8/22/98 Club Meeting

hosted by the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power

The August 1998 meeting of the EV1 Club was held in downtown Los Angeles at the Department of Water and Power (DWP). Discussion topics included charging infrastructure program updates, some info on the 1999 EV1's now reaching the production stage, and updates on what is happening within the EV1 program at GM and Saturn...

John Cox and Jeff Church take care of preliminaries - coordinating the juggling of cars and chargers.
  • Advertising/Sales/Production Update

    There are now 470 EV1's on the road, 33 having been sold in July (compared to a reported 3 sold by Honda during the same period). For the moment, there are only about a dozen new EV1's left in inventory, all red.

    However, the production line has been fired up and pre-production cars are rolling off the line, with production units just about to emerge. NiMH versions will not be produced until the end of the year, but a few preproduction cars may be available at the October club meeting for test drives. While neither the lease "upgrade" policy nor the lease price of a NiMH EV1 has been decided, the lease is hinted to be in the range of 25% more than the lead-acid version.

    Although there is no direct impact of the recent GM strike on EV1 design or production, in general, budgets within GM are being trimmed. For the EV1 program, advertising will be affected. This currently consists of radio ads, billboards (on buses and at bus stops), direct mailings, and magazine advertising. For the moment magazine advertising will be cut back, and the direct mailing (which did not produce the hoped for response) will be re-evaluated.

  • 1999 Model Preview

    Most 1999 model EV1 changes will apparently be "under the hood".

    • Colors: same as 1997 model (red/green/silver-blue).
    • The interior will have a different fabric.
    • Power electronics bay has been redesigned to use fewer components, reducing cost and increasing reliability.
    • The charging system will be capable of handling the 50 KW "fast-charge" system, which will soon be field tested on Chevy S-10 fleets.
    • The rear end suspension has been tweaked to reduce oscillation. This was actually incorporated into the last of the '97 cars (perhaps after about #600).
    • NiMH battery versions of the '99 cars will be produced at the end of 1998. It was confirmed that battery cooling was a major issue, and that this technical problem was solved by using the air-conditioner to force cool air into the battery tunnel.
    Mark Selogie (an EV1 owner as well as GM employee) briefs the club about 1999 EV1 features and fields technical questions.

  • New Charger Design

    Mark Selogie also briefly discussed a new generation charger. This 6.6 KW charger will replace both wall-mounted and pedestal mounted chargers with a single weather-proof model, which will have an optional pedestal.

    It has a reduced parts count which should translate into greater reliability and lower manufacturing cost. In addition, it will be smaller, lighter, and have a longer, but non-retracting paddle cord. It will also NOT have a lock.

    The introduction time was not clear, but possibly will be done at the same time the '99 EV1 models come out.

  • Charger Infrastructure Updates

    Helena Hsieh (DWP) and Leilani Johnson (City of LA Environmental Affairs Dept.) gave an update of the Quick Charge program progress: 127 of 188 chargers have been installed.

    They also reported that the next program to begin (probably early next year) is called EV Charge. This is a $2M program as compared to the $6M Quick Charge program. This will be a first come, first served appropriation for up to 50% of charger costs with the following tentative priorities:

    • Filling in coverage gaps, especially along freeways.
    • New developments.
    • Expansion of existing sites, especially where additional chargers can be put in with minimal installation cost (e.g. use existing wiring).
    • Moderate demand sites (retail, beaches, etc).
    • Work sites (must be public chargers).

    They also displayed some drafts of newspaper ads designed to inform the public about EV's and EV charging availability around Los Angeles.

    Terry Brungard and Darryl Yonemine, both from DWP also reported on the DWP's other EV projects involving buses, trolleys and bicycles. DWP also is running a "VIP" program designed to introduce heads of departments in various organizations to the practicality of electric vehicles.

    Enid Joffe (Edison EV) added updates on various other EV related issues at the state level. HOV use for EV's and reduced auto registration fees appear to be possibilities.

    Enid also informed everyone that the first Fast Charger will be unveiled at a press conference on 9/10. This is capable of charging a 1999 EV1 to 80% in 12 minutes, but will first be tested on fleet S-10 trucks only.

  • EV Education Programs

    Sharon Sarris from GM Corporate Communications briefed the club about an ongoing project between GM, AQMD, the utilities and other organizations to educate school teachers and children about EV's and the principles behind them. She announced a Nov. 7 event at the Peterson museum which can use some EV1 drivers' participation. Interested drivers are invited to contact her. Details have not been worked out fully at this time, but may involve driving a selected group of students to the event in EV1's.

  • EV1 Club Chapters Forming

    Rick Ostrov reported that EV1 club chapters are in the process of organizing both in the Bay Area and Sacramento. Congratulations up there!

  • Fate of the Club Newsletter

    The fate of the club's newsletter hangs in the balance because of lack of time on editor Marvin Rush's part and a question of how useful the club members find it. Opinions were voiced in support of maintaining it for the sake of the non-computer oriented club members (electronically connected members also like to read it!) and because it is useful as a hand-out to non-members, though possibly reducing the publication frequency to 6 times/year or quarterly. If you have any opinion on this or can provide support (e.g. article submissions) to Marvin, please contact him at mrush@concentric.net.

  • Pat Ward Moves on to New Challenges

    Pat Ward (left) announced that he would be leaving the EV1 team to go on to new challenges within Saturn. He will be taking on the job of Saturn's national Leasing and Finance manager. Rick Ostrov (right) will be replacing him for the moment. Congratulations and best wishes to both these guys with their new challenges!


The next meeting is tentatively scheduled for the third Saturday in October at the LA DWP.

Return to the EV1 Club Home Page