SEVA Meeting Minutes – April 2020



The April 14 meeting was conducted by Zoom. Ed Miles generously loaned his business Zoom account to SEVA for the purpose, and Ed conducted training in Zoom use.

The meeting was called to order by President Jay Donaway at about 7 p.m. Kevin Boze issued the gathering cry, modifying the words appropriately for Zoom.

Vice President Grace Reamer presented details about the official Washington policy concerning automotive sales and business under the coronavirus Stay Home order:


  • Grace reported that the pandemic and stay-at-home orders are having a very serious effect on car businesses. Car sales, with very specific exceptions, are not an essential business under the state’s orders.
  • Car servicing, however, is essential.
  • Service centers therefore are operating full-time. Purchase of new cars generally is forbidden as not essential, unless the sale is for one of the specific reasons qualifying to have an exemption issued.
  • One qualification would be a car purchase for an essential worker such as a first responder or workers at medical facilities or groceries, who sign a waiver issued by the state attesting that they’re essential.
  • Cars also may be sold to those needing to drive to work and who need to replace a totaled car or one too impractical to repair. You can extend a lease which is ending, and you may take delivery of a car already ordered and which has had a deposit paid. In all other cases, car purchases are forbidden.
  • This makes dealerships pretty empty. You must make an appointment even to go to a dealership, and the dealer may have only one employee and one customer in the building at a time. Social distancing and masks are required. Tesla stores still are selling some vehicles that they had in inventory before the March 23 factory shutdown.
  • Ordering vehicles is still possible, but delivery will wait until production resumes and the stay-at-home order is lifted.
  • Tesla is doing touchless deliveries; you call the delivery center and they tell you where your car is located; documents are in the car to be dropped off in the dropbox. Procedures change daily to keep up with all the restrictions.
  • There will likely be a big run on car purchases when restrictions end.

Ed share details about his new Arcimoto. It’s a three-wheeled city-commuter EV, a city vehicle, 100-mile range in-city, 30-35 highway. It’s legally a motorcycle, in Washington needing a tricycle endorsement. Front-wheel drive, handles nicely, steering can be a little hard. Regen on the front wheels, friction on all three, regen is pretty aggressive. A pretty sprightly car, quick steering at speed, Ed thinks 79 horsepower for a 1200-pound vehicle; a passenger doesn’t reduce the range much. Starting price is $19,900. There’s little customization. Ed thinks it would take 30 hours to drive it to Seattle from Eugene, where the car is built; it has a 16-amp level 2 charger and it won’t go fast or far on a charge.


The World Electric Vehicle Symposium in Portland in June is not yet cancelled, nor is Greenwood on June 27, at least not yet. (Both since have been canceled.) Drive Electric Earth Day on April 22 and 23 will be virtual. Most other April and May events, such as Bellevue College’s Earth Day, are cancelled. Jay has been in contact with Tacoma Power about their Ride-and-Drives; they’re interested in doing this one-on-one when pandemic restrictions start to ease.

Grace said that the Annual Summit of Women in EVs in Portland during the EV Symposium is cancelled; the announcement was today. They hope to reschedule it later in the year. Jay had been trying for two years to get hold of Forth to see about SEVA’s participation in the EV Symposium, but the update is that Forth isn’t coordinating the volunteers.

Shoreline Solarfest is canceled. Grace said that Drive Electric Week Earth Day events are cancelled or postponed, but there will be Zoom events starting at 11 AM on Earth Day. There will be live music, informative guest speakers, information about electric vehicle financial incentives, and engaging videos. RSVP to attend:

The NEDRA electric-drag races will be in Michigan, Saturday, August 15.

Deb requests that events be posted on the list and/or e-mailed to her to post on the website.

Good of the order.

Jay gave an update on EV Works. They’re doing grocery delivery on Bainbridge Island in a lime-green M&M-colored VW bus that the company has just converted, proceeds being sent to a food bank. They have a resurrected NEV doing food deliveries on Main Street. They’ve put thousands of miles of testing on their 2011 Leaf, which they’ve fitted with a 40-kWh battery pack, giving over 150 real miles of range. The difficulty with that is just obtaining the 40-kWh batteries, which are disappearing from the salvage yards. They’re installing a 40-kWh for a customer this week. A $500 deposit gets you a spot in line. PM Jay with any interest. They’ve received the third production Maxwell van, which Jay had worked on in Los Angeles last month. It’s a Dodge Ram Promaster in airport configuration. Seating for fifteen. The 0-60 time is lose your lunch. It’s a real ripper. They’re about to start on a 1972 VW bus. It will have a 14-module Tesla Model S pack and a small rear motor. It will be the quickest VW bus on the block. Jay says that he’s also had interest in electric pickups.

Theresa Ramsdell gave an update on the Tesla Owners Club. They’ve had one virtual meeting where a member from Kirkland did a walk-through of a Model Y, which was delivered in late March. The ribbon-cuttings at Tesla’s new locations are on hold. Three new Superchargers have opened up and the club is trying to get meetups scheduled. The Spokane chapter is starting up. Grace has personally delivered some Model Ys. The tow package has been announced at $1000, rated at 3,500 pounds.

Jay described a salvaged Mitsubishi iMiev he picked up, which had crashed during a grocery run. Jay found a dozen unbroken eggs with a pull date of December 9, surviving better than the Rainier Beer cans which had burst in freezing weather. The car is for sale.
Deb mentioned her trip to Los Angeles in her Tesla named Sir Percival T. It was a music tour that fizzled when stay-at-home orders were issued, but they had the chance to stop at the Kettleman City Supercharger with the lounge and the huge solar panels. Very fancy. You get a password on your screen for admission to the lounge, which gives out coffee and stuff.

Billy reported that an organizer from Climate Science on Tap wrote this week to say that they’re doing a followup event on Zoom on Thursday, April 23. Billy will forward to their message, which includes a signup link, and Billy will participate on the 23rd. Grace, Kevin and Billy participated in Climate Science on Tap at Optimism Brewery in February. Grace said that the February event was standing-room only, probably 150-200 people, a very good event and a lot of EV interest.

Jay mentioned that Forth had a meeting at Optimism where Metro presented their electric-bus plans. They’re going to have automated probes couple into the buses, instead of the overhead lines they have now. Jay sounded skeptical about Metro’s idea, thinking it will be years and millions behind.

New attendees were called upon:

  • Sophia “G20” (she has a long family name) from Tukwila described working on electric vehicles since 2009. She said she wanted to make grants for chargers locally. She doing several startups related to EVs. She’s looking for a mentor, preferably female. She got into EVs by driving for Uber and Lyft, paying for a Bolt which she loves. She mentioned a free class on “how you can change things to be more sustainable”, and also there’s a course for veterans and their family members called Existential Ethics.
  • Bill Trueit is a high-school AP government teacher in Everett; he recently purchased a Kona. He’s involved in Al Gore’s Climate Reality Project and he’s been developing a presentation promoting EVs and conversions. He used to chair the 44th District Democrats. Theo Michel from Bellevue has been into EVs since the late 2000s when he bought a converted ‘79 Chevy Love pickup. It went 20 miles on a charge, but Theo sold it before getting around to upgrading the batteries to Li-ion. He co-hosts a podcast titled “Let’s Talk Electric Vehicles.”
  • Matt Simerson from Shoreline has been posting on SEVA list about snowmobile conversions. He wants to electrify a boat, a snowmobile and a 2,000-pound Sno-Cat. He’s been interested in EVs since the Second Gulf War started, wanting to become part of the solution instead of the problem when it comes to wars for oil. He then leased a Leaf, two more, and last year he bought a Model 3. He will never buy another fossil-fuel vehicle again.

The formal meeting was over shortly after 8 p.m. Ed then started Zoom on his tablet and took it outside for everyone to view the Arcimoto as best as could be seen in the fading light. Informal discussion followed for another 24 minutes or so.

Minutes submitted by Billy Kreuter

Zoom Meeting Recording(s):