SEVA Meeting Minutes – July 2014

SEVA Meeting Minutes: July 8, 2014, Called to order. Officers introduced. 46 persons in attendance.

6:30pm Our usual informal “car show” in the parking lot drew an unusually large number of attendees … and some casual visitors as well. Must be summer!.

7:00pm Meeting begins inside
-Introduction and new EV news:

-GREENWOOD CAR SHOW! SEVA set another record for the biggest car club in attendance. As one of its organizers put it in a news article, “When these guys show up, they show up in force!” State Rep Reuven Carlyle was in attendance as well. President Emeritus Steve Lough gave a re-cap of the show.

Our costs were low (thanks to donations), the weather was mild, and a good time had by all. The electric Studebaker won an award!

-Future events: University Congregational Church would like to host an electric car show in support of their congregation’s emphasis on the environment. The event is AUGUST 17th nice to see some cars there..

-Big Green Picnic is August 12th

-KUOW’s “Sound of the Day” was a drag-racing EV in full acceleration. It made a nice promotion for the Greenwood Auto Show.

–Don “Big Daddy” Garlits was the first drag racer to break the 200mph barrier. And he has vowed to become the first drag racer to do it in an electric drag racer. (NOTE: An electric motorcycle has already achieved this feat with two wheels.)

-Our events coordinator gave us a heads-up presentation on the up-and-coming SOLARFEST as well as many other events. It is car show season. Keeping track of them all is like trying to drink from a fire-hose. More events here than space will allow, but be CERTAIN to check out the events calendar on SEVA’s website!

-The BC2BC Rally will be coming to Seattle in August. Many thanks to WSDOT and the other agencies who have come together to make this a reality.

-The Kirkland Legends is having an event on the 27th

-Silent Thunder All-Electric Nationals! September 6 at the race track.

-Charles Knutson, the special policies advisor to Governor Inslee, was a surprise special guest. He told the membership “I feel like this is THE year for EVs!” There are advocacy study groups looking into charging stations, and doing EV-friendly projects across the State. He added, “This is about jobs, this is about saving money, this is about a cleaner environment, this is about reducing carbon output and this is about leadership.”

-Joint Transportation Committee had its first webinar conference with President Stephen in attendance. There will be a full report due out in 2015 but some interesting bits of info are: WA has over 7,500 registered EVs in the state. We have the largest number of EVs per capita of any state, with fully half of them in King County. There are 12 different models of EVs available. The number of EVs being introduced are OUTPACING hybrids back when they were first brought to market, a sure sign of high acceptance in the marketplace.

-CHAD SCHWITTERS – Shared some insightful opinions about the different EVs being offered by the various automakers and how and why they are each different. The big auto industry is extremely mature (they’ve been creating essentially the same project for the last 100 years), they are capital intensive, they are very conservative, they are highly regulated, and they are not an industry that goes rushing towards risk and change.

Chad added: “We are not the auto industry’s customers …. The dealer networks are the auto industry’s customers.” We all know most manufacturers are legally enjoined from selling directly to us. And EVs are a hard sell from a traditional dealer viewpoint. “How do you sell a car that takes more time to explain, and that requires considerably LESS servicing, resulting in less revenue?” It takes – on average – one billion dollars to bring a new car to market. To justify this, auto makers are always going after volume. The big sellers will justify the expense. The niche cars, not so much.

-Tonia Buell (WSDOT) was another surprise guests. Her department has the responsibility for developing an EV action plan. One element of that plan is to have 50,000 EVs on the road by 2020. She has also been active in the multi-state ZEV action plan. Some things on Tonia’s radar include: Looking at extending the sales tax exemption or replacing it with a rebate. Expanding and strengthening the Electric Highway. Working with other EVSE providers and looking at budget increases.

Looking at taking the $100 renewal fee and devoting some or all of that money into improving EV infrastructure.

Signage, public outreach, incentives for businesses, adopting California’s ZEV mandate, and other projects. Looking for the “easy wins.”

-NEW FACES. SEVA had four new people at this meeting. Welcome!

No drawing winner this month.
Meeting adjourned at 9pm.