SEVA Meeting Minutes – August 2020

Seattle Electric Vehicle Association meeting minutes for Tuesday, Aug. 11, 2020

The meeting was by Zoom, again arranged by Ed Mills.

President Jay Donnaway called the meeting to order at 7:04 p.m.  Before the meeting started, Theresa Ramsdell mentioned that the Tesla Owners’ club’s name was changing again, to “TOW,” Tesla Owners of Washington. Also, some discussion of directors and officers insurance occurred after it was was brought up again at the July meeting. The Electric Auto Association is not doing well and they no longer have this insurance available, not even for themselves.

UTILITY UPDATE – Jay will speak to Tacoma Power on Aug. 12. They are launching three new EV programs: cargo handling in the port; multi-family EVSEs (for apartment dwellers); and new public EV charging. These will be ratepayer-funded using their newly legislated authority. They are interested in out-of-the-box things like electric delivery services, given the heightened usage of deliveries during the pandemic.  Some of this is mentioned in Tacoma Power’s Integrated Resource Plan on their website. Jay also reported on Tacoma Power’s charging study.  He just received his second check for participating in that.  Jay can download a CSV file of every charging session he has within Tacoma Power’s territory.  The purpose of the study is to analyze the future load impact of EV charging.

PRESIDENT’S REPORT – Jay shared that EVWorks has three electric delivery vans on the road every day.  Within the next three weeks, EVWorks will finish a refrigerated delivery van for the University District Food Bank. Jay mentioned a donated VW Rabbit conversion that launched Steve Johnson’s conversion classes at South Seattle Community College. The daughter of the person, Barbara, who donated the Rabbit, has now donated a 2011 Leaf for a taxi service for seniors and low-income people on Lopez Island. It’s an expansion of a service begun in Friday Harbor. EVWorks will refurbish and upgrade the Leaf to a 40 kWh battery. Jay mentioned encountering a tiny dealership in Puyallup which always has an EV selection such as I3’s.

PROJECT UPDATES:

Mark Yormark is buying 70mm square wire, shielded, $19 per foot.
Ron Easley reported that he and Steven Johnson stopped working on their projects in mid-March when the pandemic hit, but they’ve just resumed work about two weeks ago. They’ve focused on the range trailer, but the refrigerated truck is close to driveable on one battery pack. They’ve been very cautious about COVID infections while they’ve been doing this work, so they likely can’t bring in additional people on the projects. They started the truck project in the spring of 2015.
Jay asked if anyone wants to pick up a project with a homely, glorified golf cart, which had been replaced by Ed’s EV.
Tim Economu is still acquiring parts for conversion of the ultimate retirement electric RV.

BUDGET – Jay called on Andrea Toussignant, who would like to work on a survey of budget priorities for SEVA as had been mentioned in July. Jay asked if there were budget requests or ideas.  Andrea said the survey would ask for basic demographics that might be used for future fundraising. She is also interested in developing program ideas such as curricula for kids or a speaker’s forum. Some of this could take the form of videos to post, for example, on Youtube to facilitate distance learning. Mark Yormark suggested that money ought to be spent on a web developer. Grace suggested budgeting for marketing outreach to drive people need to our website. Chris mentioned Washington Alliance for Better Schools, which recirculates curriculum from many sources and looks for source material. Andrea says we don’t need to spend a lot on a website, but it would be great to have content. Web manager Deb Seymour asked members to send content to put on seattleeva.org, but the toughest thing is to define what the website’s requirements are. She suggested we need to have an active social-media presence with constant engagement.  Deb said links that might be valuable should be sent to her.

CHARGING – Jay remarked on Andrea’s work getting the Blink stations replaced at the Olympia realtors’ association, prompting Jay to mention having salvaged a number of old Blink stations.

RANGE EXTENSION – Rick Inghram wondered if he could put a drive train and battery pack on his flatbed trailer so it could act as a pusher for a range extender.  Then a strain gauge in the hitch would enable it detect whether the car was pulling or trying to brake, and the trailer would respond accordingly.  This might compensate for half the range cost of the trailer.  Rick also mentioned a time when Western Washington University’s vehicle technology lab wanted to run a toy race car licensed as a trailer, but they couldn’t do that because trailers can’t be powered.  And he discussed the practicality of putting a large battery in the trailer to provide supplemental power to the EV doing the towing.
ELECTRIC LONGBOARD – Sophia “G20” Grzeskowiak-Amezquita, who uses her e-longboard on the Green River Trail, asked for ideas about how to get more power into it.EVs in the NEWS – Jay congratulated Cory Tsai on the New York Times article about Rad Power Bikes, where Cory works.Tim said that the Route del Soln team driving their the solar van from Alaska to Argentina crossed into Mexico before COVID. The solar panels blew off in a storm, leaving them stranded in Mexico and they can’t get parts. Joel and Keegan are raising funds to make repairs and continue their EV advocacy journey at https://www.routedelsol.com/recovery-effort.

Mark Yormark discussed Tesla Austin. It’s going to be ten times bigger than Tesla Shanghai. That led to discussion about solar panels, including about new state-of-the-art panels made in Bellingham.

EVs for SALE – Sophia displayed her yellow e-bike.  It’s changed hands several times and it doesn’t work that well now.  Also, Sophia is more into e-longboarding now, so she wants to sell it.  Jay hopes it will stay in a collector’s hands.
Dave Barden said his Nissan truck is still available.

Chad Schwitters described the arrangement with RecurrentAuto.com. Chad had been concerned because they get the car’s login credentials, but it turns out that they don’t store the credentials and instead they generate a token. Jay remarked that not many cars can work with RecurrentAuto’s system at this point, but Chad said a pretty long list of compatible models is listed on RecurrentAuto.com.
At 8:21 p.m, Jay needed to head home from EVWorks and he turned over chairing to Grace.

EVENTS – In the absence of the ability to gather in person for outreach events, Grace reminded members that Drive Electric Week is next month. She asked if anyone was interested in an EV cruise on a Sunday morning through Seattle neighborhoods, maybe ten miles and people can watch from their front yards. A space to gather needs to be found. The Steilacoom event is still on, and more than a hundred cars are hoped for — although gathering sizes may be much restricted by next month.

Grace adjourned the meeting at 8:31 p.m.

Minutes submitted by Billy Kreuter, secretary.