A meeting of EV activists was held Sunday, October 5th 2003 from 11:00 a.m.-2:00 p.m. in Santa Monica. The point of the meeting was to share the latest technical, regulatory and political information on EVs and to continue to keep the activism alive and thriving, with the ultimate goal of more and more EVs on the road.
EV-owner Larry Mortoff graciously
offered his house for the event on 1436 San Vicente.
October 6th 2003
Paul Scott's EV Party
By Paul Scott - Mon Oct 6, 2003
Thanks to everyone who came to the EVent yesterday in Santa Monica. It looked to be about 50-60 people with most of them coming in EVs of many types. There were, of course many RAV-EVs, but also a few EV1s, a Nev, a great looking electric scooter (Zan, my birthday is coming up:~) and Phoenix Motorcars' cool looking roadster. Of course the highlight of the show was the tZero from AC Propulsion.
While the press was apparently busy elsewhere, and the candidates obviously had more pressing obligations, we did manage to get KPCC 89.3 and KFWB 98.0 to do interviews which aired several times over the weekend. And I did get a promise from Rachel Myra of KPCC to do a more in depth story on EVs after the recall.
People arrived early and kept streaming in for the first hour. Tom Gage and Alan Cocconi drove up in the tZero and were immediately deluged with questions which they happily answered. We got the formal discussion going around noon with Greg Hanssen's in depth talk about the current state of the CARB credits. It seems the credits are being considered, but my take from Greg was that no decision has been made. Greg's association, the Production EV Drivers Coalition (PEVDC) is working with CALSTART to have letters written encouraging the 6 major Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs; i.e., GM, Ford, Toyota, etc.) to take advantage of the credits allowed for putting the existing confiscated EVs back on the road. These letters will be sent to the OEMs by as many CA State Senators and Assembly members as possible who are willing to go to bat for us on this issue. This is VERY IMPORTANT and all of us throughout the state should contact our respective Senators and Assembly members to encourage their participation.
Tom Gage then stood before the group to tell us about the latest performance specs from their work with Lithium Ion batteries in the tZero. Tom went into detail about the early work wit the lead acid version of the tZero, and brought us up to speed on the discovery of the striking energy and power output of the LiIon batteries. Alan Cocconi's work with solar powered airplanes led him to this discovery and from there, another fortuitous relation with an interested investor enabled Tom, Alan and their team at ACP to swap out the lead acid for LiIon and begin the testing. Tom passed around a sample battery (about the size of a C cell, only thinner) and explained that over 6 thousand of them had been bundled together to create the battery pack. The construction and testing of the battery pack took several months, but the results are clearly worth it. This car really does go 0 60 in 3.7 seconds and can travel 300 miles on a single charge!
Tom also discussed ACP's plan to convert the Toyota Scion to an EV for use by fleet customers and individuals. Dave Franklin of Hollywood Toyota had driven over in a Scion to show everybody, and while the look of the car drew mixed reviews, most people were excited about the opportunity to purchase an EV some time in the not too distant future. Gloria Rincon of Cabe Toyota (Long Beach) was also there and asked a good question about why the new Prius was not considered a better candidate for conversion. Tom's answer indicated that price seemed to be the major reason. My personal opinion is that it's unfortunate we can't have both models running in parallel lines as I think there is a good market for both. But that is a discussion for when the investment money is there in sufficient quantity to make it happen.
There were many questions for Tom which I don't have time to go into here, but the whole proceeding was taped with three cameras and Josh Landess audio taped much of it, so we will be attempting to make as much of that available on line as we can. I am trying to make that happen ASAP.
We finished with the most exciting part. Tom took a few VERY LUCKY people for a ride in the tZero. The first was my lovely wife, Zan, who could barely get a garbled exclamation out of her throat as the amazingly silent rocket literally zipped away from us in an unbelievably quick motion. It really takes your breath away to see something move that quickly without making a sound. Simply amazing, and a dramatic beginning to the next phase of the history of the EV. This phase will see the EV emerge over the next several years as a dependable, affordable, clean and very powerful alternative to ICE and Fuel Cell technology. All of us will be there to see it happen, because all of us will work together to make it happen.
Thanks and we'll see you at the next EVent!
|All photos: Josh Landess — The two people in the garden are Paul Scott on the left and Greg Hanssen on the right. The one person in the garden is Tom Gage. The yellow car is the tzero. (Josh says say tzero, Remy says tZero!) The guy in the black car is a marketing person for Phoenix Motorcars. The oil field Josh passed along Highway 46 in California, apparently are called the "Lost Hills Producing Area".|