SEVA September meeting summary

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Grace Reamer

Sep 20, 2022, 3:27:03 AM9/20/22
Seattle Electric Vehicle Association
Meeting minutes
Sept. 13, 2022

It's almost here! National Drive Electric Week is Sept. 24-Oct. 2. 

The September membership meeting of the Seattle Electric Vehicle Association took place on Sept. 13, 2022 at First Church of the Nazarene in Wallingford. President Jay Donnaway called the meeting to order at 7:16 p.m.

NEW ATTENDEES - Bill Trueit came to encourage attendance at the National Drive Electric Week event in Everett on Oct.1. Roland built a conversion which has a half-mile of range, and he's working on amphibious vehicles. Ted has an electric bike and he'll be building light battery packs. Lin works at an EV charging startup, Aeon Charging. Adam Miller bought a VW truck and is interested in conversions.

FEATURED MEMBER - Jay introduced Ryan Plute, a founding member of SEVA from 1979. Ryan described a conversion he worked on in 1981. He needed to abandon the project and he'd like to know whatever became of the car after he sold it. It was green with a dented door.

SPECIAL GUESTS from RECURRENT -  Jon Witt and Brian Gerwe of local start-up Recurrent presented details about their research and work on battery-health software. They have completed their PhDs at the University of Washington, focusing on battery chemistry and they now work as Recurrent's data scientists. The company is remote with no office, and its 21 employees are mostly in the Seattle area. Jon and Brian describe the business as "Carfax for used EVs."  A car shopper can get Recurrent's report on an individual vehicle to find out estimated range of the car's traction battery. Here are some of their findings:
  • EV adoption rates are accelerating, along with used EV sales. Up to 97 percent of EV buyers (according to an AAA survey) want a used EV with a battery report, and are willing to pay $2,500 more for the car if it has the report. 
  • Recurrent's estimates are based on battery size, age and fraction of the warranty period remaining. The report estimates range at different outside temperatures. Battery recalls are noted. Dealers subscribe to Recurrent, which constructs reports that can then be shown to shoppers. Owners can receive free reports in return for uploaded data, which Recurrent uses to build their data model. Recurrent uses the car's telematics, e.g. Onstar for Chevrolet. 
  • SEVA Secretary Billy Kreuter asked about data integrity and protection from fraudulent reports. Jon and Brian said that so far, they haven't seen abuse, and the reports are tied to the car's VIN. Also, the machine-learning models would pick up frauds such as odometer rollbacks.
  • Jon and Brian have found that shoppers are mostly interested in range reported on the dashboard, more than state of battery health — but by correlating data, they found that dashboard range does approximate the battery state of health. Different manufacturers report dashboard range differently.
  • Last year, Recurrent won a National Science Foundation grant to put geotabs in 50 Nissan Leafs and 50 Tesla Model 3s. Recurrent used the resulting data to determine that Tesla's dashboard range is formed from a fixed multiplier times the usable battery capacity, meaning that Tesla closely approximates dashboard range from battery health. By comparison, the Bolt factors in non-battery metrics such as auxiliary load and outside temperature. They've found that the Model 3's telematics are pretty much as good as direct observation by the geotab devices. 
  • Factors affecting battery health include storage at high temperatures or high state-of-charge - these are the worst culprits for degradation. The best preservation of battery health is moderate temperature and moderate SOC. Battery chemistry matters a lot. Care instructions vary depending on the chemistry. 
  • Chris Royalty asked if they're collecting data on conversions. Jon and Brian said they aren't; they're now concerned with production vehicles.
  • Brian mentioned a program to help owners take care of their batteries, issuing certificates of good health and matching owners to participating dealers.
ANNOUNCEMENTS: Jay introduced Julie, who has a Ranger EV that she's selling. Brian Grunkemeyer said that Bloomberg has issued their estimate of EV growth, which looks excellent.

  • Jay took his Mazda conversion to the NDEW event in Steilacoom on Saturday, Sept 10.
  • Vice President Grace Reamer said that the NDEW event in Woodinville will be Saturday, Sept.24, and everyone is invited to participate.
  • Billy said that Sustainable Ballard will also be Saturday, Sept. 24, at Loyal Heights Community Center, 2101 NW 77 Street. It's moved this year from the former location in central Ballard. They've set aside four spaces for EVs. Three members have expressed interest, so there's space for one more. Contact if you're interested. The event is 11 a.m.-3 p.m., and because they'll be closing the street, cars must be on site from 10:30-3:15.
  • President Emeritus Steve Lough reported on Fully Charged in San Diego. The most interesting company was Vinfast from Vietnam, which has introduced an SUV. Steve also saw many three-wheeled vehicles, "more Teslas than you can shake a stick at," and a new vehicle from Hyundai.
CHARGING - Jay reported that he spoke about CHAdeMO plug deployment with Vicki Durham, corporate counsel of Electrify America, who said that EA would not receive comments on their charging policy through their 800 number. Anyone with anything to say can just go put a comment in Plugshare. They will ignore SEVA's resolution concerning EA's noncompliance with the terms of the Dieselgate settlement.

Jay adjourned the meeting at 8:42 p.m.

Minutes drafted by Billy Kreuter, Secretary, and edited and posted by Grace Reamer, Vice President.

Jay Donnaway

Sep 20, 2022, 5:55:04 PM9/20/22
Thanks BIlly and Grace for such succinct yet complete minutes!  

Anyone who's interested in a 1998/99 Ford Ranger EV with the latest state-of-the-art 230 Ah LiFePO4 battery pack by in Eugene, OR please contact me directly to link up with the owner.  The seller is just trying to salvage her purchase price, not realizing that these Rangers do require a bit more care than a modern EV and some tech skills from the owner.  For instance, a 12V trickle charge or battery disconnect must be used for more than 48 hours without a drive or J1772 recharge!  Asking price, $25k.  


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