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SEVA meetings are held every second Tuesday.

EVents 2010 04 13

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Our monthly meetings are held at the Church of the Nazarene above the Mosaic Community Coffee House.

Join us at our SEVA Meetings

Unless otherwise posted here, or sent out over the SEVA Maillist each Monthly Meeting is Held on the Evening of the Second Tuesday of each Month commencing at 7 p.m. or there about. Meetings are held at the Church of the Nazarene at 44th St. NE, and 3rd Ave NE, just behind Dicks Drive In on 45th. Their fire damage has been repaired, and they welcome us back. We encourage visitors and members to help support this free venue with the purchase of some fine coffee and other refreshments downstairs at the Mosaic Community Coffee House.

April 13th 2010 Meeting

Thanks be to Stephen Johnsen for standing in for us as Meeting Moderator, and to Cory Cross, for POSTING to SEVA minutes of the meeting here below. See you all May 11th. Steve Lough ----------

Dan Davids shared his adventure racing the Tesla around a track, including many tips from his younger days as a race car driver, like you don't actually turn the wheel to steer through a turn, you accelerate more or less, which shifts the weight and causes the car to turn one way or the other.

Chad Schwitters spoke about driving all the way from here to California (LA? San Diego?) in his Tesla. One tip; when going to an RV park, do not ask for 240V, ask for "50 Amp Service" and you'll get high-power charging.

Dave Cloud showed more pictures of his streamlined Geo to oohs and ahhs from the crowd. He ran tests comparing powering both motors (1/2 power each) or just one motor while cruising and, I believe, did not measure any difference in efficiency between the two.

Larry Gales presented on what the ideal electric bicycle should look like and would like help refining it further. He e-mailed to the list after the meeting.

Cory Cross showed off Pacific EV's new BMS before the meeting and tried to give a warning about undervolting motors yielding poor performance, but there wasn't enough time. Next month!

I think I missed someone...

The room was pretty full. Before the meeting, someone (sorry I forgot who) brought their new conversion with Lithium and a Zilla with a GIANT reservoir -- what was that, 10 gallons!? And a few more cars...

One more ITEM, thanks to Dean:

One other highlight was a second presentation by Dan Davids with Q&A about Plug-in America's visit to the Nissan Factory in Tennessee:

  • PIA has a good relationship with Nissan Management.
  • Nissan has a great deal of respect for PIA and has been tracking them for quite some time
  • PIA's carefully considered acceptance of a donation from Nissan
  • Nissan has been developing the Leaf for 5 years [ed.-wish I'd have known that 2 years ago]
  • The plans for marketing of the Leaf over the rest of this year
  • The fact that the idea of leasing the battery while buying the car has been abandoned -- but that the car (complete with battery) will be available for sale or lease
  • The trip included a tour of their very impressive factory -- two lines (one for unibody, one for framed vehicles, 5000 employees, 5.2 million square feet, can produce a car every 27 seconds, highly robotic plant (robots don't mind working in the dark, so lights can be off or dimed to save energy, employees are excided about the Leaf, the first 50,000 Leaf's (not Leaves) will be produced in Japan, nearby battery factory is under construction, not all Leaf's will have level 3 chargers onboard [ed.- I think eTec program cars will, and when I signed up for a place in line the web site mentioned that the trim line upgraded included the level 3 chargers]
  • Nissan will be working with "hand raisers" who sign up between now and August to get out more info prior to the ordering process which is to start in August.

And at last, Stephen Johnsen's SEVA minutes:


The April 13 SEVA meeting had sunny weather and a variety of EVs in the parking lot including a few Tesla Roadsters one of which had just come back from a 3,000+ mile all-electric roadtrip to San Diego and back! (Yes you read that right!)

President Steve Lough was enjoying the Maui sun so the meeting was run by Stephen Johnsen who was accompanied by Dan Davids and with membership info and EV news photocopies courtesy of long time member John Mark.

Johnsen began the meeting by announcing upcoming EVents:

Long time member and EV racer Don “FT” Crabtree announced that the Wayland Invitational would be happening at Infineon Raceway this year. Check out for specific date information when it is available and look forward to a faster lighter weight lithium powered White Zombie!!

Speaking of high performance EVs, the meeting then moved along to talking about what was new since last meeting. Member and former road racer Dan Davids shared some high performance driving tips and gave a detailed description of taking Tom Saxton’s Tesla Roadster to the limit around the Pacific Grand Prix (small very curvy track just outside of Pacific Raceways). The PGP owner has been to a SEVA meeting before and is EV friendly! Other members including Roger Wright will be installing some 240V outlets to make charging easier but even without charging, the Tesla’s sped around the track burning nothing but rubber. By disabling the roadster’s traction control and fiddling with the ABS, Dan was able to get better control over the vehicle and push its limits to the max to blast through the corners. Tesla roadsters generally average 260-280 watt/hours per mile under normal driving conditions but Tom Saxton said roadsters at the track that day were getting up to 800Wh/mile. Then with Dan Davids at the wheel the Wh/mile reading literally went off the chart on Tom’s car’s display coming in at over 1,500 Watt hours per mile! WOW! The batteries stayed perfectly cool and there were no problems with inverters or motors overheating on the cold day either.

Stephen Johnsen then showed a slide show of the exciting 1998 S-10 pickup truck using 24 locally built Manzanita Micro 160AH 12volt lithium batteries with integrated BMS for a nearly 50kW/hr 300V battery pack! This vehicle was the star of the latest South Seattle Community College 6-day Intensive EV Conversion class taught by SEVA member Stephen Johnsen with help from Roger Wright and Murray Fye. This impressive machine sports a tilting pickup bed for access to the batteries, well laid-out orange 4/0 High Voltage cabling a 2000 amp Zilla HV controller, ADC 9 inch motor and an 18kW Manzanita Micro PFC75 charger for fast charging.

SEVA members have been working with SSCC and the upcoming SSCC EV technology classes include:

  • April 24 – Intro to AC Drives by Dan Bentler (at the North campus)
  • May 4 - Intro to EVs by Steve Lough
  • May 13 – EV Components Technology by Cory Cross
  • May 18 – EV Batteries by Stephen Johnsen
  • May 25 - EV Safety by Roger Wright
  • June 3 and 5 – Electric Bicycles (2 session course) by Murray Fye

There will also likely be another conversion class intensive to convert a motorcycle in September. Visit for more information

Next Chad Schwitters and Dan Davids with some input from Jeremy Smithson of Puget Sound Solar shared about the Solar Charging Station at the new Shoreline City Hall. The fact is the city hall has gone green, installing a large 20kW array of Made-in-Washington solar panels and tied it to the grid. There are 2 parking spaces beneath the array with 240V 30Amp Twist-lock L6-30 connectors for EV charging! Yay Shoreline!

Dan Davids who also happens to be the President of Plug In America reported excellent news about Nissan’s bold EV plans and his tour of the Tennessee factory where the LEAF EV will be built. Davids mentioned that Nissan had been working on the Leaf 5 years ago but mostly keeping it under wraps. Stephen Johnsen reminded everyone that Nissan’s Altra EV was the only vehicle of the 1990s OEM EVs to use lithium ion batteries. Dan mentioned that Nissan was planning to make the leasing options VERY attractive. He also noted that the batteries themselves would go with the vehicle so if you buy a leaf you get it and its battery pack too (earlier rumors were that the pack might be on a separate lease. Brian Hughes aptly stated, “So batteries ARE included!”

Dan said that the first 50,000 LEAFs would be built in Japan while the Tennessee factory is being prepared. If you buy a regular LEAF from Nissan it will be available with an Aerovironment charger. If you sign up for “The EV Project” DOE/eTec study then your LEAF will come with an eTec charger and also a level 3 rapid charging port in addition to the standard J1772 level 2 port.

SEVA member Larry Gales spoke about an electric bicycle project. Larry thinks that folding electric bicycles could be quite useful and help make travel by bicycle and public transit more attractive. Anyone interested in working with Larry on this project is welcome to email him at:

Long time SEVA member, EV record holder and conversion guru Dave Cloud showed the latest photos of his super aerodynamic lightweight 47” tall teardrop car. The vehicle body was almost completely finished and wrapped in shiny new red paint with the word “ELECTRIC” prominently displayed! Dave stated that his goals were 200 miles per charge and less than $3,000 out-of-pocket (obviously not including his own labor!). Another project goal is to be able to charge the vehicle’s battery pack in 32 minutes using an external ‘dump pack’. Dave mentioned that he’s already driven the vehicle 50 miles. He also said that it will likely have a 144V total pack with dual 72V motor systems. Dave said that the two most expensive components so far are the twin BSD meters. BSD meters are an exceptionally useful battery information meter made by long-time SEVA member Bruce Sherry ~

Stephen Johnsen and Steve Lough had talked before the meeting and decided that SEVA would hold elections for the following positions:

  • President
  • Vice-President
  • Secretary
  • Treasurer

The plan is to allow nominations at the May SEVA meeting and then brief speeches and the actual voting at the June meeting.

As usual SEVA member John Mark brought EAA membership forms and SEVA gained at least 1 new member. As of last count, SEVA is the largest chapter of the Electric Auto Association.

The SEVA raffle occurred but only yielded a measly $10. Treasurer John Frost had left for the night so Stephen Johnsen took the $10 to be deposited in the SEVA account.

Finally, Chad Schwitters shared a very exciting story about his <3,000 mile epic Tesla roadtrip from Seattle to San Diego and back to Seattle. His dirty yellow roadster had just returned and was in the parking lot for all to see! Chad wanted to prove to the nay-sayers that one CAN take a long trip in an EV. All in all it was a great adventure but Chad found that everything that could go wrong, did go wrong! He drove all the way from Seattle to Portland and charged at a hotel there. Then he headed down Hwy 101 stopping at Reedsport where he had to use a 120V outlet. Then to Crescent City, CA to a KOA campground with 50A service. Chad found that many RV parks did not really know what voltage they had and that it was best to ask what AMPERAGE was available in order to determine if there was 50A 240V service. Chad encountered dryers which turned out to be natural gas powered instead of electric and some areas where he had to take hours to charge from a 120V outlet. He endured tripped circuit breakers, snow, a power outage and eventually even melted his NEMA 14-50 adapter. Luckily, he was able to order another adapter setup from Tesla at Menlo Park and then he was able to use the HPC high amperage Tesla puplic charging stations from the Bay Area down to San Diego and back up until he could get the new Tesla unit. As it turned out the new unit had trouble and with internet help from other Tesla owners Chad did an in-the-field repair of his RFMC connector which had a bad clamp. The farthest distance Chad traveled in between charges was about 214 miles. He usually went 55 miles per hour on the drive until he got to So Cal where he did 65mph. In Chico California, people were surprised to see their official EV Charging station actually getting used for perhaps the first time since it had been set up. Chad was also surprised to find that their station consisted of a measly 120V outlet! He got about 3 miles of range back while he ate dinner and had the opportunity to advocate for higher voltage and amperage outlets! All in all it was a historic adventure and a great opportunity for a SEVA member to dispel the range myth on a long road trip! More photos from the journey can be found here:

Last but certainly not least, Cory Cross of Pacific EV warned about over torquing Thundersky and Sky Energy cells (Don’t go over 100 inch pounds!) and he showed off Pacific EV’s new BMS. The BMS is for lithium cells and goes on each individual cell. Each board is expected to cost about $25 and then there will be one interface unit to tie them all together. Contact Cory or Pacific EV for more information.

The next SEVA meeting will be May 11, 2010 and more information can be found at SEVA’s website: