Monday, March 21, 2011

EV Car Show

The Phoenix chapter of the Electric Automobile Association participated in an event this last weekend, and they asked me to bring along the Z3 for display.  The event is held every year and is principally a swap meet for auto parts and car enthusiasts.  But the local EV group have space reserved year to year in order to display the local member's EVs. 

It was Saturday and Sunday, 6 hours long each day, and very well attended.  Granted most of the people walking by didn't come to see EVs.  Instead they were there to try and find the matching hub cap for their 57 Ford or something like that.  Even still, a surprising number of people stopped and looked over each car and asked questions.  The great thing was that a lot of these people are of the sort that have at least one car project going at all times.  When they saw the home built/conversion EVs and it sparked some interest.  At least 3 guys told me they were considering an EV build after seeing the cars on display.  There was one guy that thought I was an idiot for having "ruined" such a great car.  I should say there was one guy who openly said as much.  There were probably others that thought it.  But, to each his own.  I hope he remembers my little EV next time he's pumping gas at $3.60/gallon.

There were a total of 3 Nissan Leafs that made it out.  The owner of one of the Leafs also brought out his Chevy Volt, which he'd picked up in California just a few weeks ago.  That was my first look at a Volt.  Nice car, but since I didn't get to drive it, I can't comment on anything about it.  There were 3 Pius's also in attendance that had been modified to have approximately a 40 mile range on battery power alone.  Here's a smattering of some of the other cars that made it.

This is Sam's Chevy S-10.  He's got 200ah GBS lithium batteries under the bed, for a range of over 100 miles.

Jim's Fiero has flooded nickle-metal-hydride batteries.  Jim had two vehicles there, the other being a Chevy S-10 that was purpose built as an EV by Solectra. 

Abe and his Dodge Neon.  Abe also owns the Ford EV Probe that I'd shown back in November from the SRP Party For the Planet event we both attended. 

Rick's EV Saturn.  Right now it has flooded lead acid Trojan batteries in it which Rick says have all but died.  He's got plans to upgrade to Lithium soon which will really add some distance to the range the car has.  He's also taking delivery of a Leaf in April. 

I didn't get the chance to snap pictures of all the cars, but it was really rather impressive.  What surprised me were the number of people that had, or will soon have, more than one EV.  Six, by my count!  That helps to strengthen the my argument that we should get an EV for our teenage daughter :)  She only drives 8 miles a day, maximum, so an EV would be perfect.

Driving the car clear out to Glendale (a 32 mile trip) was completely worth it.  I had a great time, got to show off he Z3 and meet some other genuine EV enthusiasts. 


Ellsworth Mciltrot said...

So, did you get your daughter an EV? It can be very effective, especially when the range of travel is fairly low. It's kind of cool to see the EVs fit into that kind of niche, but it kinda makes you still optimistic that they would continue to evolve.

Tim Catellier said...

I've been saying for some time now that an EV would be the perfect car for my daughter, and probably for most teenagers. All of her trips are within 5 miles of the house. Unfortunately buying or building and EV for her hasn't been within our reach just yet. But I keep looking for ways to make it happen.