of the event. The SLSC provided some food service. He sent her a flyer from last year so she can use it for publicity.

Wayne reported that he gave a talk on “Why Electric Vehicles Now?” for the Webster University Sustainability Conference. It was on May 31 as one of their Wednesday noon talks.  There were about 25 in attendance and it was well received.

Wayne said he received an email from an EV owner in Nashville, TN who is selling a 2009 S-10 conversion truck. He does not know the details or price but can refer anyone interested to the seller.

Wayne suggested to the club that members send in photos of charging stations to show at the July meeting. He requested that the location of the station also be included. The club was in favor of the idea.

Wayne gave his “Why Electric Vehicles Now?” talk to the club.

GEVA minutes 5/21/17


Minutes from 4/9/17 were read and approved.

Dan reported on the BYD and 2018 Leaf. The only view of the 2018 Leaf is of one rear taillight. He also said that 3000 Bolts are being bought by the federal government. The Bolt is a Fiesta style EV with over a 200mi range. Preorders are being taken in Illinois. Ken said that the Bolt may have an option for ChadeMO which is the DC fast charging plug that the Leaf and others use.

Ken asked about the DC fast charging network and what to do if they are not working. There are reports of many not working. Dan told of his experience with some dealers and that they either bock them from use or simply turn them off. Ken said that SAECombo chargers are the most common type in Europe. Kyle added that in Europe one brings his own cord to charge. This would prevent theft of the cord.

Kyle mentioned that Alibaba has a ChadeMO charger from China for only $2500 and it is portable.

Dan said that people constantly ask him about where to find chargers. He checked out the St. Louis Auto Garage and they have some nice J1772 chargers on sliding rails. Parking is $10 for the day with free charging.

Ken said that Forest Park Community College has 120V plugs on light poles in there parking lot. Wayne noted that he has used some 240V outlets put in for EV use at the Community College at Wildwood located at Manchester and HW 109. Wayne also added to the Plugshare site some 120V outlets at UMSL in the parking garages. These would be great for students who would typically park for the day.

Kyle has been talking to the manager at Schlafly Bottleworks and he has agreed to block off some parking spaces for our EV Social the last Tuesday of the month at 6PM. Wayne mentioned that Schlaflys would be a good place for a ChargeStarter charging station.

Wayne received an email from Josh at the SLSC that gave the contact person for the NDEW event in September. The SLSC will provide flyers, food, and “love on social media”.

Dan informed the club that he is in line to buy 2 BYD vehicles from China.

Dan talked about his efforts to produce a TV show on EVs. He wants some input from the club as to the areas of interest to present. He would like to have interviews or a panel discussion on interesting topics.

Wayne showed a preview of the “Highlights of the St. Louis GEVA club“. It will be published in the May issue of EAA Current Events.

May GEVA meeting moved to May 21

Hi EVers,

Because of Mothers’s Day, our May GEVA meeting will be on May 21. It will be at the  St. Louis Science Center 3rd floor boardroom at 2PM.

Hope to see you there!


President GEVA

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.

Earth Day 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!

Wayne gave a talk on “The secrets of Level 2 Charging”.

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!

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.

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”