SEVA Meeting Minutes – July2022

Seattle Electric Vehicle Association

July 12, 2022 meeting minutes
Jay Donnaway, President, opened the meeting with a short-staffed SEVA board. Grace Reamer, VP, was away. Charlie Tsai, Treasurer, was present. Chris Royalty was taking notes on behalf of the secretary, Billy Kreuter. Jay asked everyone to keep Billy in their thoughts as he is out with an undiagnosed illness.
There was no scheduled speaker for the meeting, as it was a more casual, social summertime meeting.

New attendees –
1. Bob Jensen – this is his first meeting. He has been studying panel beating to keep his skills up and he wants to build a car from scratch. He has all the tools. His preference is to convert a 1938 Alfa Romeo 2.8. He was recently in Greenbay, Wisconsin watching someone create the body of an AC Cobra in 3 days with a power hammer.
2. Steve Numrich – this is his first meeting. He and his wife both have Chevy Volts. He is considering a DIY conversion on a Ferarri-body Miata. He came to learn more and had spoken by phone with Jay previously.
3. David Crow – his first meeting in at least 8 years. He brought his tractable front-wheel-drive two-seat trike with a 1000 Amp controller and a full complement of dead lithium cells (which he wants to recycle). It was last licensed (as a motorcycle) in 2013 (photos attached to minutes). It was built from the ground up, has a DC motor, Manzanita Micro PFC charger and includes some equipment originally obtained from Dave Cloud. It is for sale cheap. If he is unable to sell it, he may put it in the Art Car World museum in Arizona. If you are interested in buying the trike, you can contact David Crow at (206) 229-6798.

He previously build a tandem trike called “Red Stiletto”.

General discussion:
1. Jay was asked where he is working now – Tacoma Power. There was discussion of the $500 incentive rebate for EV charging from the utility. You can nominate a location for streetside EV charging. Seattle City Light also has a program to nominate locations for EV charging at a pole along the street. These programs are becoming more prevalent. One program, it was noted, charged $30/mo for 3 years.

There was also discussion about “net metering” and it is believed that there is no “sunsetting” planned for this program.

2. Greenwood Car Show report – Rollie Perez reported that he attended with his Tesla Model 3; next to him was a Nissan Leaf, and next to that was a Tesla Roadster (which he talked about during the show while the owner attended a baseball game). He noted that two guys said they were convinced to go buy an electric car after talking to him at the show.
SEVA had a canopy at the north end of the show and at least 25 cars present. It was very busy with large crowds all day. There appeared to be a larger percentage of driveable cars and hot rods than in previous years – fewer cars towed in on trailers. Electric car literacy seemed very high, with many intelligent questions.

3. Another attendee (last here 7 months ago), reported on attending the Olympia High School Drive Electric Earth Day event. It was well attended with about 30-40 cars present, a wide variety of currently available production electric vehicles. There was also one of Olympia’s three electric school busses.

This spurred a brief discussion of the present and future of electric school busses. Apparently the Franklin Pierce School District was the first to obtain an electric bus. The Department of Ecology will have $10 million in grants available for the 227 school districts. The department is working on simplifying the grant system. Previously, resources were available but no districts had applied. Jeff Bezos donated $5 million (?) to the World Resources Institute for this cause. Jay noted that California has increased their incentives for electric busses and there is concern that they may consume the available bus supply in the near future. It was also mentioned that Wenatchee transit systems have been making progress on electric busses, included providing inductive charging at break locations for bus drivers and they claim to support 350 miles/day.

4. Forth Roadmap Conference, Portland – Andrea reported on the 3-eay event (used to be 2 days). There were 24 sessions available to attend and 20 vendors (fewer vendors than in years past). The first day included activities like a tour of Electric Island, an electric bike tour to a winery, etc. The event is focused more in technology than vehicles, but it did include a 50’ bucket truck, Arcimoto, and Lion Electric (which builds electric buses and trucks, located in Canada, California, and Illinois; the buses are built in Detroit).

The second night was a Women and EVs event attended by 120. Topics included electric fleets, flying electric, equitable charging stations, batteries, smart charging, electric mobility, etc.

It was mostly attended by municipal employees. Over 600 people attended over 3 days. Next year, it will be held May 15-17, 2023.

Forth was originally a large non-profit called Drive Electric Oregon, started by an investment of $12 million from the large OEMs. It has grown to 30 employees and improved diversity of its workforce. It often gets large DOE grants and works with environmental justice organizations.

5. Oregon Country Fair – Paul Kahle reported on this event attended by 35,000 people (down from 55,000 in previous years). It is characterized as “Burning Man with trees”. There is music, circus acts, and a display call “Energy Park” which demonstrates off-grid technology. He lobbied for an EV booth and they grudgingly granted him one but he was not allowed to have cars present. They displayed an electric Rad bike. He was surprised at the lack of EV knowledge or awareness in the community (in contrast to what was seen at Greenwood). There seemed to be more interest in conversions than in production vehicles and the primary question was about the impact EVs would have on utilities.

6. Rollie asked how to get up-to-date information for DIY conversions. All the books he has found are 20 years old. He wants to convert a 1950s or 1960s car.

He had a warning about a scam that he encountered when thinking of buying a car online. He found a 1959 Chevy Biscayne for $31,000. He learned about the scam from the Better Business Bureau. There are organizations in Romania that post pictures of cars for sale online, claiming that the owner is being deployed, or had a death in the family, or is getting divorced and needs to sell the car quickly. They provide instructions to pay the money to an escrow company but that “company” is part of the scam. Be careful.

He is still shopping for a car to convert and recently saw an 1952 Chevy Coupe with 3 on the tree, roomy, weighing about 3800 lbs.

Mark Yormark’s recommendation was to “mount a car body on a skateboard” to make it easier to keep the modern features of the electric vehicle without having to redesign a lot of the electrical portion of the car. It becomes more of a mechanical job of integrating the body with the chassis. It has become more common to find a chassis from a salvaged Leaf or Tesla and then pick the body to go on it.

Jay commented that existing DIY conversion information and resources are available online but are not well organized. One example of a source is It is a good idea to get in touch with the SEVA member network to see what parts are already available, like salvaged lithium batteries, or Leaf modules (EV Works may still have some Leaf Packs available). Chinese lithium battery quality is good when obtained from a reputable supplier.

7. Someone else asked for suggestions to convert a 1953 tractor. One concern is whether the engine block is a structural part of the tractor or not. If it is not, that makes the conversion much easier; in fact, it has been done more than once.
Upcoming Events:

1. Hot Rods for Hearts, August 7th, Tacoma– this fundraiser for the American Heart Association has invited SEVA to participate. Jay will have his Ford Ranger EV there. It is hosted by Griot’s garage and they will be giving away native plants from the truck beds.

2. Electrify Expo Seattle, July 23rd-24th – Evoke is an electric car subscription company that is exhibiting and is looking for a Polestar, Volt, and a Model 3 that can stay at the show with them at UW Seattle, near Husky Stadium. (This saves them from having to bring a car with them.) The car would need to be inside the gate prior to Friday, 4pm on July 22nd, and would need to remain there until Sunday evening. If interested, contact Evoke at Theresa Ramsdell will have her Tesla Plaid there at a different booth. If you want a discount ticket for the event, you can use the code EESEA15 for a 15% discount.

3. National Drive Electric Week, September 10th, Steilacoom – this is a very large car show with space for 130 vehicles.

4. NOT UPCOMING – The report is that the Shoreline Solar Fest will no longer be held. (But has been very busy with solar installations, according to Jay.)

Zoom Meeting Recording(s):
: Did Not Stream Meeting