Monday, May 11, 2009

Last Flashback!

On May 19 the e-Van was on display at the AASP-PA Chapter 30 Training Event at the North Montco Technical Career Center. Sponsored by Hunter Engineering and Ross-Tech, this evening provided a group of automotive service professionals with a last look at the e-Van before she undergoes disassembly in preparation for the 2009 EV Conversion Workshop!

We are anticipating another very successful class, with a nice mix of experienced automotive technology instructors, EV enthusiasts, and environmentalists. There are still a few spaces left if there is last-minute interest ( but soon I'll be shutting down registration and concentrating on the preparations! We have the new 144V battery array on order and e-Van 2009 will receive an on-board battery charger and -- we hope -- a solar panel trickle-charger for the auxiliary battery.

Stay tuned, and enjoy the photos from e-Van 2007's last outing,


e-Van 2007

I love the unusual angle here from below the motor.

Straight-down shot of the EV set-up in the old ICE engine bay.

Some of the folks from AASP-PA Chapter 30 who got to take a look at the e-Van

Bill Kirkpatrick, teacher of the 2009 EV Conversion Workshop

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Flashback: E-Van at Villanova University April 25

A million thanks to Dottie Perry, who took these photos and mastered the technology necessary to upload and send them to me -- and to Ollie Perry, president of the Eastern Electric Vehicle Club, who invited the E-Van down to Villanova on a beautiful April afternoon to join a number of other EEVC-member vehicles on display. Ollie was presenting the afternoon workshop for the Southeastern PA professional organization of high school and college physics teachers -- what a terrific audience to hear about homemade, do-it-yourself electric car conversions!

Ollie spoke first to the assembled teachers about the physics of EV's, and shared with them a few simple experiments and activities that could be done in the classroom to convey some of the basic principles. I was supposed to give a slideshow about the 2007 workshop, but we ran out of time and it seemed like a better idea to move on outside to see the cars themselves.

Ken Barbour's sweet little Geo Metro conversion. Alan Arrison also brought up his truck, and Ollie the Olympian -- all of these vehicles had also traveled to State College, PA the previous weekend for the 21st Century Automotive Competition! Lots of tow miles on the EEVC's vehicles this spring!
Ed Kreibick, former EEVC president, and his son Jim show off Jim's senior project biodiesel conversion to physics teacher Tom Peterson. How did that ICE vehicle sneak into this EV show anyway ... ?

Here I am spieling next to the van ...

... which I never get tired of doing.

E-Van interior.

Whew. I am so glad Dottie took these photos so I could document this outing! Next post I'll fill out the report on the May 3 Macungie EV-ent -- the E-Van's last outing before she's disassembled in preparation for the fast-approaching workshop.

There is still room in the June 2009 EV Conversion Workshop! For details visit

EVs in Macungie

Oh boy -- considering that it started raining as soon as the tents were all set up, and didn't stop until it was time to take them down -- Sunday was an amazing success. We had a dozen electric cars on display plus a funky little solar-powered electric golf cart. Most importantly, despite the discouraging weather, a surprising number of people came out to view them and ask questions of the owners! I was afraid we'd have more speakers than audience for the 2 p.m. panel, but the big tent was full and everyone seemed to enjoy the chance for some group give-and-take.

Everyone -- panelists and owners as well as attenders -- seemed to enjoy themselves and when we asked if we should do it again next year we got hearty affirmations all around. All the event organizers -- Don and Bob Young, Anna DiGate, Val Bertoia and I -- were really pleased at the end of the day and we're psyched for an even bigger and better EV-ent in 2010!

Thank goodness Anna took pictures. I was armed with my camera and a brand-new package of rechargeable batteries that I swear did not say anywhere on them "Charge before using." Here's just a handful, more to come in a second post.

State Representative Douglas Reichley (134th District), who was kind enough to join us for the morning, checks out the e-Vanagon's motor hatch.

Battery set-up in Don Young's 144-volt 1993 Honda Civic. As we heard on the owner panel, this car was designed for speed, rather than range. Don wanted his EV to go fast!

These two vehicles, a Fiat (foreground) and a Ford Escort station wagon, were brought by long-time EEVC member and former President Ed Kreibick and offered for sale! Ed's son Jim, who was also present for the display, converted a vehicle to biodiesel for his senior project. This is one young man whose involvement in alternative fuel vehicles has been lifelong -- Ed tells me they brought Jim home from the hospital after his birth in an EV!

Here I am waxing enthusiastic about something or other -- under one of the tents Bob Young bought for the event and that we couldn't stop thanking him for! In the background you can see the big RV that towed the E-Van up from Lansdale for the EV-ent. I'm so grateful to Stan from NMTCC for taking the time to hook up and bring the E-Van out, and to Bill Kirkpatrick for arranging the tow. Thanks, guys!

Moderating the owner panel under the big tent. Event co-organizer Val Bertoia is next to me in his funky sneakers! I'll properly introduce everyone who displayed and their vehicles in the next post. Till then, thanks for following along ...

Saturday, May 2, 2009

EV's in Macungie Tomorrow!

Oh my gosh. It's really happening! The concept of an EV display in the Lehigh Valley was hatched up by Don and Bob Young and Anna DiGate back at the Energy Fest last September. The three of them started planning in December for a May 3 date and, after many more meetings and fruitful connections and hard work -- there will be cars, folks, food and music at Macungie Memorial Park from 10 - 4 this Sunday!

I'm busy printing out the last of the placards for display on the vehicles (my favorite: the unbelievably sweet 2001 Honda Insight that's been converted to 100% battery electric!). I'll bring my camera and document the event -- plus I also owe a blog entry on the e-van's journey to Villanova University last weekend! It's been a busy spring for EV enthusiasts in eastern PA and New Jersey, so expect a spurt of updates in the coming week.