SEVA Meeting Minutes – April 2021

Seattle Electric Vehicle Association
Meeting minutes for April 13, 2021

The meeting was held by Zoom. Ed Mills hosted the Zoom session.

President Jay Donnaway called the meeting to order at 7:04 p.m. Former Scribe Kevin Boze issued the Hear Ye.

MAY MEETING – Jay entertained a motion for the May meeting to be hybrid (Zoom and in-person). Brian Hughes made the motion. Kent Bakke seconded. No vote was taken. The next meeting will take place at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, May 11, 2021.

POLICY UPDATE – Jay reported that the Clean Cars 2030 bill has passed both houses in Olympia and is headed to reconciliation. Jay said that Matthew Metz of Coltura was optimistic that the House would accept the Senate version as passed. Vice President Grace Reamer reported that HB 1287 has had the Clean Cars 2030 provisions rolled into it. Among the changes is an amendment from Senator Hobbs that none of the bill’s provisions will take effect until at least 75 percent of Washington’s cars are paying the Road Usage Charge. The RUC bill is SB 5444, sponsored by Senator Saldaña. Grace called the Senator’s office learned that the bill probably is dead for the session, although it might be included in the Transportation budget. Jeff Finn said that Hobbs would have sponsored the bill had he not been chair of the Transportation Committee. Hobbs might use RUC as a bargaining chip during negotiations over the transportation bill. Jeff said that he had heard that Governor Inslee wasn’t in favor of RUC being included this year. Grace said that now is the time to make concerns about RUC known. Billy offered the concern that the RUC rate being discussed is just too high; most EV users should not have to pay more than the current flat fees. Jeff said that of the current fees, one is repealed upon RUC adoption and one will be waived for those signing up early for RUC. Grace said that RUC would be implemented in 2026, giving five years to plan how to implement it. SEVA members have said that per-mile fees should be weighted by vehicle weight and/or efficiency, or that there should be credit for electric-utility taxes. Jeff said that the Utilities and Transportation Commission assumes that all vehicles weighing under 10,000 pounds cause the same road wear. Jeff has told them that there should be credits for advancing the goals of the state. Jay agreed with Jeff; road congestion is an example of the differing impacts of different vehicles and of different times and locations of driving. Grace said that less efficient vehicles pay more in gas tax, and there should be some analogous provision for the more efficient EVs. Jeff agreed, but it needs to be a different bucket of money than the budget specific to repairing wear. Something like the Clean Fuels bill would raise money to pay for the credit for EVs.

EV EQUITY – Jeff reported that Plug-In America has partnered with Seattle’s Express Credit Union in a pilot program to assist Seattle-area disadvantaged communities in acquiring EVs. People in those communities were, according to a study, paying $650 a month to keep their ICE junkers running, because they didn’t have credit to acquire an efficient, less expensively operated car. Express Credit Union took on a mission to address this, after learning about EVs from Plug-In America. ECU is offering a half-percentage-point discount on loans for EV purchases. Presently the maximum loan is $30,000. But the goal is to provide a car just as good as a SEVA member might purchase from a dealer or used-EV lot.

TESLA OWNERS WASHINGTON – Theresa Ramsdell reported that solar-roof prices from Tesla have shot up an average of 22 to 46 percent. The Tesla club is starting some in-person events, including a Tesla in the Tulips Rally in memory of Paul Ingraham on April 24. In Blaine there will be a Supercharger Chat including participants from Washington, Florida and Hawaii. Grace asked about the rumor that Tesla will add in-car videoconferencing capability; Theresa thought that this will be offered only in Europe. Andrea Tousignant and Theresa discussed the state of EVSE stations in Alaska. Jay asked how the Al-Can highway electrification is going; Andrea said DCFC stations are getting built out on the Canadian portion. Buildout in Alaska is constrained by electric infrastructure; in some villages the only energy source is diesel, which gets flown in.

CHARGING – Grace reported that Jacob Orenburg is in charge of Seattle City Light’s newest proposed DCFC installation, Chademo and CCS, which is proposed for Jimi Hendrix Park adjacent to the Northwest African American Museum. It will serve a growing need in southeast Seattle and it will be close to a future light-rail station. Ground might be broken by December. Grace asked SCL if the installation could include a Level 2 station. Grace also learned that City Light might be nearly ready to proceed with a DCFC in Burien. Jay asked Andrea about the Webasto replacement. There’s some money budgeted in Oregon. Andrea says WSDOT’s Tonya Buell hasn’t said what might happen with Washington locations.

EVENTS – Grace reported that the Greenwood Car Show is again cancelled due to the pandemic, but there will be a fundraiser-and-food-drive cruise the last weekend in June. SEVA could organize an EV contingent if anyone volunteers. Drive Electric Earth Day is next week, and events are scheduled in Richland and in South Park in Seattle, sponsored by Plug-In America and Express Credit Union. National Drive Electric Week will be Sept. 25 through Oct. 3, and SEVA may be able to put together a big event at the XXX or other locations.

MEMBERSHIP – Grace shared some membership information from Mark Schiller. He hopes to get a notification system in place for renewals. Grace hopes for proposals for budgeting what’s in SEVA’s treasury. Mark Yormark thought that unused funds should be invested.

Jeff reported that Washington’s oldest automobile, which was electric, is in the possession of the Washington State History Museum in Tacoma, but the museum judges it unsuitable for public display.
Jay reported that SEVA member Scotty Vandivort, pilot of the Death Bike, has been hired by EV Works. He will work on electric Vespa conversions using an English kit. EV Works is about to start building a van for the Lopez Island Food Bank. The Pleasure-Way Tofino is back from its first commercial rental, travelling to the Gingko Petrified Forest, and will on April 14 go right back out on its second. It has a 74 kWh Model 3 pack. EV Works has written an idiot-proof fast-charging guide. The renter said that the most time he spent at DCFC stations was explaining the van to the curious. Meanwhile, EV Works finally got a quote from Nissan’s former battery maker, who had an unrealistic price for supplying batteries for upgrading first-generation Leafs. So Jay will now advise customers not to do such an upgrade. You can buy a used 2018 Leaf cheaper than the battery quote. Jay has several project cars, including a Honda Civic from Kent Bakke and a 1972 VW bus getting a Tesla drivetrain. There are Vespas lined up for the retrofit and many inquiries from people wanting to convert. A VW Cabroliet is on offer, and Jay can set up a referral. And there’s a Ford Ranger EV.

Grace mentioned the Blippi Earth Day special featuring Dave Barden and his O’Sparky.
Ryan Fulcher reported that his Chrysler Pacifica is working out well. Ryan is also driving a Bolt, which has a battery recall out due to battery fires.
Jay adjourned the meeting at 8:23 p.m.

Minutes drafted by Secretary Billy Kreuter and edited by Vice President Grace Reamer.
Ryan Fulcher reported that his Chrysler Pacifica is working out well. Ryan is also driving a Bolt, which has a battery r

Zoom Meeting Recording(s):