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SEVA Primary Audiences

  1. Person who wants to buy an EV
  2. Person who simply wants to learn more about EVs
  3. Person who wants to convert an existing car to an EV
  4. SEVA members
  5. Advocates – policy makers, agencies and organizations that benefit from EV adoption

Goal: Motivate people to Take Action!

Homepage graphic could have rolling photos or stories so it grabs people’s attention. Spell things out, don’t use abbreviations.

Learn More

Save Money

Electric Vehicles save you money in three ways:

  1. Tax incentives when you purchase (or lease) a new vehicle
    • Buyers of new all-electric vehicles pay NO SALES TAX in Washington State [Link to]. That could save you thousands of dollars. This Washington tax exemption applies only to all-electric vehicles. Plug-in vehicles augmented with a range extension motor such as the Chevy Volt or the Toyota Plug-in Prius do not qualify for this exemption. [See RCW ------ (hyperlink)]
    • The federal government will give you a credit on your income taxes of up to $7,500 for purchasing a new all-electric or plug-in electric vehicle. If you purchase a plug-in electric vehicle [link to “types of electric vehicles”] with a 20(?) kwHr or larger battery your credit will be $7,500 [link to “vehicles that provide $7,500 tax credit]. Get income tax credit forms at (hyperlink).
    • The federal government will give you a credit on your income taxes of 30% of the cost to purchase and install electric vehicle charging equipment in your home up to a maximum of $1,000. This applies to businesses as well? up to a maximum of $?. [Link to IRS Tax Form] The typical cost to purchase a Level II home charger is $500-$1,000 and $250-$1,000 for installation costs depending on your house and the ease or difficulty of providing 220V power to the charging station.
  2. Fuel costs
    • Driving 25 miles costs about $4.00 for a gallon of gasoline while it costs only about 35 cents for the equivalent amount of power from electricity. Much of the energy contained in gasoline is lost in combustion and heat whereas the efficiency of batteries and their electric drive means the fuel cost for electric vehicles is one-tenth the cost of gasoline-powered cars.
    • Electricity costs are regulated and predictable. Contrast that to gasoline, which has costs significantly more volatile and is becoming more scarce and more expensive to extract.
    • [Insert chart comparing gas and electricity prices for WA]
    • Washingtonians spend more than 64% of their annual energy bill on vehicle fuel. [divide total gas used by nbr households times current gas price]
    • Wouldn’t you prefer stable fuel costs and less expensive fuel for your automobile?
  3. Vehicle maintenance
    • Electric vehicles have a simple powertrain [Link to elegant design section] with about 80% fewer moving parts than gasoline-powered vehicles {get source for this number}.
    • They don’t require oil changes.
    • Electric vehicles do not use antifreeze.
    • Electric vehicles do not use oil to lubricate their engine.
    • Electric vehicles will never need a valve job, injector cleaning or many of the other expensive maintenance requirements of gasoline cars.
    • Electric vehicles do not require the typical $300 service costs at 15,000, 30,000, 45,000, 60,000 miles.
    • The only service that electric vehicles typically require is tire rotations every 7,000 miles and air conditioning coolant replacement at 100,000 miles.

Ideally we do one of these cost comparison series for

  1. New Vehicle
  2. Used Vehicle
  3. Leased New Vehicle

Go ahead and compare the real costs of Electric Vehicles to their Gasoline counterparts

After user makes selections the next page is displayed.

NOTE: There is no such thing as a 2011 Coda sedan, because Coda’s first and only model was released in March 2012. Also, the cost was not $28,000, but about $30,000 after the federal tax credit. Because these cars are not for sale anymore, this might not be the best comparison.

Optionally, we could pair up EPA MPG data against the WA registered vehicles data to get an estimate. Or could simply compare total gallons of gas used in WA compared to what it would look like using all electricity. Assume all vehicles use the “price per gallon”, “miles driven per year”, and “cost per kwHr” the user selected.

These are the assumptions and sources of data for the above cost comparisons.

Do a lease option and a purchase option cost comparison for WA. Allow users to pick their make, model and year of their current car (establish combined hwy/city MPG and initial purchase MSRP), current cost for gasoline, current cost for electricity, : Incorporate PluginAmerica stats into the above spreadsheet which would then be used to drive the new flash graphic below: Create new graphic that illustrates costs like PluginAmerica Maybe show the following using one page where users select the make/model and then we show them the answer for WA. Maybe link from each row to a sample owners manual page showing the standard maintenance required between an electric car and an ICE.

Elegant Design

(or Simple Design or “What’s Under the Hood”) - Steve to edit

Walk thru an EV, video showing details/features and describing how it works. Start every morning with a fully charged battery after charging your car while you sleep. It’s like having a gas station in your garage and filling your tank every day. Plugging a Nissan Leaf into a normal 110V outlet at 7pm and leaving for work the next day at 7am will provide about a 60% charge and a range of approximately (13.2kwHr x 3.6 miles/kwHr).

Electric vehicles have approximately 80% fewer moving parts than internal combustion engines:

  • No gas tank
  • No fuel pump/filter
  • No transmission/clutch
  • No exhaust system
  • No alternator/spark plugs
  • No timing belts
  • No radiator

Electric Vehicles are much more efficient at converting energy to motion. Better image available?

  • You have a “gas station” in your garage: Start ever y day with a “full tank.”
  • Use your Electric Vehicle for the everyday driving, leave the long-range driving to your fossil fuel car

Also get some stats from the EPA/government alternate fuels website. Is there a better image (have one done professionally, use a production EV?)

{Maybe use the image on the first page of Current Events May 2013, see below}

Show photo of typical EV mechanic in suit and tie vs greasy ICE mechanic. EVs offer clean, high tech jobs.

Electric vehicle parts last far longer than their gas/diesel counterparts:

  • Electric motors can last 1,000,000 miles
  • DC/AC converters can last ?? miles
  • Batteries can last 8+ years before needing replacement

Driving Experience

(Steve/Pat to help edit)

DRIVING EXPERIENCE – The weight of the batteries creates a low center of gravity giving electric vehicles exceptional handling and cornering capability. The electric motor delivers instant torque (acceleration) at all speeds with no hesitations for shifting gears. They have only one gear! As soon as your foot touches the accelerator, it is uncanny to feel such power catapulting you forward, instantly and silently, without the roar of a gasoline engine. Compare specs between EVs and ICE vehicles of comparable cost/features (show you can get more performance at less cost with an EV?[link to Save Money]). See when EV Meets (test drives) are happening in your neighborhood. [Link to Current Events] Gobs of low-end torque, better than luxury-car smooth acceleration, better than sports-car throttle response, incredible traction, Show the list of production EVs and how they have to meet the same crash test standards as gas cars and are one of the highest-rated crash test vehicles (Leaf). Show 0-60 stats and 0-30 stats for production ICE vs comparable EVs (or maybe get 0-50 km/hr, 0-100km/hr for Europe standards) from Motor Trend or other car magazines. Do the same list Plug in America has, hard code the specifications into this web page. Drag racing (flip a switch you can go from 200 hp to 420 hp and triple the torque on the fly), Steve has drag racing videos

Electric Vehicle Owner Profiles

By Grace Reamer

Would you give up your cell phone?

Me neither. I have my life in that little black box – appointments, phone numbers, addresses, birthdays, e-mail, grocery list, music, and more. Texting is the only way I can contact my daughter. I can’t imagine what I would do without it.

And yet, I was one of the late adopters. When everyone else was raving about their flip phones (remember them?), I was rationalizing why I should avoid being seduced by the new technology: “I don’t use the phone much anyway. I don’t need something more versatile. It’s too much trouble. It’s too expensive.”

Boy, was I wrong. But now, those same arguments sure sound familiar when skeptics start talking about electric vehicles. This time, I did my research.

A couple of years ago, as my husband (Mr. B) and I started considering an EV, we didn’t know anyone who drove one. We depended on talking to dealers – not always the best source of practical information – and reading reviews on the Internet. With so much misinformation out there in cyberspace, it was confusing to figure out if this revolutionary step was right for us. I know I would have appreciated the opportunity to hear directly from other EV drivers about why they switched from gasoline, and how their lives had changed as a result. Maybe that would have averted some anxiety, plus provided me with some snappy comebacks for skeptical friends and relatives with their shaking heads and dire warnings.

With that in mind, I would like to share my story.

Before the EV, the main thing I noticed about cars was whether they were big and loud, or small and not-so-loud, and if they worked or not. I am not a gearhead, by any measuring device. I rarely even drive a vehicle. My daily commute is on a bus – an electric trolley bus. That’s where I started learning about the advantages of EVs.

In Seattle – land of hills, where flat surfaces exist only on water – the bus system has long since figured out the most efficient operation. Diesel buses run on the flattest freeways, and hybrid diesel-electric buses run in the transit tunnel and on most suburban routes. But the most demanding steep hills in the city are reserved for the electric trolley buses. They are the only vehicles that have the instant torque and power to take an overloaded coach with 70 people up an 8-percent grade from a standing start – in the rain. And the electric buses are quiet. The bus stop is right outside my back door. I know when the trolley bus arrives because the people getting off are louder than the electric motor. In contrast, when a diesel bus pulls up to the stop, the deafening engine noise puts all conversation on hold until the bus continues up the street.

But why an all-electric vehicle? our friends and relatives wanted to know, as if we were trading in our house on an igloo. Why not a nice hybrid, or a Smart car, or a newer, more fuel-efficient truck? Those are good questions, and all things that we considered. I remembered the lesson of the cell phone. This new technology might seem complex and scary, but it is as simple as talking on a phone with a battery and transmitter instead of a cord. And driving an EV is as profoundly different as the first crank phone is from a new smart phone.

I still remember my first time behind the wheel of an EV. I was unprepared for the dramatic difference from driving a gasoline car. As soon as your foot touches the accelerator, it is uncanny to feel such power catapulting you forward, instantly and silently, without the roar of a gasoline engine. Stepping down with the firmness of a traditional gas pedal yields a gravity-defying force that pins you to the seat. This must be what it's like in a rocket headed to the moon. If possible, the handling is even more responsive, thanks to the weight of the batteries that allow an EV to hug the road on curves like the most tricked-out dragster. Merging in freeway traffic is a whole new, and even fun, experience when that instant power of a 134 hp motor combines with a 31kW battery allows you to slip effortlessly into a narrowing gap. The temptation to show off the EV's superior acceleration characteristics is strong, but I try to avoid inciting road rage. The experience reminds me of sailing, like flying silently over the roadway.

After a few months of EV experience, I tried going back to driving a borrowed ICE (internal combustion engine) vehicle. It proved to be challenging without that instant acceleration at the touch of the pedal. In comparison, the ICE car seemed sluggish and unresponsive. What a happy reminder about the beauty and utility of the EV's simplicity.

Ultimately, the decision to convert to an EV came down to cost. As people of modest means, we naturally were concerned about the higher initial cost of most EVs. The sticker price, however, tells very little of the real story. After crunching some numbers, we estimated that the savings on gasoline, maintenance and oil changes would almost cover the monthly loan payments on a new electric car. In fact, the savings would add up so quickly, that the price difference between an EV and a comparable gasoline vehicle would be paid back within two years! As for longer-term operating costs, an EV pencils out so much less that it is by far the most practical alternative for us.

Cheaper, cleaner transportation also fits well in our low-impact lifestyle that includes recycling, composting, repairing instead of replacing, growing organic vegetables and fruit, and conserving water and energy. When you don’t have a lot of money, you can’t afford luxuries such as new clothing styles, out-of-season raspberries or enormous utility bills.

Because the majority of electricity generated in the Pacific Northwest comes from clean, renewable, inexpensive hydropower, the region is a prime place to use electric vehicles. Solar energy also is feasible here, even in rainy Seattle. We had a 4.5kW photovoltaic system installed on our roof two years ago. The 30-percent federal tax rebate we got for the solar installation project covered the down payment on the electric car. Thanks to solar power, we estimate our average vehicle charging costs at less than $1 a day. The $400 monthly [@ $3.00/gal of gas? PRICE PER GALLON DOESN’T MATTER. IT’S THE TOTAL OUT-OF-POCKET EXPENSE THAT PEOPLE CARE ABOUT.] gasoline bill is gone. The oil changes and regular service visits are history. Our mechanic misses us.

Before choosing our EV, we checked out all the electric vehicles available on the market and took several test drives. We decided on the five-passenger Coda sedan from a new California company for its best-in-class 125-mile range, its battery management system, and its relatively compact size yet roomy interior that fits Mr. B’s tall personage. We couldn’t afford a Tesla, and the Nissan Leaf didn’t have the range we needed for Mr. B’s daily commute. It may not be flashy, but the Coda is quiet, efficient, dependable, inexpensive to operate, affordable, and above all, practical to drive every day. At nine months, we reached 15,000 maintenance-free miles. The Coda fits our lifestyle.

Just like mobile technology has revolutionized communications, EVs are starting to change the way we think about transportation. It won't be long before drivers realize that charging your electric car is as easy as plugging in your cell phone. The plot below illustrates our total energy costs from 2010 thru 2012.

By Mark and Sara Schiller

Like most families we had two gas powered cars – a 2003 truck and a 1994 Mercedes Benz station wagon. When we decided to get a new car we did a lot of research and eventually decided on the Nissan Leaf. We bought a Leaf for really three reasons – we wanted to buy a car from a manufacturer that had a high likelihood of being in business five years from now; second, because we wanted to buy a car from a manufacturer that was really promoting and supportive of electric vehicles, and finally price. Our kids attend a local school and we both work downtown (6.5 miles from our home) so our required daily range is not extensive. We waited until the 2013 model became available and were one of the first to buy that model in March 2013. Since that time, we absolutely love our Leaf. We took a picture of the price of gasoline the night we drove it home which was $3.93 per gallon. We use the Leaf for virtually all driving we do. The only times we have not used it have been on trips that were 100 miles or more away, and in those cases we drive our fairly low MPG truck. We typically drive the Leaf about 25 miles a day during the work week. We generally plug the Leaf in at around 7pm every other night and leave it plugged in until about 7am the next morning. With that we get about a 60% charge which can power us for three days comfortably. We decided not to install a Level II charger although we may in the future; at this point it does not seem necessary. So far we have never needed to charge the Leaf outside our house – we’ve always used a standard 110V outlet in our garage. Prior to our Leaf purchase, we typically spent about $200/month in gas at $3.50 – 4.00/gallon. Since we purchased the Leaf we have spent a total of $??? on gas.

By Chad Hohn

I initially went looking to place an order for a Nissan leaf in June of 2011 when the vehicles were first hitting the lot. I showed up to poke around and get a taste of excitement at the dream of owning this new technology. I was expecting that I would be waiting for several months like everyone else who happened to be interested in the vehicle, little did I know what would be in store for me! With its benefits of not paying for gas while producing zero emissions I was entirely captivated with the idea of owning and driving a fully electric vehicle and it just so happened that someone who reserved a leaf declined the purchase of it the very same day I happened to walk into the Nissan of Auburn dealership. While I showed interest in purchasing this vehicle I thought there would be no way I could make it work - I mean face it I was 20 years old when I walked into the dealership on this sunny Washington day. Fortunately I found someone the next day who wanted to buy my 1999 Honda Civic! My Grandmother Co-Signed the loan and I walked out the door a proud owner of a brand new Nissan Leaf! After signing up for the Blink charging station program through EcoTality I received a free home charger installed for quick level 2 charging which enabled the Leaf to be the only vehicle I own. I have driven over 26,000 miles in just under 2 years. The most exciting part of owning a Leaf is the fact that it has so much available instant torque, its more than capable of beating any teenagers “Ricer” off the line at a stoplight with ease and is as quiet as a breeze. Oh, did I mention that including the fact that it is very up to date with Bluetooth music and calling, backup camera, available USB ports, LED headlights that will last for many years beyond normal headlights and a solar panel on the spoiler to charge the 12v battery that runs electronics inside, I HAVEN’T PAID FOR GAS IN 2 YEARS!!! The Leaf is not only up to date in awesomeness, it’s also cost effective!

By Kenneth G. Johnsen, D.D.S

My son Stephen Johnsen gets the credit for stirring my interest in electric vehicles. In long discussions with him I changed from my belief that hydrogen would eventually power our cars to the firm commitment that electric propulsion is the only practical way. Through Stephen I met Jeff Thomas and purchased a 1998 Chevrolet S-10EV truck in 2005. I drove that great little truck to work every day for over five years. It was a wonderful first EV. In early 2011 I purchased a Nissan Leaf which extended my range and creature comforts. By that time, though, I had my eye on Tesla's Model S Sedan. Its production was still a couple years away when I put money down on one. I drove the Leaf for a year and a half and then took delivery of my Model S in December of 2012. The Model S is basically a rocket on wheels, a sports car disguised as a sedan. When I drive it, speeds of over 100 miles per hour are not unusual. I have never enjoyed a car as much as I am enjoying my Model S. I still have the S-10EV and the Leaf--can't bear to part with them--but the Tesla is the car of the future. With its 300 mile range, my driving is not confined to the Seattle area anymore. I love it!!

I am a strong believer that the United States should kick the petroleum habit. I have had a solar energy system installed on my office building in Kent which produces more than enough electricity to charge my electric vehicles. Because it is solar, it is clean energy. So my transportation needs are met with clean, unending perpetual energy from the sun. Yes, there is a high initial cost for the car and the solar energy system. But there are great tax credits and other incentives which lower the cost. In eight years my solar system and Leaf will be paid for through the savings. If everyone in the United States did this, we would not need to fight any more Mideast wars and we would not be held in servitude to the petroleum companies. Clean electric transportation should be one of our country's highest priorities.

Creates a Stronger Local Economy

Focus on “domestically produced fuel” rather than how “green” EVs are.

  • Electricity is produced locally and electric vehicle infrastructure is installed locally, creating jobs and economic investment in Washington State.
  • Electric vehicles create a more diverse transportation infrastructure, providing greater flexibility to deal with shocks in the fuel-supply system.
  • More diverse transportation energy sources (wind, solar, hydro, natural gas).
  • In January of 2013 in Washington State, 98.3% of all passenger cars and 90% of all personally used trucks can run only on gasoline <ref>2011 WA state department of licensing.</ref>.
  • Find out how many jobs in WA are oil-related. What if we generated all WA energy in WA – how many jobs would that create? If we simply replaced the $’s we spend on gasoline on biodiesel produced in WA – what additional revenue would that generate for the state (along with jobs)?.
  • Based on an economic assessment of the impacts if 45% of the light duty vehicle fleet in California was converted to plug-in electric vehicles, by 2030 <ref>Plug in Electric Vehicle Deployment in California, An Economic Assesstment, David Roland-Holst, September 2012 </ref>:
    • Light-duty vehicle electrification can be a potent catalyst for economic growth, contributing up to 100,000 additional jobs by 2030.
    • On average, a dollar saved at the gas pump and spent on the other goods and services that households want creates 16 times more jobs.
    • Unlike the fossil fuel supply chain, the majority of new demand financed by PEV fuel cost savings goes to in-state services, a source of diverse, bedrock jobs that are less likely to be outsourced.
    • Individual Californians gain from economic growth associated with fuel cost savings due to vehicle electrification, whether they buy a new car or not. As a result of light-duty vehicle electrification, the average real wages and employment increase across the economy and incomes grow faster for low-income groups than for high-income groups.

Fuel costs are driving higher business expenses. Brent, a small business owner, who runs an air conditioning repair business in Albuquerque, New Mexico, typifies these rising costs. Since 2006, he's laid off 12 employees, and is now down to just himself and one employee. Together, they're spending $1,200 a month on gasoline to get to jobs in a relatively new cargo van, and a truck that averages about 10 mpg. Behind payroll and insurances, gas has become his third-largest expense. <ref>How High Gas Prices Could Help the Economy, Lisa Margonelli, Jun 9 2011,</ref>

Help the Environment

Electric Vehicles help the environment in two ways:

  • Much, much cleaner air (less smog) and much less CO2 [and other pollutants] emitted into the atmosphere
  • Cleaner local waterways (no oil dripping from the engine onto roadways and washing into storm drains)
  • Cleaner Air
  • Electricity in Washington is produced mostly by clean, renewable sources – hydropower, wind and solar - which DO NOT produce carbon emissions, smog, or contribute to global warming. In Washington, the fossil fuel transportation system produces 45% of the CO2 and 45% of the water pollution [source?]. Electric vehicles produce zero of these tailpipe pollutants.
  • The American Lung Association states, “smog and fine particle emissions generated by the combustion of petroleum fuels cause immediate and lifelong respiratory impacts. Greenhouse gases emitted today will continue to threaten respiratory health for generations to come.” <ref> from</ref>
  • Include another American Lung Association study describing how our air would look based on an all EV transportation system.
  • Reduce cradle to grave CO2 by factor of 4 (23/92) compared to current fossil fuel fuels. <ref name=LowCarbonFuel>Low Carbon Fuel Standards final report (fuelstandards_finalreport_02182011</ref>
  • Research on neighborhood air pollution attributable to freeway traffic was conducted from an EV operated by the study team from UCLA, USC, and CARB. As long as the majority of freeway traffic consists of air polluting gassers, this research offers suggestions about health risks measured within 1.5 mi of any freeway. Early morning hours are the worst. Ultrafine particles (UFD) were even detected upwind from traffic. <ref></ref>

Cleaner Local Waterways

  • Use oil to lubricate your engine (env – gas and oil not leaking on roadways and polluting waterways)
  • Washington State spends $50,000,000 annually to clean up Puget Sound. The number one contributor to this pollution is stormwater runoff and oil from cars is the biggest component of that runoff. <ref>Beyond Oil conference (what speaker?)</ref> An electrified transportation system will dramatically reduce these pollutants.
  • Helps preserve habitat for endangered fish species. <ref>Billy Frank, Jr, Chair of the NW Indian Fisheries Commission. </ref>
  • Helps keep the United States and other countries from polluting its fresh water systems by reducing demand for oil and natural gas collected via fracking, coal and tar sands oil.
  • Controlling the release of petroleum into Puget Sound storm water systems is one of four high-priority actions identified in the Control of Toxic Chemicals in Puget Sound study completed in 2011. The major sources of petroleum are diffuse, such as motor oil drips and leaks and minor gasoline spillage during vehicle fueling, and therefore offer ample opportunities for reduction efforts. <ref>Control of Toxic Chemicals in Puget Sound , Washington State Department of Ecology, 2011. PugetSoundStormwaterAnalysis.pfd (xx)</ref>
  • Electric vehicles are the only option that gets greener as time goes on, as new sources of electrical generation come from non-polluting, renewable sources such as solar and wind power.

Lost References:

(6) Electric cars, Difference Engine: Tailpipe truths,
? Less Emitted CO2

Get WA state stats

Use the image of the full fuel cycle above. Pollution is a kind of environmental tax that most legislators are not intent on fixing. When legislators take responsibility for air quality, like they are with highway construction/repair taxation, EV owners deserve to be un-taxed. Subsidies offered to EV buyers are fully justified by their clean air advantages, particularly in the NW due to charging from renewable energy sources. [discuss the many tax benefits the fossil fuel industry receives] Here is a LINK to the EAA Web site, where, if you are interested one can down-load the whole slide Presentation. ( )

Electric Vehicle History

Might also link to

Electric vehicles are making a current day resurgence, but have a history that goes all the way back to the 1830s when, according to the Library of Congress, Scotland's Robert Anderson created the first electric carriage some 50 years prior to Karl Benz's first gasoline powered horseless carriage. In the 1830s, when Dutch inventor Sibrandus Stratingh created an electromagnetic cart, electric vehicles stood out as the cleaner, cost-effective option to the steam or internal combustion engine. Stratingh's invention evolved into actual cars in the late 1800s that could move at low speeds using rechargeable batteries. Quieter and less noxious than their gas-powered counterparts, these electric cars surpassed them in popularity in the early part of the 20th century. One of the best-selling vehicles of that time was the Columbia Runabout, which could go 40 miles on a single charge and run at speeds up to 15 m.p.h. In addition, Henry Ford's wife, Clara, drove her own 1914 Detroit Electric in and around Dearborn, Michigan from 1916 until 1930.


In the late 1890s electric vehicles (EVs) outsold gasoline cars 10 to 1. EVs dominated the roads and dealer showrooms. Some automobile companies, like Oldsmobile and Studebaker, actually started out as successful EV companies, only later transitioning to gasoline-powered vehicles. The first car dealerships were exclusively for EVs. In 1900, for instance, out of the total of 2,370 automobiles found in New York, Chicago and Boston, 800 of those cars were fully electric. Surprisingly, only 400 cars were powered by gasoline and the remaining 1,170 were steam-powered automobiles -- popular because at the time steam technology was familiar and proven [source: Sulzberger]. Early production of EVs, like all cars, was accomplished by hand assembly. In 1910, volume production of gasoline-powered cars was achieved with the motorized assembly line. This breakthrough manufacturing process killed off all but the most well-financed car builders. Independents, unable to buy components in volume, died off. The infrastructure for electricity was almost non-existent outside of city boundaries – limiting EVs to city-only travel. Another contributing factor to the decline of EVs was the addition of an electric motor (called the starter) to gasoline powered cars – finally removing the need for the difficult and dangerous crank to start the engine. Due to these factors, by the end of World War I, production of electric cars stopped and EVs became niche vehicles – serving as taxis, trucks, delivery vans, and freight handlers. In the late 1960s and early 1970s, there was a rebirth of EVs prompted by concerns about air pollution and the OPEC oil embargo. In the early 1990s, a few major automakers resumed production of EVs – prompted by California’s landmark Zero Emission Vehicle (ZEV) Mandate. Those EVs were produced in very low volumes – essentially hand-built like their early predecessors. However, as the ZEV mandate was weakened over the years, the automakers stopped making EVs – Toyota was the last major auto maker to stop EV production in 2003. But EVs would not die, and a resurgence in EVs began with the Tesla Roadster in 2008. Timeline

  • 1834 Thomas Davenport invents the battery electric car – batteries were not rechargeable.
  • 1859 Gaston Plante invented rechargeable lead-acid batteries.
  • 1889 Thomas Edison built an EV using nickel-alkaline batteries.
  • 1895 First auto race in America, won by an EV.
  • 1896 First car dealer – EVs.
  • 1897 First vehicle with power steering – an EV. Electric self-starters 20 years before appearing in gas-powered cars.
  • 1898 NYC blizzard, only EVs were capable of transport on the roads. First woman to buy a car – it was an EV.
  • 1900 NYC’s huge pollution problem – horses. 2.5 million pounds of manure, 60,000 gallons of urine daily on the streets; 15,000 dead horses removed from the streets each year.
  • 1900 All cars produced: 33% steam cars, 33% EV, and 33% gasoline cars.
  • 1903 First speeding ticket – it was earned in an EV.
  • 1904 America has only 7% of the 2 million miles of roads better than dirt – only 141 miles, or less than one mile in 10,000 was “paved”.
  • 1908 Henry Ford buys his wife an EV. Many socialites gave a rousing endorsement for EVs, “It never fails me.”
  • 1910 Motorized assembly produces gas-powered cars in volume; reducing cost per vehicle.
  • 1912 38,842 EVs on the road. Horse drawn “tankers” deliver gasoline to gas stations.
  • 1913 Self-starter for gas cars (10 years later for the Model-T).
  • 1921 Federal Highway Act. By 1922, federal match (50%) for highway construction and repair (for mail delivery). Before this, roads were considered only “feeders” to railroads, and left to the local jurisdiction to fund.
  • 1956 National System of Interstate and Defense Highways. Funded 90% by states, and 90% by the federal government. (180%?!)
  • 1957 Sputnik is launched. The US space program initiates advanced battery R&D.
  • 1966 Gallup poll: 36 million really interested in EVs. At the time EVs had a top speed of 40 mph, and typical range less than 50 miles.
  • 1967 Walter Laski founds the Electric Auto Association.
  • 1968-1978 Congress passes more regulatory statues than ever before due to health risks associated with cars: collisions, dirty air.
  • 1972 First Annual EAA EV rally.
  • 1974 CitiCar debut at Electric Vehicle Symposium in Washington, DC. By 1975, VanguardSebring, maker of the CitiCar is the 6th largest auto maker in the US.
  • 1990 California establishes the Zero Emission Vehicle (ZEV) Mandate; requires 2% of vehicles to be ZEVs by 1998, 10% ZEVs by 2003.
  • 1990 GM shows their production EV initially named Impact; later it was re-named the EV-1.
  • 1990 US government spent $194 million on all energy efficient research. Much less than the $1 billion for a single day of Desert Storm, or the $1 billion per week of 2003 Iraq conflict.
  • 1993 GM estimated that it would take 3 months to collect names of 5,000 people interested in the EV-1 – it only took one week!
  • 1995 Renaissance Cars, Inc begins production of the Tropica.
  • 1996 EAA helps to hatch CALSTART incubator (for EV research) in Alameda, CA.
  • 1996 GM begins production of the EV-1 (formerly called the Impact).
  • 1997 Toyota Prius hybrid gas-electric vehicle unveiled at the Tokyo Auto Show.
  • 2002 Toyota RAV4-EV retail sales; their estimated 2-year supply sold out in 8 months.
  • 2003 California? ZEV Mandate weakened to allow ZEV credits for non-ZEVs. Toyota stops production of the RAV4-EV; Honda stops lease renewals of the EV-Plus; GM does the same for the EV-1.
  • 2003 AC Propulsion’s tZero earns highest grade at the Michelin Challenge Bibendum; tZero specs: 300 miles per charge, 0-60mph in 3.6 seconds, 100 mph top speed.
  • 2005 Commuter Cars’ Tango and AC Propulsion’s eBox EVs ship.
  • 2008 Tesla Roadster EV ships (0-60 in 3.7 seconds).
  • 2010 Nissan LEAF ships, GM Volt ships.
  • 2011 Fisker Karma ships, Th!nk City ships; BMW ActiveE available.
  • 2012 Tesla Model S, Coda Sedan, Ford Foucs EV, Mitsubishi i-MiEV, Toyota Rav4-EV ships.
  • 2013 Nissan reaches 50,000 LEAFs sold worldwide.


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Get An Electric Vehicle

Things to Know About Buying an Electric Vehicle

  • NO Sales Tax - Buyers of new all-electric vehicles pay NO SALES TAX in Washington State. At 9.5% in Seattle, that could save you thousands of dollars [Link to Save Money]. Learn more at [link to RCW]. Plug-in hybrid electric vehicles that have internal combustion engines to provide range extension do not qualify for this exemption (Volt, Prius).
  • Tax Credit for EV Purchase - The federal government will give you a credit on your income taxes of up to $7,500 for purchasing a new electric vehicle. You need to owe at least $7,500 in taxes or you don’t get the full tax credit. You receive this refund when you file your taxes for the year you purchase your vehicle. Get your tax credit here: If you lease an electric vehicle, make sure the seller/dealer passes the federal tax credit on to you. [Add Hyperlinks to IRS forms below.]
    • Form 8911 - Alternative Fuel Vehicle Refueling Property Credit - get a one-time credit of 30 percent of the cost of installing electric vehicle charging equipment. Anyone who purchased a home charging station and wants an refund for the sales tax they paid, or anyone who is considering purchasing a home charging station and wants to claim the Washington state exemption:
    • Form 6251 - Alternative Minimum Tax - Individuals. Required for anyone filing Form 8911, even if you do not owe or pay the alternative minimum tax.
    • Form 8834 - Qualified Plug-in Electric and Electric Vehicle Credit - get a one-time credit for the purchase of a two- or three-wheeled electric vehicle or a low-speed four-wheeled vehicle acquired before 2012.
    • Form 8936 - Qualified Plug-in Electric Drive Motor Vehicle Credit - get a one-time credit of up to $7,500 on the purchase of a new plug-in electric vehicle

If you finance an electric vehicle you will need to finance the entire purchase price less any money you put down on the initial purchase. Does not apply to leasing – describe how that works relative to the $7,500 tax rebate. (I don’t see the relevance here.)

  • ELECTRICITY AVAILABLE - Make sure you have a regular household 110-volt outlet available to charge your new vehicle at home. You can use any electrical outlet in a garage or on the exterior of a house. You can install a 220-volt charging station at home, and if you do, the federal government will give you a 30% federal tax credit on your purchas.
  • CHARGE ANYWHERE – All production electric vehicles come with a 110-volt adapter for charging at any household electrical outlet. You can plug in wherever you are visiting and top off the battery. Put your car to work while you are working, shopping, dining or enjoying entertainment.
  • CONVERSIONS – if you buy a vehicle that has been converted from gasoline to all-electric power, it qualifies for the federal tax credit the first time it is sold.
  • USED ELECTRIC VEHICLES – Any purchase of an electric vehicle after initial ownership does not qualify for the federal tax credit.
  • ROAD USAGE CHARGE – In Washington State, electric vehicles pay an annual $100 road usage charge, in lieu of paying gas taxes, to fund road maintenance and construction.
  • BATTERIES – The lithium batteries used to power today’s electric vehicles are extremely stable and long-lasting. Most batteries will maintain a viable charge for 8-10 years or more. Testing proves batteries can last up to 20 years [link to recent battery article] and real world experience indicates most batteries experience very little de-gredation in capacity after three years of driving [link to Nissan article].
  • RANGE - Battery pack size determines your maximum range. The larger the kWh of your battery pack, the further you can drive before having to recharge, but also the more your car will cost and the longer it will take to completely recharge your vehicle. Generally, 1 kWh = about 4 miles of range. Larger battery packs also require longer to charge for the same type of charger.
  • Retailers, EVs for sale on current seva website, manufactures, insurance
  • AVAILABLE VEHICLES – Following is a list of production plug-in electric vehicles available for sale in Washington State in 2013:
Vehicle Pages Conversions Racing Local For Sale Production Electric vehicle W:BatteryEV W:EV
Available NOW! 2013 Toyota RAV4 EV Chevrolet Spark Chevrolet Volt Fiat 500e Fisker Karma Ford Focus EV
Mitsubishi i-MiEV Nissan Leaf Tesla Motors Tesla Model S Tesla Roadster Toyota Plug-In Prius
Prototype Phoenix Motorcars Tango T600 ACP tzero Venturi Fetish Wrightspeed X1 XS200 EV NmG Sparrow Eliica Supercar
Y2K Crushed GM EV1 Chevrolet S10_EV Chrysler TEVan Ford Ranger_EV Honda EV_Plus 2002 Toyota RAV4_EV Solectria Force Nissan Altra Nissan Hypermini

Talk about Warranty – what do you want, what’s typical, stability of manufacturer.

For conversions, where do you get your conversion insured.

Checkout what’s on the MyNissanLeaf post (Brian mentioned)

Discuss studies by PG&E that indicate there would be very few grid impacts if 50-100% of vehicles were Electric Vehicles. Reference state listing of GHG study. -link to save money for the selected EV.  

Convert Your Car

Links to local classes, Steve to help, What’s involved, how much will it cost. Have seva members post pictures of their conversions, provide templates for low end conversion, mid level, high end, tradeoffs, batteries, costs. What can go wrong. (Pat to write up his classes conversion high end, Charlie Tsai – z3 convertible/high end, Jeff Finn?, Mike Foster – geo metro)  

Charge Your Electric Vehicle

Join a Charging Network

Find a Charging Station

Fast Charging stations are being constructed all across Washington State and also into British Columbia, Oregon and California. Go to and select the DCFast Charge option.

Provide links to charging station companies (PluginAmerica has a list). (This graphic should include the labels of Level 1, 2 and 3).

Learn About EV Charging

Buy an EV Charger

Discuss charging at home vs public charging outside your home (Keven)

  • Links to Plug in, Blink, Plug Share
  • Links to charging station manufactures
  • has good graphic like that below.

About SEVA

After 100 years of being bombarded with advertising targeted at selling us gasoline-powered vehicles, we must make a radical shift in our thinking to understand a change similar to what our great-great grandparents had to do to shift from the horse-drawn carriage to the horseless carriage. Financial investment anaylsts assessing the potential of the current electric vehicle manufacturers' technology refer to the renewed electric vehicles now available as a disruptive technology because it has the potential of impacting society in the same way microcomputer technology has changed the way we live. Seattle Electric Vehicle Association members have been preparing the way for the wide-spread adoption of electric vehicles for more than 30 years.

How to join SEVA


Calendar of EVents

Provide a calendar of upcoming EVents - SEVAs and others? Current events Make this editable by more than one person for maintenance purposes.  



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