Bay Area EV1 Event Impressions

by Greg Hanssen

I arrived on Saturday and checked out the local San Francisco dealership where a bunch of EV1s were waiting for the show on Tuesday (some vin#s in the 300s, some #s in the 500s). I met Joe Medivitz who helped launch the EV1 in Sacramento and is now doing the same in the bay area.

Woke up to rain on Tuesday morning and headed to the Island. It seems I was the only SoCal driver at the event, it would have been nice to have John or Marvin there also (I'm sure it took a lot to keep them from coming). Enid and Julie were there from EdisonEV as of course were Pat, Rob, Rick and a whole bunch of other Saturn/GM folks. I thought the event went rather well despite the rain (they had to move indoors at the last minute).

Right in front of the building they had all the EV1s lined up for show.. mostly red and silver, one green car and one yellow (the 183mph Impact). Also a few other Electric devices (check out my pictures on

It was definitely standing room only as the event got under way. Speakers included Joe Kennedy and Todd Cooper from Saturn and of course Frank Pereira. Anil Gadre from Sun Microsystems spoke to the crowd about installing chargers at the workplace.. What a great idea. I gave a test drive to some folks at 3Com who are also considering chargers for their employees. Several shopping malls have committed to charging but it seems the first installed chargers (aside from Saturn) will be Costco and Frys.... Even though we STILL have NO charging at the Frys down here.... grumble..

Many of the first dozen or so SF drivers were at the event and they all got to drive their cars off the island... I'm looking forward to hearing the first reports from SF drivers about range up in the hills of wintery San Francisco!

Mayor Willie Brown was a little late so they had to scrounge to find someone to fill in the time... Rob asked me to talk for a while so I got a little time to put in a good plug for the EV1-Club and the website. When the Mayor did show up we were already heading outside for the test drives so he gave a little talk outside. He said he really enjoyed the few days he was given to play with the EV1, but he said "You need to work on the power going up the hills.. you will work on that right?" Frank had no choice but to nod... uh.."ok". I can't imagine the EV1 having a problem getting up ANY hill (as long as it's not too high (ie Mt. Baldy) or if you expect to get anywhere else that day...)

Anyway everyone enjoyed the test drives and it was odd seeing so many EV1s tooling around Treasure Island. A shopping center manager I drove with was really impressed with the acceleration... indeed :)

Several people asked if I had driven my EV1 over (yeah, I wish!) My rental car was a Suzuki 'Esteem'... ugh, I was very happy to come home to my EV1.

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