Thursday, November 18, 2010

Weekly EV News Round-up and More!

A few links I collected this week overlapped with the usual fine collection from Dan:

Folks should know that Alexandra Paul was inspired to make this set of videos by none other than our own Doug Stansfield, President of the NJEAA -- it's true, he badgered her with phone calls and is credited in the last line of the "making of" video!

Coverage of the local ev-ent supported by members of the EEVC.

In case anybody reading this blog doesn't know it, I am dying to get a chance to drive a Nissan Leaf.  

From Close the Loop, LLC:  Their most recent newsletter.  This is a reliably excellent and comprehensive resource for the reduce, reuse, recycle fans among us.  The woman who puts it out once nicely lent me her paper cutter while I was struggling to produce Bucks County Renewables magnets for distribution at Energy Fest, so obviously she is one of the good people of the universe.  Despite my obsession with the prospect of  owning a production EV (with heat! and working range gauges, please!) one of my favorite aspects of EV conversion is that it involves repurposing a conventional automobile instead of consuming the raw resources needed to make one new.  In particular I appreciate the folks who keep alive such beautiful, classic vehicles as Brandon Hollinger's Saab 96 or, well, the weirdly-beloved-by-some-fetishists and classic-if-that-implies-squarishly-massive Volkswagen Vanagon .  But you knew that already.

From NJEAA list member Peter Crisitello:   (Peter notes: "If they don’t list your EV just click on Electric and it goes to other and you key in your own stats.")

Strictly speaking the piece I have opted to put at the top of this week's round-up from Dan is sheer car porn.  If like me you just can't get enough of that stuff be sure to check out  A Battery Beats at the Heart of These Muscle Cars from back in October before you get back to more respectable news consumption.  Let's face it, while I carry a flag for the squarish massiveness of the Volkswagen Vanagon I also dig me my sexy sports cars.  I will take issue with the remark in the above review that the car company Lotus is mainly known for the Esprit featured in Pretty Woman.   Excuse me, not among the folks I like to hang around with.

On to the news!

And in wider-ranging alternative energy news:

Monday, November 15, 2010

Yes! 4 Chevy Volts in Montclair

I don't quite know how Tom Moloughney got away with putting this license plate on his mini-E, but he did ... and the bumper sticker on the rear windshield says, "Starve a Terrorist - Drive Electric."  His opinionated little mini-E #250 is often parked in front of his Montclair NJ restaurant, Casa Bella Nauna, but on Saturday morning it was joined by an wondrous sight to behold -- 4 Chevy Volts all parked in a row, plus a Tesla thrown in!
The Volts were just released last Tuesday to members of GM's "Consumer Advisory Board" -- only 17 of them in the entire country -- who have been asked by GM to drive the car for 90 days and provide feedback in advance of the vehicle's roll-out into retail showrooms.

The 4 New York-area CAB members all eagerly agreed to bring the vehicles to Montclair to share and the morning featured a constant flow of enthusiasts, among them me.

Mike, Lyle, Robert and Dennis, the 4 lucky Volt drivers standing to the right of the camera man in this photo, graciously chatted with visitors and gave interviews to the press and video bloggers.  They also seemed to enjoy comparing their own initial experiences with the Volt.  Reports were overwhelmingly positive.  Everyone raved about the futuristic-goodie-laden electronics (my favorite line: "My daughter says it's like driving an iPod") and the feedback the vehicle gives the driver about efficiency.  They also seemed to enjoy the opportunity to puzzle out what some of the interior bells and whistles were together.  The soundtrack to the above photo went something like "Does anyone know what that little black box mounted on the windshield is?  I thought it was for my EZ-Pass."  "Nah, I think that's the XM antenna."

 Speaking of EZ-Pass, check out this Green Pass!  Yes, hybrid and EV-driving EZ-Pass users can qualify for a 10% discount on tolls on the New York State Thruway  and a whopping 50% discount on off-peak rates on all Port Authority bridges into NYC

Event organizer Tom Moloughney got to take one of the Volts for a spin (that's him grinning below), and you can read his review and a report on the meet-up on his always-entertaining blog,  Mini-E #250.

Also be sure to visit, CAB member Lyle Dennis' creation and the online gathering spot for Volt fans and followers.    (There's even a shot of me chatting with Mike in his 4 photos at the end.)

Thanks to the 4 CAB members who so generously shared their time and cars.  I approached each and every one to invite them to the April 30, 2011 EV-ent in Macungie (by which time they should be driving their own personal Volts).  Our goal is to have both a Volt and a Leaf on display at the Macungie EV-ent, showing how dramatically the EV world has changed in the three years since our inaugural show! 

In May 2009 we had only converted EV's to show.  Not a single Tesla had yet been delivered to PA (that would happen later in the month), and the leaseholders on the mini-E had yet to take possession of their vehicles.  In 2010 we had a mini-E and two Teslas at our show!  In 2011 we're anticipated showcasing another historic shift by displaying, in addition to the two-seater, sporty, high-end production EV's, the 4-door, family-size, mid-price-range sedans that will be rolling into showrooms and people's garages by the end of the year.  That's a pretty dramatic change in 3 years -- so you can see why for me, seeing 4 Volts parked in a row at a restaurant in Montclair NJ was an event worth traveling some distance for.  It was a historic day!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Seriously, Breaking EV Local News - Volts (yes, plural) in NJ!

Tom Moloughney, a regular on the NJEAA list and one of the lucky few to extend his mini-E lease to two years, reports that he will have four Chevy Volts at his Montclair, NJ restaurant on Saturday, Nov 13.  The owners are New York members of the Chevrolet Advisory Board who have just received their Volts from GM a few months ahead of showroom release for evaluation and early feedback purposes. 

Tom writes, "It's the first time ever that Chevy Volts will be on display without GM engineers or reps there. The CAB members will answer questions about the cars and probably let people sit in them and maybe even take some people for a spin, but they are still discussing that. So for anyone interested, it's this Saturday from 11am to 2pm. Please park on the street so the parking lot doesn't fill up and we don't have room to walk around and take pictures of the cars. My MINI-E will be there as well as a Tesla owned by NJEAA member Michael T."

Details for "anyone interested"  at 

Interested?  Good grief!  I'm tragically freaking depressed that I have to be at my daughter's choir concert at 2 and am scheduled to drive a further 120 hybrid miles after the concert is over, which I am afraid rules out an additional 60-mile jaunt to Montclair, though I can't say I'm not tempted.  After all, I can always fall back on my rationale that the only way to wean the US off this crazy addiction to fossil fuels is to contribute to using them all up.  (I trot this justification out when sneaking up the thermostat a few degrees or having one of those drove-150 miles-and-ended-up-back-where-I-started days.)

Okay, I'm over my tragic depression, having left the possibility of attending ever-so-slightly open, and am just pleased with myself that I managed to post the above announcement as soon as I received it, so as to maximize the number of people who might find this, as I do, just the tiniest bit thrilling.   Oh boy!  Volts, plural!  (She bounces up and down with excitement.)  This announcement is worth sending to the entire BCR mailing list and encouraging people to pass on.  Folks, it's really happening -- The Return of the Electric Car!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Weekly EV News Round-up

Best U.S. Cities For Electric Cars, Says GE, Are The Ones Where Everyone Already Drives

And in wider-ranging alt energy news:


Tuesday, November 9, 2010

It's All Happening Tomorrow, Wed Nov 10th

Philadelphia's first public EV charging station will be dedicated in the morning.  The ribbon cutting ceremony will take place at 10 an at South Port Plaza’s Liberty’s Service Station, located at 1600 S Christopher Columbus Blvd. Philadelphia, PA 19148. Of course there will be EV’s on display, and the charging station will be a ChargePoint supplied by Coulomb. One of the new standard J1772 chargers was passed around the charging station discussion I was moderating at the Energy Fest in Sept, and everybody who held it, including me, just grinned at the feel of the future in our hands.  Now's the chance to see one of those babies hooked up and charging!  For more information please call organizer Tony Bandiero at 215-990-8200.

EV charging station dedication
When: Wednesday, Nov. 10th, 10am
Where: South Port Plaza Liberty Service Station
             1600 S Christopher Columbus Blvd Philadelphia PA

In the afternoon, Smith Vehicles invites you to a Ride & Drive and information session.  These are manufacturers of the world's largest all-electric commercial trucks. Early adopters of these zero-emission Class 4-6 trucks include corporations such as Coca-Cola, Staples, Frito-Lay, AT&T, Pacific Gas & Electric, and Kansas City Power & Light.

Smith Ride & Drive
When: Wednesday, Nov. 10th, 3-5pm
Where: City of Phila. Water Pollution Control Plant
            3900 Richmond St., Phila., PA 19134

But wait, there's more!

Over in Piscataway, NJEAA President and EAA Board Member Doug Stansfield will be giving a lecture to graduate students

"What Causes Recessions and Why is the Electric Car the Answer?"
When:   5:00 p.m. (NJEAA meeting to follow presentation to grad students)  
Where: Auditorium --Center for Advanced Infrastructure and Transportation
            Rutgers University - Busch campus
           100 Brett Road, Piscataway, NJ, 08854-8058

and back in PA, the closer event of the day:

Monthly meeting of the EEVC, held the second Wednesday of each month except for July and August: 

When:  7 PM in Room 49

Where:  Plymouth Whitemarsh High School
            201 East Germantown Pike, Plymouth Meeting, Pa 19462
Notes: Park in the back of the high school. We usually post a big EEVC sign at the entrance. Enter and turn right. The room is the first on the left.

Man, when the local EV scene gets hopping it really gets hopping.  Web round-up of this week's EV news will go up tomorrow, but I can't document a single one of tomorrow's activities!  Hope to have news & photos to share from attendees! 

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

As Promised -- Finally -- Weekly EV News Round-up Commences!

A million thanks to Dan Monroe of the EEVC, who's been posting this wonderful collection of news items from a variety of sources weekly to the EEVC mailing list, and hasn't bugged me once about the fact that I publicly announced that I'd start putting them up on the blog back in September!

Upcoming Events: 

The next EEVC meeting will be on Wednesday, November 10th

7 PM in Room 49
Plymouth Whitemarsh High School
201 East Germantown Pike
Plymouth Meeting, PA 19462 

For those on the other side of the Delaware,  the NJEAA will be holding its November meeting at Rutgers University on Wednesday, November 10.  It will follow a 5 p.m. presentation by chapter President (and National Electric Auto Association Board Member) Doug Stansfield to a graduate class at Rutgers' Center for Advanced Infrastructure and Transportation.  Doug will be presenting research he has done on the correlation between oil prices and recessionary impacts to our national GDP.  He says, "The results are quite 'shocking'!  Come and find out what I have learned and why now more than ever before, electric cars are needed!'

NJEAA members and all EV drivers are welcome to attend the presentation, display their vehicles, and participate in the NJEAA meeting afterwards.