21c Test Pilot

Vol 1 Issue 5, August 1997

Selected articles:

Elections this month

August marks a significant change for the EV1 Club. In February of 1997 EV Specialists Rick Ostrove and Chelsea Bennet polled a few of the most enthusiastic EV1 drivers about our interest in starting a club. They wondered if an organization to represent and harness the power of the EV1 drivers would be a good idea. The seven of us present for that founding meeting voiced a resounding yes.

Today our membership stands at over 90.

During the past six months these seven members have worked behind the scenes to make the club go. There were many things to do and tasks were delegated on an informal basis. Things were decided by consensus and by who was available to get the job done. Elections were put off so that when we had them they would come from a representative group of EV1 drivers.

That time is now.

The original seven have enjoyed pitching in and most would be delighted to continue. If that is how the majority feel, so be it. If you want to take a more active role in the club your energy and enthusiasn will be appreciated. Run for office and help lead or volunteer to work on a committee. Either way, as in the past, results will count much more than titles.

Our club needs you and there is much to do.

July meeting at GMATV Torrance

Mark Selogie EV1 Club member and Chairman of the Technical Committee was our host for our July meeting. Mark is Project Manager for Power Electronics at GM Advanced Technology Vehicles in Torrance, California.

Club members arrived at 1:00 pm for a BBQ lunch and social hour. As we signed in we were given a beautiful EV1 travel mug. Thank you GMATV. Our monthly meeting began with John Cox our Acting Chairman. He told us great news about Caltrans unanimous approval of new directional signs for EVs. Mark Sterner and Eric Leuben reported on last month's range rally. They promised to run another longer one soon. The mayor of Torrance Dee Hardison welcomed us to her city. She also mentioned a new charging site at Del Amo Mall is in the works.

Clive Roberts renowned suspension engineer and designer of the EV1 suspension system talked about his expreiences developing the EV1. Clive is the fellow that set the speed record of 182 mph in the EV1.

Dennis Young communciations Director for GMATV in Torrance gave us an overview of their operation and what we would see on our tour. Mark Selogie then took the stage and gave a layman's overview of the drive system in the EV1.

George Woodie, Magne-Charger engineer told us about new developments in EV1 infrastructure. "We have an experimental charger in development that can charge the EV1 in 5.4 minutes" he said. This charger puts out up to 120 KW and in the future high speed refueling will be practical according to George.

Next we toured the product development facility. Highlights included a NiMH battery pack ready for installation in an EV1. Several of the members wanted to bid on it but Mark Selogie said we just have to be patient and wait our turn.

We also toured the quality control and product validation stations. This is where technicians put components through extremes of temperature and vibration to prove their road worthiness.

Next we saw the Dyno Room where Ev1 motors and controllers are tested round the clock to prove their longevity.

Last stop on the tour was the EMI room. Inside an entire EV1 looking like a patient in an intensive care suite is tested for electromagnetic interference (EMI). Without shielding the EV1 would cause massive radio interference in other automobiles' electrical systems and radios. Because of this, much time and effort must be expended to properly block it.

Our thanks to Mark Selogie and his crew at GMATV for a great outing.

Charger news

Something to cheer about!

Imagine you are driving south on the Interstate 5. You are headed for San Clemente in your EV1. Your state of charge is a little below half and you are a little bit hungry as well. Up ahead in the city of Irvine you see a STAR just off the freeway. You pull off and right in to the Texaco station. Two brand new Magne-Charge ports await you. You plug in and walk over the the Star Mart convenience store. Inside you order a Subway sandwich and a cold drink. After about 40 minutes you are at 80% charge and back on your way...

Wait a minute, a gasoline station where you can get a free charge for your EV1 - impossible, right? Not any more. Texaco has just opened their first public charging stations in Irvine at (appropriately enough) 51 Technology Way, Irvine, Calif.

Two chargers, a shiny new convenience store, and fast food restaurants right off the 5 freeway near where the 5 and 405 meet. Perfect! Thank you to the Folks who wear the star. Let's show our appreciation by making use of their generosity.

Remember a Subway sandwich always tastes great when it's seasoned with free electricity.

Link to charger page: Irvine Texaco

Toyota to Supply EV Chargers for Nissan's EVs

Japan - In what's being called its first direct shipments to a rival automaker, the parent company of Toyota Motor Corp. will be selling electric vehicle (EV) recharging equipment to Nissan Motor Co. for use in its electric cars, reports Nikkei English News.

The inductive chraging equipment built by Toyoda Automatic Loom Works Ltd. uses technology licensed from General Motors.

Nissan will use the systems in its Prairie Joy EVs. Initially, the company will supply about 30 charging systems per month - priced at about $8500 (one million yen) apiece - to Nissan.

EV1's r FUN, by Kris Trexler

I was thrilled to use my first public charger at the Ralph's on Wilshire/Miracle Mile. The 2 chargers are prominently located and clearly signed. My car attracted lots of attention while being charged.

Maybe that's the best advertising of all. Nothing can show the public how it is to charge an EV1 until they see for themselves.

I promised the store manager all of my business, and got the address of the Ralph's president to send him a letter.

Tomorrow, Beverly Center!

Fast charging news

SCAQMD Awards Two EV Fast-Charger Contracts

Diamond Bar, Calif. - The South Coast Air Quality Management District (SCAQMD) has awarded two separate half-million dollar contracts to develop fast chargers for electric vehicles (EVs), reports the AQMD Advisory newsletter. Both Monrovia, Calif.-based AeroVironment, Inc. and General Motors Corp. will each develop separate, proprietary charging systems that will be tested in electric Chevrolet S-10 pickups. Last year, AeroVironment set a 24-hour EV distance record when it ran an EV more than 1,000 miles using the company's 120-kilowatt charger that recharges in as fast as 12 minutes. As part of the cost-shared effort, other organizations will reportedly contribute a total of $1.27 million to the AeroVironment effort and $2.43 million to GM's project.

Win an EV1

EV1 is Grand Prize in Engineering Design Contest

Irvine, Calif. - Wyle Electronics and electronic Engineering Times are giving away a GM EV1 as the grand prize as part of their new "Idea Quest" contest. The contest seeks the best designs using products from one of eight sponsoring manufacturers; the best design that uses two or more sponsors' products will win the EV1. Sponsors this year include Analog Devices, Altera, Intel, Micron Technology, Motorola, National Semiconductor, Texas Instruments, and WSI. The "Idea Quest" grand prize winner will receive free use of an EV1 for its three-year lease period, with all costs paid by Irvine, Calif. based Wyle. Although EV1's are currently available only in Southern California and Arizona, Wyle and EE Times will attempt to make special agreements with GM to accommodate a winner living outside those areas. The deadline for contest entries is August 31.

New Highway Sign

This new highway sign will be appearing on our roads and freeways in the near future. Its purpose is to let EV drivers know where a charge site is located. Just like the signs that tell you what businesses or services are available at the next exit, this sign will help us find energy for our cars. Our Acting Chairman John Cox advised us at our July meeting about the recent unanimous vote by Caltrans to implement this sign. Thanks to all the members who have written to Caltrans and expressed their support for EVs. There is more that can be done. Every letter or fax makes a difference. Write to say thanks to: Caltrans, 1120 N. Street, Mail Station 36, P.O. Box 942873, Sacramento, CA 94273-001. Phone: (916) 654-2352, Fax: (916) 653-6080.

First Person - Tim Lamoreaux


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