SEVA- June 2020 Meeting Minutes
Meeting held via ZOOM
We again met by Zoom, and Ed Mills again was the Zoom host. Thank you, Ed.
Jay was detained by a restaurant which was running at both one-third capacity and one-third speed of service, so he requested that Grace chair the meeting. Grace called the meeting to order at 7:02 PM. Jay announced that Howard Feinstein, Brian G. and Brian H. would make presentations. The Crier was on chicken duty, so Grace announced we would just get started. Grace hoped that we could do our July meeting in person and we could return to individual outreach this summer. Grace sanitizes cars every day and we can stick to protocols.
Grace called on Rick to introduce himself as a new attendee. He has had a new electric vehicle, a Model X, since last December. He had been wanting to build one since 1999. He was persuaded by the Model X’s capabilities. The range is sufficient to make it to the ski site at Snoqualmie Pass and charge the car at 220-v overnight.
President Emeritus Steve Lough said that he has surpassed his previous record of 73 miles on one charge in the iMiev; now he’s achieved 76.1 miles in a 4½-day period during the recent warm weather. His Tesla stock has reached 750 and he’s selling some in order to purchase a used Bolt.
Grace introduced Howard Feinstein, who purchased a Model Y. Grace asked Howard to describe its differences from a Model S and a Model 3. Howard said that he got interested in Teslas when he looked at videos of the Cybertruck and he was impressed by its specs. He bought Tesla stock and began to be involved in the electric-vehicle community. He ordered a Model Y at the end of January, and it arrived unexpectedly quickly in 2½ weeks. Grace asked Howard to describe the specs. It as 64 or 66 cubic feet of cargo capacity. The Tesla Wiki will give the battery specs and such. 70% of the parts on the Model Y are the same as parts on the Model 3. Grace loves the back seat. Howard loves the panoramic roof. Kent Bakke asked about the range. Howard’s answer amounted to, ignore the Guess-O-Meter. Grace read from the Zoom chat window a question about the Tesla solar roof. Howard says he thinks that’s not available in Washington, but that Elon thinks the roof will outlast the house. Another question was about the energy capacity of the Y; Grace thought it was around 75 but she wasn’t sure. Neither was Howard, but he again pointed people to the Tesla Model Y Wiki.
Grace called on Brian Grunkemeyer to talk about charging cars with solar. Brian is enthusiastic about the entire Tesla ecosystem. He has built his company, Flexcharging, around the idea of driving on sunlight. They built a mobile app which controls when the car charges, shifting it to the best time of day for the power grid. It’s built around the driver’s needs first, with secondary consideration to the utility’s needs and price optimization. The user can opt in and out, and the app can predict if the user really meant to opt out. The app displays charging and battery status and offers charging-location choices. It sends a reminder if you forget to plug in. It uses the “connected car” API which at present Tesla and Nissan use, talking to the automaker’s cloud service which communicates with the car. He hopes to add additional makers besides Tesla and Nissan. Brian’s system also analyzes usage trends, easily showing the impact of Covid-19 on charging in the aggregate. He also can display aggregate usage by charging location; workplaces, for example, are a much smaller portion than would be expected. So are movie theaters. 41% of at-home charging of Teslas is level 2, with over a quarter on high amperage, like the Tesla Wall Connector, but only a few percent on NEMA 14-50. They have the ability to start and stop charging if the user opts in to managed charging.
Brian also talked about AC-to-DC conversion losses. Charging with residential solar can involve five conversions, causing a one-third energy loss from solar panel to wheel. But fifteen percentage points of this can be avoided by optimizing when the car charges to correspond with solar production. Centering charging around solar noon [usually a few minutes past 1 PM during daylight-savings months] might save 400 kWh/year, Brian estimates. One goal is to minimize natural-gas use by PSE. But Vehicle-to-Grid doesn’t make sense in this area for now, in part due to 10¢/discharge depreciation on the battery.
The free app is available right now for Apple and Android; search for Flexcharging or Smartcharge.
Grace called on Brian Hughes to give an update on his repair project. He’s rebuilt his inverter, replacing capacitors and stuff. It’s now back in the car and functioning and no longer wigging out.
Grace called on Jay. He had his first chance since the pandemic began to take a customer out to dinner, but the restaurant was running slow and dinner wasn’t over by 7, which is why Jay couldn’t chair the meeting. EV Works has been busy. They’ve leased a TransitConnect Electric from Kent Bakke for use in a pandemic grocery-delivery service. They liked it so much that they bought their own. It arrived from Missouri last Friday and started grocery deliveries today. They’ve finished an upgrade of a 2011 Leaf to a 40 kWh battery, and they have more upgrades like these to do. The only limiting factor is that they can’t find enough Leaf batteries from junkyards. Jay said that John Rock participated in last night’s Pierce County electric-vehicle Zoom meeting; he was western-region marketing director for the Leaf, but Nissan is cutting back and John is getting laid off.
Jay says that Chademo is native V2G. There are forty Bluebird electric school buses in Washington. They’ve pledged to do V2G, and they now say that this will be ready in August. 40% of some high school’s electric costs are demand charges, which might be largely eliminated by just two V2G-enabled school buses.
EV Works has deployed its Maxwell van, a Ram Promaster with a Tesla drive train. They will be building the first refrigerated Maxwell for a food-bank client. It should be able to run the refrigerator for a very long time when the truck is parked.
Grace said we need a socially distanced SEVA picnic. Jay said the SEVA monthly meeting in July should be an outdoor meeting.
Good of the order. Theo said that they’re working on a new episode of the podcast, “Let’s Talk About Electric Vehicles”, which will be about electrifying Washington State Ferries. Jay thought that the best charging strategy would be a battery truck that would roll on and off the ferry as it’s depleted and replaced by a fresh one on shore. This will avoid huge demand charges. The weight won’t be a big problem for a ferry, but the truck should drive to the center.
Grace adjourned the meeting at 8:44 PM.