Thursday, March 18, 2010

Springing Forward

March 13 has come and gone and alas!  if you were looking here for an entry on the spring workshop, it's past time to explain that it had to be cancelled for lack of enrollment.  Of course those who did enroll were notified via email, and Bill and I are working to reschedule, but I didn't think I should wait to post until we have those dates in hand.  I have to say I was disappointed -- though with the snows in late Feb and early March making it impossible to tow the Colt for prep, and Bill recovering from a mild stroke he had in January, preparation for the class would have been intense and difficult!

Now we can relax, plan ahead a bit and get our vision focused on the next big item on our agenda: the May 1 EV-ent in Macungie!  We'll have the e-Van there for sure ... finished, I hope!

Back in February I  drove through what I can only categorize as the dreaded "wintry mix" -- fortunately with Bill at my side to give moral support and stay calm, as he always does, when we additionally got lost!-- to give a presentation to what was surely my largest audience ever on the history and future of EV's.  It was the monthly public meeting of the Mid-Atlantic Renewable Energy Association  (MAREA) at Tek Park in Kutztown.   What a fantastic venue!  I was very excited, and also quite pleased with the slideshow -- which was kind of a hybrid of various talks I have given before, finally polished to a point that I was actually satisfied with the visuals and the narrative arc -- but I hadn't had a chance to actually time the presentation all the way through from start to finish, and I was dreadfully worried that I would wind up either way short or (more probably!) running way over, plus on account of the above-mentioned wintry mix and getting lost (yes, I don't have a GPS) I was almost late,  but the timing all worked out perfectly in the end, whew.  There were quite a few familiar faces to me in the audience, unsurprisingly since MAREA sponsors my beloved Energy Fest.

Don Young drove his electric Civic to the MAREA presentation, bad weather and all, and Val Bertoia brought along his bench-mounted motor-controller set-up -- a fantastic educational tool, it and the Civic and lots more great cars will be at the May 1 EV-ent, for which registration is about to open.  Email if you want to be alerted when the registration form goes live, or for more info generally! 

 EV-ent May 1, 2010
All-EV Display ~ Macungie Memorial Park ~ Macungie PA

Our little EV-ent committee is composed of Anna Digate, Bob and Don Young, Val Bertoia and myself, with help from Phil Jones -- lately you can often catch one of us at Green Drinks at the Allentown Brew Works.  

Anyone interested in competitive events and testing on a track should be aware of the upcoming 21st Century Automotive Challenge, to be held in State College PA May 21-23. Below, some of the gorgeous vehicles there last year -- note the only other up-and-running electric Vanagon on the East Coast that I know of! Biodiesel and pure veggie oil entrants will compete on mpg and emissions in the "Tour de Thor", for those of you interested in those alternative fuels.

The Power of DC celebrates its 10th anniversary June 5-6, 2010. I know folks from the NJEAA and the EEVC went down to this last year and enjoyed it hugely -- Mike Kugler came all the way from Rhode Island. Saturday there's AutoCross Racing at the Valley Mall and Sunday, drag racing at Mason Dixon Dragway, an NHRA drag strip. For those who don't race, there's an EV Show-n-Shine on Saturday. Check out or contact Chip Gribben directly.

Looking ahead to the fall, mark your calendars now for September 17-19, when  the MAREA's annual Transportation Tent will return to the Renewable Energy & Sustainable Living Festival in Kempton PA.  In addition to EV's and biodiesels you'll be able to check out hydrogen fuel cells, all manner of hybrids, even electric tractors and motorcycles!   Bucks County Renewables has presented overviews and facilitated panel discussions with EV owners every year since the tent's inception, and that's just one slice of a whole slew of expert-led workshops and discussion opportunities on all aspects of green energy and sustainable living.  I can't say enough about the beauty of this festival -- and since I stuck around after my talk long enough to observe some of the MAREA Board and volunteer meeting, I know that they're already hard at work planning for six months from now!  To join the volunteers who put this festival on every year, email Cindy 

This is the time of year to plant seeds for future harvest, so if you have a project in mind (EV-related or no), go get cracking on it -- meanwhile I'll work on firming up the rescheduling of the Colt re-conversion. I have a thought or two in mind.  Stay tuned!


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