21c Test PilotProduced by
Marvin V. Rush
Our June meeting is also MEDIA DAY. The plan is to invite reporters of every stripe so that we can collar them and tell them the real story of the EV1. Please be gentle.
If that wasnt enough the whole family is invited for a BBQ. Be sure to bring your EV1. If the whole family wont fit, then just bring the rest in whatever you drove before you started driving the best car on the road. Why not invite your curious friends. Especially the ones you wouldnt dare let drive your EV1. Saturn plans to have the big Road Show Van for a ride and drive. If you sell an EV1 21c Test Pilot will put your picture on the cover.
As the drivers arrived they were treated to a new addition to the SCAQMD parking lot. A new Quad Magne-Charger with four inductive and 2 conductive chargers. This is a demonstration unit featuring a pay point that allows credit card payment for charging. For now the power is still free. In the future this will allow businesses to make money selling power to EVs. Ultimately allowing businesses to make a profit on EV infrastructure will encourage growth in our support network.
After about a half hour of socializing and snacking on the catered lunch the official meeting began. Our acting Chairperson John Cox called us to order. Brief presentations were made and the then our featured guest took the stage.
Bob Purcell started off with a brief history of the EV1 program and transitioned into a look ahead into new products from the GM Advanced Technology Vehicles division. There is a high tech Hybrid EV in development Bob said.
After his talk the Q and A began. Bob answered questions about the new NiMH batteries that GM hopes to deliver this fall. Apparently this new battery technology offers double the driving range and possibly more in the future. The new battery is in very limited production and is in the final stages of validation. Initially the cost for NiMH will be very high. Decisions about consumer cost and availability have yet to be determined. Stay tuned to this channel for updates.
One of our members Gardner Harris then asked the most controversial question of the day. Gardner had heard on the internet and other places that GM was not really behind the EV1 and maybe they secretly wanted it to fail. This allegation clearly got Bob's attention. He unequivocally rejected that conspiracy theory and backed it up with some facts. Most significant was the commitment already expended. Said Bob, "No company invests over half a Billion dollars to prove that they are wrong. " He also pointed out the number of Phd. Engineers and Scientists that he still has committed to the project. Bob also pointed out, "The core EV1 technology will support all new high technology vehicles to come." Finally he reassured everyone that GMs top brass is totally committed to the EV1 and pleased with the results thus far. Bob made it clear that the EV1 is here to stay.
The meeting ended on a positive note and Bob stayed after, for over an hour, to mingle with the club members and to share his enthusiasm with the "EV1 Test Pilots." If you missed this meeting you missed a good one.
It will celebrate the unveiling of a new charging site and the start of rapid implementation of the Quick Charge Program. This ambitious program was recently approved unanimously by the SCAQMD Board. The vote held on May 9, 1996 approved $862,500 to be spent on EV infrastructure in Los Angeles alone. The Entire allocation was for $1.6 million for infrastructure in Los Angeles, Orange, and portions of San Bernardino and Riverside counties.
This program when fully implemented will feature 200 new chargers at 42 sites. Lets get as many members as possible to attend this event. Together we can show our local politicians that we appreciate and notice what they are doing to support EVs.
* Bank of America/555 South Flower St
* Beverly Center, Fairfax District
* CBS Studio Center, Fairfax District
* Cedars-Sinai Medical Center
* Edison EV, Downtown L.A.
* Fox Studios, Century City
* J. Paul Getty Trust Museum, Mulholland Pass
* Kaiser Permanente /Sunset Boulevard
* Kaiser Permanente /Harbor City
* Kaiser Permanente /Panorama City
* Kaiser Permanente /West Los Angeles
* Kaiser Permanente /Woodland Hills
* Port of Los Angeles
* Los Angeles International Airport
* Los Angeles Department of Transportation/Parking Enforcement (multiple locations)
* Cherokee Whitley Public Parking Garage, Hollywood
* Los Angeles Zoo
* MTA Headquarters/Union Station
* Paramount Pictures, Melrose Ave
* Robertson Boulevard parking garage, Fairfax District
* Van Nuys Civic Center
* West Los Angeles Civic Center
* Westside Pavilion, West L.A.
* Westwood parking garage (new)
* Graham & James Law Offices, Downtown L.A.
* Music Center/Los Angeles Department of Water and Power General Office Building/vicinity
* Los Angeles City Hall
* 8th District Constituent Service Center, South-Central L.A.
* Los Angeles Convention Center, Downtown L.A.
* Los Angeles Department of Water and Power/Anthony Office Building, Sun Valley
* Chatsworth Metrolink Station
* Sylmar Metrolink Station
London, England World oil production will start to decline within 15 years if the rate of extraction remains at current levels, potentially causing a global economic catastrophe, reports Reuters. The article cites U.S. geologist Craig Bond Hatfield of the University of Toledo, Ohio, who believes the only solution is to develop a long-term substitute for oil. Hatfield noted in the science journal Nature that world oil production has increased from 59.7 million barrels per day in 1985 to 69 million barrels per day in 1995. New discoveries of oil are not keeping pace, with consumption far outstripping potential reserves. Even if demand does not grow, Hatfield sees a production decline by the year 2036. Without alternatives, the economic impact of this permanent decline could dwarf the damage caused by oil shortages in the 1970s, which created serious inflation and a world economic slump.
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo., May 21 /PRNewswire/ - Chevrolet's S-10 Electric Pickup will make its racing debut at one of the most spectacular motorsports events in the world, the 75th Running of the famed Pikes Peak International Hill Climb on the Fourth of July, 1997.
Three-time Baja 1000 winner (199l, '95, '96), Larry Ragland, will pilot the new S-10 Electric Pickup. His mission is to showcase the technology of this compact truck by putting the Chevrolet S-10 Electric Pickup on record as the first electric production truck to reach the top of Pikes Peak. (Editors Note: This is EV1 Technology in Action).
"We plan to flex the muscle and reliability of this powerful Chevy S-10 by being the first to make it to the top of the 14,110 foot summit," said Ragland, 44, of Phoenix, Ariz. "And, I'm planning to be the driver to turn this first-time attempt into an historical feat for the S-10 Electric truck."
The 1997 Electric truck looks like the familiar Chevy S-10 Pickup, but it is powered by a Delco Propulsion system 85kW AC Induction Motor and the Delco Valve Regulated Lead Acid battery pack. It features a propulsion battery thermal management system to keep the battery pack warm in cold climates and cool in hot climates. The 1,500-pound battery pack is located under the truck bed. The S-10 has two-wheel, front-wheel drive, and is capable of speeds up to 70 mph ---depending on variables such as temperature and terrain. A few minor modifications have been made to the S-10 Electric Pickup to make it race-ready for the Pikes Peak event.
"We're using a nickel metal hydride battery pack with modules to further test the technology of the truck," said Russ O'Blenes, GM Motorsports.
"And we've added a roll cage, racing seats, an auxiliary power cut-off, and after- market wheels and tires. Basically, it's still a stock production truck -- with the standard frame, body, door panels, interior, and so forth. It really looks sharp. It's red, white and blue with a 'stars and stripes' theme for the 4th of July race date."
"I'm looking forward to this new challenge," said Ragland. "The road to the top is a 156-turn, 12.42-mile groomed gravel course. All I can do is wait for the green flag to drop, and go."
Portland, Me. A Geo Metro using a GM Ovonic NiMH battery set a world record by traveling 249 miles without recharging in the five-day Tour de Sol electric car race that ended on Friday May 23, in Portland, Me.
The electric car converted by Solectria Corp.used a type of battery that General Motors Corp. will use in its EV-1 electric car later this year. This new technology battery will more than double the GM car's range compared with the lead-acid batteries it uses now.
The average distance that all production entrants traveled between rechargings jumped to 168 miles from 141 last year.
Robert Stempel, a former chairman of General Motors and now the chairman of a company that built the batteries for the winning car, said he was delighted with the performances this year, the ninth time the race has been run. This proves that technology for electric cars is rapidly improving.
"In the early days we had to worry about slowing traffic down and blocking the highways," he said. "Every day now, we admonish the drivers, please watch your speed limits."
The race, organized by the Northeast Sustainable Energy Association, of Greenfield, Mass., is run in daily stages, over public streets and highways. This year it started in Waterbury, Conn., and ran north through the hills of Connecticut and western Massachusetts into the mountains of Vermont before swinging east through New Hampshire to Maine.
Ford entered its Ecostar electric van, which covered 197 miles on a single charge, and Toyota entered an electric version of its RAV-4 sport utility vehicle, which went 116 miles.
General Motors' EV-1 is a likely candidate for mass sale with the same battery type because of the automaker's reputation and its network of dealerships.
Stempel is the chairman of Energy Conversion Devices, of Troy, Mich. A subsidiary, Ovonic Battery Company, in a joint venture with General Motors, is building the new battery packs for the automobiles.
It started one morning when I was just going out for a short errand with my new EV1. I always drive conservatively so I can maximize range. I pulled up to a stoplight and a moment later a Nissan Maxima pulled up alongside me. I glanced over at the driver. Most of the time I get a smile and a friendly thumbs up. This time the driver looked over and he was laughing at my car. I could see him talking and laughing with his passenger. When the light changed I pulled away just ahead of the Maxima. The driver of the Nissan punched it and I let him get ahead of me. I wasnt going to race him. When we arrived at the next light he was howling with laughter.
When the light changed something got hold of me. I floored it. The little silver EV1s tires chirped and the traction control kicked in. I left that Maxima in my dust. Once the race was no longer in contest I backed off. I didnt want a ticket after all. Immediately the Maxima caught up to me. As we stopped at the next light no one was laughing. The Nissan driver was in shock. We both rolled down our windows and he asked me if it was really an electric car. I assured him that it was an American made electric car that anyone can get at their Saturn Retailer. We pulled away in a normal fashion. Since that episode I find myself looking for more opportunities to blow the doors off the competition. I cant help myself.
Signed...EV1 Acceleration Junkie
On Thursday, May 8th, the AQMD Board of Directors met to consider whether or not to authorize the expenditure of about $1,000,000 to build out the EV charger infrastructure.
Several EV1 adopters showed up including your stalwart editor Marvin Rush, Don Devlin, myself and others. In addition several of the EV specialists were there to voice their opinions as well.
We were expecting a huge turnout of opposition by Californians Against Hidden Taxes, an organization whose spokesperson is Anita Mangels. Ms. Mangels has on several occasions voceriferously spoken against the development of the charger and power outlet infrastructure on the basis that non-EV owners are made to pay the expense of the chargers to benefit those who do have such vehicles.
It would be a vast understatement to say that we were a bit surprised to find that not a single person from the opposition showed up. But we didn't know this before the meeting began. So several of us volunteered to voice our opinions. For the record they call it "testifying".
Had I known I was going to "testify" I might have been nervous from the start but I am pretty naive when it comes to these things and all I figured that I was going to do was to chat for two or three minutes. So I made a few sketchy notes based upon something Marvin and I had traded via E- mail.
After a delay, they re-seated themselves and proceeded with this particular piece of business. I was the first to be called upon. At that point all of the dormant butterflies began flying. While I have some stage and on-camera experience it's another thing again to have to speak with virtually no preparation and at the same time knowing that if one were to say the wrong thing or even to give the wrong inflection, hundreds of people could be affected.
I told the board that having an electric car was my dream since I was a small child and that I really felt that many people would benefit from the proliferation of this kind of personal transportation. Next I stated that my EV1 is used for all but longer distance driving and that my alternative transportation was a Diesel. I told them that I wanted to minimize my use of the Diesel and that if the infrastructure buildout were accomplished, I'd be able to use the EV for an even greater percentage of my driving than I do now. Finally I stated that I had lived here during the 60s and late 70s when smog was at its worst, had experienced eye and lung burning sensation which made life so uncomfortable at the time. Finally I let them know that I considered the health of those living in the basin to be the most important consideration of all.
After Marvin and the rest of the EV1 drivers finished speaking, Rick Ostrov from GM stood up and made a short but eloquent presentation essentially siting the "Chicken or Egg" scenario. How do we get people into EVs unless they have the charging infrastructure to run them; can we afford to wait until the cars are in operation before installing the necessary facilities or will people never get into the cars because there is insufficient infrastructure? Obviously, in his opinion, the choice is to install the facilities now.
Following Rick, AQMD Governing Board member and L.A. City Councilman Marvin Braude (pronounced BROW-dee) announced that he too was driving an EV1, and that he did so because he fervently believed that electric vehicles were the way to go. Well known as an environmentalist, Councilmember Braude thoroughly endorsed the infrastructure buildout because he felt it would spur the growth of EV use. As one might expect he received a round of applause from the EV1 group.
The Board vote followed a few miscellaneous comments from other board members and was unanimous. That was the real surprise! I at least had felt going in that the Californians Against Hidden Taxes had won over at least one of the Board.
Apparently each of the members was able to see who was behind the anti- infrastructure activity.
The event was interesting and educational for all of us who went but I wonder if we wouldn't have been better educated by having at least one of the opposition present to present their opinion.
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