GEVA Minutes 1/14/18


Minutes from 11/14/17 were read and approved. Gary told of his test drive of a Bolt from Elco Chevrolet. He was impressed with the acceleration and handling. It has over a 200mi range.  He said that the $7500 federal tax credit has been renewed by congress.

Wayne asked why the sales price for electric vehicles is so high given the cost of materials compared to a gas powered vehicle.  Dale said that it is purely greed on the part of auto makers.  He would be surprised if the cost of a battery would be more than a few thousand dollars. Jim added that the cost of a replacement battery for his old Leaf was only $6000 including labor.

Ken said that most dealers do not know much about how to service EVs. He told the club of a funny incident when he brought his Leaf to the dealer for service. They asked him if he wanted an oil change with the service!

Dan said that he has been driving many miles and had an incident when he was charging his Leaf at night. A policeman saw him at Commerce Bank charger for awhile and asked him why he was at the ATM for over 40minutes. Dan told him he was charging his car and pointed to the “electric vehicle sticker” on the back.

Dale said that the automakers should put in DC fast chargers along the interstates with snack stores to promote sales of EVs. He said all the major interstates could be covered at 50 miles intervals with about 1000 chargers.  Dan said the cost of a DC fast charger is about $30,000 so the total cost would only be 30 million dollars- a drop in the bucket for an automaker.

Dan said that California is expected to pass (or has passed) a ban on gas vehicles by 2040. He does not know if it is law yet.

Norm talked about the new Tesla 500 mile range over the road truck.  They are still using the cylindrical 24700 size batteries. Given the size of the battery space and the total storage needed, he thinks these cells have more capacity than they claim.

Jim brought up some new business that Ch 9 will broadcast a 2 hour Nova program on the Solar Impulse solar powered airplane. It will be Jan 31 at 8PM.

Norm passed out some info on a Sonders crowd funded 3 wheel vehicle. The cost is to be $10,000 and is classified as a motorcycle so there are no safety requirements or inspection. It is front wheel drive with an enclosed body -but still requires a helmet because it is a motorcycle.

Dan showed his video of the Tesla Model 3 that was here last Sunday on a 6000 mile road trip across the US and Canada. The trip is on Facebook at Tesla Model 3 Road Trip.

GEVA Minutes 11/12/17


Minutes from 10/8/17 were read and approved.

There was discussion of new types of batteries. Wayne said that there is some new research using sodium instead of lithium for batteries. Sodium would be cheaper and more environmentally friendly. Kyle said that one big advantage with sodium is that the battery can be discharged to zero state of charge without harm. This trait makes it very safe to store and ship.

Kyle said that he saw a news story where a reporter drove a hydrogen fueled vehicle around Washington D.C. He said that H. W. Bush had been a proponent of hydrogen vehicles when he was president. Kyle noted that hydrogen is most economically produced by extracting it from natural gas.  Wayne added that it would probably be more efficient to just charge a battery than convert natural gas to hydrogen.

Gary told of taking a test drive in a Bolt. He said that Bommarito on Manchester Rd. has 9 on their lot. He was very impressed with the vehicle and it had great acceleration. Price depends on options but is about $37,000. With better than a 200 mile range, he thinks it is a great deal.

Wayne informed the club that he would be out of town for the December meeting. The club voted to cancel the December meeting and Wayne will send a few notices to that effect.

The club talked about the possibe federal budget cut of the $7500 tax credit for buying an electric vehicle. Gary said that Plug-in America and the Sierra Club are starting petitions to lobby congress to keep the tax credit. The battery manufactures are on board with keeping the credit. Mike said that Elon Musk at Tesla is OK with elimination of the credit because Tesla is almost at the maximum credit. The maximum is 200,000 cars sold in the US.

Wayne said that he plans to add regenerative braking to his 1971 VW Beetle conversion to recover braking energy into the batteries and to make the brakes last longer.

Wayne gave a talk on “Regenerative (Regen) Braking”. He talked about how idle regen and brake regen work and how effective they are. Regen braking is most useful under start -stop driving conditions and typically adds only about 10% to the range.

GEVA minutes 10/8/17


Minutes from 9/10/17 were read and approved.

Gary reported on the Drive Electric Event at the planetarium on Sep 17, 2017. He said a BMW i3 was there and the ride was very good. A plug-in Cooper was also at the event. He saw the Model X vehicles and they demonstrated that they could flap their wings in unison!

Tyler said the total number of vehicles at the event was 39 with Tesla having the most of any kind.  The event totals are 8 TeslaS , 5 TeslaX, 6 Leaf, 4 Volt, 4 Bolt, 4 BMWi3, 3 CMax,  1 Think City, 1 Zenn, 1 Datsun  truck conversion, 1 Ranger conversion, 1 VW Beetle conversion. He estimated the attendance of between 350 and 400 people.

Dan reported that he had a sign and wall divider that were stolen after the event. He is working with the security guards and police to see if the theft was caught on the security cameras.

Wayne said that he received an email from Joel Levin about Ameren MO renewed interest in renewable energy. Coal power plants are being taken off line. Tyler said the nuclear waste it has is still stored in pools and is still hot.

Tyler informed the club about the VW emissions scandal and the settlement to Missouri. A letter from the Sierra Club asks citizens to send letters to the Governor demanding that the funds be used to invest in electric vehicle infrastructure. The letter is on their website. Three million letters have already been sent.

Because of Halloween, the club decided  the EV social for this month only will be on  Tuesday (10/24). Place is Schlafly Bottleworks and time is 6PM.

Gary said he saw a new 2018 Leaf on the road. Dan said that salesmen are waiting until 2019 to start selling the 2018 model.

Greg told the club that he learned of a new system for hauling rock and ore down a mountain. The plan is to use an electric dump truck with a 640kWh battery. The truck would load up at the top of the mountain and charge the onboard battery going down. Then the truck would dump the load (making it much lighter) and use the charged battery to get back to the top. No additional energy would be needed.

Wayne gave a talk on “Electrons are like water”. It was well received.

Mike asked if someone could give a talk about how regenerative braking works.

GEVA minutes 9/10/17


Minutes from 8/13/17 were read and approved.

The club talked about the National Drive Electric Week (NDEW) event next week at the Science Center planetarium. Tyler said he put his Zen EV by the front entrance of the Science Center Monday with a banner advertizing the event. Wayne said that he received the NDEW event materials from Nissan who is the primary sponsor. The materials included five 2×3 ft plastic signs, a banner, Nissan caps, water bottles, cell phone fans, bumper stickers, tote bags, 2018 Nissan Leaf brochures, and T shirts for the city captains. Wayne said he was disappointed that the only items with NDEW on them were the signs and banner. Wayne said that in past years NDEW and Nissan were on the T shirts and most all of the other event materials.

Tyler said that Flying Tiger was planning to be at NDEW with their electric motorcycles. Ralph is bringing his new Bolt EV and Dan may bring a BYD EV down from Chicago. Greg asked if MO Science and Technology could bring a solar vehicle but no one had a contact for them. Kyle said they have a rare EV1 that he would like to see at the event.  Mike wanted to know if there would be any dealers at the event and Tyler said that BMW may come. Mike also wanted to know if there are any Ford Focus EVs in the area to bring. Wayne said he talked to Ron Erb who has a son that works for Ford and is working to fix problems with the Focus. They are having problems with the vehicle not turning on.

Wayne said that he contacted John VonBokel in the Tesla group about bringing some vehicles.

Wayne talked to long time club members Ron Erb and Jeff Dale about coming to NDEW this year.

Lyn said that the EV social for August had a good turnout of 14 people. EV social meets the last Tuesday of the month at Schlafly Bottleworks at 6pm. It is open to all to show their electric vehicles or talk to owners.

Wayne asked if anyone in the club knew how many electric vehicles are stolen. Kyle said that the rates are quite low and that he has only heard of a few thefts. In one case the thief did not know how to turn it on!

Dan told of the electric vehicle show he is working on with Larry Rice. He already has some interviews and plans to interview some EV owners at the NDEW event.

Wayne said that he saw Dennis with his 1965 Datsun truck conversion at the Westport Plaza car show this Sunday. Wayne talked with an attendee at the show and asked if he had ever driven an electric vehicle. The response was that he had driven an electric golf cart!

Wayne said that he is working on some talks about basic electricity in connection with electric vehicles. He will present them to the club at future meetings.

Jim showed a video of the Tesla factory from the TV show “Impossible Engineering”.

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