SEVA EVUpdate Newsletter

June 1995

Contents: Presidents Message | Monthly Meeting Minutes | Monthly Board Minutes | Upcomming CARB Workshops | Responses to the Carnegie-Mellon Study | The Truth About Lead-Acid Batteries | Other EV Political Issues | Editors Corner | Industry Tidbits | Upcomming SEVA Picnic | Upcomming EVents | Member Want-Ads

Presidents Message by Mark Bahlke

Our President, Mark Bahlke, has been out sick and so has not been able to do his newsletter write-up.

Mark has not been feeling well for over a month and his doctor finally decided that they needed to run some tests to see what's up, so Mark was in the hospital for a week. He is out now and luckily there was nothing serious found. He is on medication and is resting at home and taking his medication there.

From his friends at SEVA, I want to wish Mark a speedy(er) recovery and look forward to his column next month and his presence at our picnic.
Monthly Meeting Minutes by Bill Dean

The meeting was opened at 10am by V.P. Tim Loree. He introduced Don Bright and Mike Mack of Z.A.P., who demonstrated electric bicycles.

The 27-pound system comes with a battery pack, charger, and motor, all for $499. The motor has a wheel that presses on the rear tire for propulsion. The controller allows for three speeds: 25% power; 50% power; full power. The civilian version has a 12V battery, which recharges in 2 hours. The police version has a 24V battery. Bob Dean says that he controls speed by pedaling. The rider can commute without sweating.

By 11:00 the rain had stopped, so the group went outside. Individuals took turns test-riding the two bicycles around the parking lot. With strenuous effort, Tim eventually herded the group back into the meeting room.

Tim commended Tony Cygan for the good job he is doing with the newsletter. Tim showed a button designed by Arthur Cartwright, to indicate EV miles driven. Someone asked about getting a button for using an electric lawnmower. Tim said that Arthur could design a button tallying acres mown.

Tim introduced Board members and let them make announcements. Tony announced set-asides for EV incentive money by SAQD. He has a handout on voltage and mileage for Trojan battery. Arthur announced the clean air commuting awards: buttons to present to EV drivers at the July picnic. Ruth McDougall introduced Craig Childers, a new SMUD employee and CityEl driver, who may start an EAA club in Davis.

Ruth talked about a campaign by oil companies to discredit EVs, picking on the environmental hazard of lead batteries. Ruth pointed out that lead usage is up, but blood levels of lead are down. EV mandates have spurred improvements in lead batteries. The 20,000 EVs in 1998 will have lots of lead batteries, but each of 49 million ICE cars has a lead battery now. Lead batteries do not pollute. The factories turn out exhaust water and air that is as clean as it enters. Already 95% of lead batteries get recycled. Steve Smith suggested that SEVA draft a letter that members could sign and mail.

It was also reported that GM is surprised that drivers like the Impact. GM is making 50 more this year and plans to make 7500 Impacts next year. GM wants to see the EV incentive changed from 10% up to $4000, to simply a $4000 incentive.

Ruth asked members if anyone could help her locate a used Geo Metro body, ideally 1991-1992, 4-door, with good transmission.

The meeting was adjourned at noon.
Monthly Board Minutes by Bill Dean

The SEVA board met Monday, May 22 to discuss club business. Both the President and VP were absent, so the Board finally settled down to business, between bites of pizza, at 8:15pm. The meeting was continually punctuated by side conversations.

First on the agenda was a review of recent events. The Clean Air Commute was a success. Drivers recharged in Davis. Arthur Cartwright signed up people to get a sample newsletter. Mark Bahlke drove his car in the Clean Air Awards. Representatives from US Electricar were there to let everyone know that they are still around, concentrating on producing buses for now.

The Board discussed plans for the SEVA picnic, July 9 at McKinley Park. Ruth McDougall gave Tony Cygan a map for the newsletter. Ruth gave Steve Smith a receipt for the site reservation. Participants should bring their own grills. Food assignments will be by alphabet. Tony said he will bring plates, forks, etc.

Arthur showed the patterns to be put on the Clean Air Commuter Awards buttons. They are blue grey, the color of sky with smog. He said that Tim Loree has ordered button material. Categories begin with EV owner, first 100 miles, an on from there. Arthur suggested certificates for 1000 miles and a dash plaque for 5000 miles. Tony will put an application form in the newsletter. Ruth brought copies of the information contained on the Project Board, on a spreadsheet.

The Board discussed a suggestion to ask Tannerbaum at the San Francisco Science Museum about videos on EVs. His address appears at the end of his show on the Discovery Channel. The Board will pursue this idea.

Steve suggested that SEVA coordinate an information campaign. The club could point out and clean up some grease spots. Other Board members suggested political cartoons or guerrilla theater. In reaction to oil company complaints about the use of lead in EV batteries, SEVA could publicize gas stations with leaky storage tanks, sites that now require cleanup.

By 9:15, the side conversations had overwhelmed group deliberation and we adjurned.
Upcomming CARB Workshops

CARB holds regular workshops and hearings that go over the status of their programs (like the ZEV Mandate) and on posible new programs and regulations.

Here is a list of workshops dealing with LEV/ZEV's. Members should attend if possible so that they may voice their opinions on the mandates and CARBs actions with relation to improving the air quality of California (letters and phone calls help also). It is very important to let these people know how you feel right now.

All but one of the workshops are in Southern California (El Monte). The other is here is Sacramento and I have highlighted it. Call CARB at 916-322-2990 for location and times of the workshops.

Date      LEV/ZEV  Topic
June 28     ZEV    Marketability (important)
July 12     ZEV    Infrstructure
Aug 9       ZEV    Hybrid Electric Vehicle Issues 
Sept 13     ZEV    Fleet Issues
** Sept 28  LEV    Board Hearing (Sacramento)
Oct 11      ZEV    Technology Review
Nov 8       ZEV    Benefits and Costs of EVs
Jan/May 96  ZEV    Board hearing on ZEVs

You can fax or write your support of the ZEV Mandate to CARBs new chairman, John Dunlap. His fax number is 916-327-5748. CARBs address is 2020 L St., Sacramento, CA. 95814.

Responses to the Carnegie-Mellon Lead-Acid Battery Report

About a month ago the New York Times printed a study by three researchers from Carnegie-Mellon University, that spread a concern that a growing EV industry will pose serious threats to public health by significantly increasing lead emissions into the environment. Since it's publication the study has also spread a great deal of scientific skepticism in regards to its methodology and conclusions.

The following are a few of the examples of expert statements and facts from a variety of sources that shed light on the Carnegie-Mellon study:

Editors note: There were many more of these responses to this study, but my fingers are getting tired of re-typing them. If you want to see the rest of them please check our library as we will have copies in there for you to gather.
The Truth About Lead-Acid Batteries

Wide spread use of lead-acid batteries in electric vehicles would further reduce airborne pollutants and help clean up our environment, contrary to assertions in a front page story of the New York Times on May 9th, 1995. The California ZEV Mandate requires that approximately 20,000 electric vehicles be made available for sale in 1998.

Use some of these arguments when writing responses to newspapers, or government officials, or even your friends when they ask you questions about the lead study.
Other EV Political Issues

Gov. Wilson and the ZEV Mandate

As you may have heard, Gov. Wilson is softening his stance on the ZEV Mandate after receiving letters from other GOP Governors, particularly from Michigan.

He is looking to run for President and wants to get support from these people. We need to let him know we don't appreciate his giving away clean-air for California and changing his tune in mid-stream just for political gains.

You should fax or write to Gov. Wilson and let him know about your displeasure on his stance of the mandate.

The Governors fax line is - 916-445-463. You can also leave a 30 second blurb on his recorder at 916-658-2793.


We had heard some ugly rumors that the state tax incentives for converting and buildign an EV were gone at the end of 1994. This is untrue.

The experation date is actually Jan. 1, 1996, so you have until the end of the year to claim this credit if you are thinking of getting an EV.

BUT we do have at least one friend in the State Assembly who is pushing to extend the deadline to 2002. That person is Assemblywoman Valerie Brown from Sonoma. The bill is in committee as this goes to press, so you need to write or call your state representitives and let them know you want them to support bill AB759 (Brown).

Look in the front of the yellow pages phone book (in the blue pages area) for the address of your elected representitives.


While your writing your representitives let them know you want the to vote against the following two bills - AB845 (Conroy) and AB339 (Richter).

Bill AB845 will require that the local utilities not help out the EV cause with regards to infrastructure improvments or other incentives that are paid for with ratepayer monies, unless a direct benefit would result. This could slow development of these needed improvements.

And Bill AB339 would allow the major automobile manufaturers to purchase and remove from service 'gross polluters' from our roadways in lieu of building electric vehicles starting in 1998. This would gut the ZEV Mandate.

Removing these gross polluters is a noble goal, but will not benefit our air in the long run. Only a shift in technology will do that.
Editors Corner by Tony Cygan

We have alot of political information spread alll around this months issue since there is a major assault on the electric vehicle comming from many different fronts lately. I hope you will take these issues to heart and act on them.

While many people don't want to get involved with politics it is something that we can not just let the other person take care of. I personally don't want someone in big business making decisions on whether the air I breath is OK or not. I don't want them to make the decision to give a raise to their chairman of the board, or to put in the pollution control equipment at the factory smokestack.. Or how about dumping hazerdous waste down the drain because it would be too costly to put in the on-site water treatment plant and therefore cut into the stockholders dividend. These types of things are real issues right now at both the national level and here in California.

Big business has the upper hand with the majority of politicians right now and unless we make sure these people in office know that we don't support them in giving in to big business we have only ourselves to blame. So take a few minutes after reading this newsletter and give a call or write a letter to our folks in Sacramento and Washington D.C. and let them know how you feel.
Industry Tidbit

Electric Car Sets a Record: 238 Miles Without a Charge

By Mathew L. Wald - The New York Times (reprinted without permission)

A four passenger electric car with the interior space of a Ford Taurus and a lightweight all-composite body has set a record for the distance traveled by a battery-powered vehicle without recharging: 238 miles in mixed city-highway driving.

The car was the Sunrise built by Solectria of Wilmington, Mass. and it raced in the Tour-de-Sol EV and Solar Car Rally. The car uses Nickel- Metal Hydrid batteries, which are in common use in laptop computers, but are not commercially available in automotive sizes. A joint partnership between the developer, the Ovonic Battery Corp. and General motors plans to produce them for automotive use.
Upcomming SEVA Picnic


Yes it's that time of year again. Time for the 2nd Annual SEVA Picnic. This years EVent will be held at McKinely Park, on Sunday, July 9th at 11:00am until ??? The park is located 1 block east of Bus. 80 at the corner of Alhambra Blvd and H Street, here in Sacramento (see map below). The SEVA group will meet just west of the rose garden area of the park. Look for the SEVA banner!

For those of you with EVs, there will be no charging available at the site, but please try and drive your vehicle to the picnic. We would like to park them all together on H street for the public to see. So be sure and spruce them up so they are in their best show-off mode. We want to get the public drooling over wanting an EV in their future !

Who's Bringing What?

The club will provide the plates, eating utensils and cups, but as far as food goes this is a potluck picnic, so check the list below and see what you need to bring (make enough for 6 people).

A-F Main Course; G-L Drinks; M-S Salads/Snacks; T-Z Desserts.

Feel free to bring your family and friends, but please bring extra food for them and if you have a grill or charcoal please bring it in case we don't have enough equipment to go around.

Also SEVA's President, Mark Bahlke, will be there for those of you who are interested in meeting him. So come on down and have a good time.
Upcomming EVents
SEVA Activities --
     o General Meeting, Saturday June 10th at 10:00am.  
     o Board Meeting, Monday June 12th at 7:00pm
     o No Regular Meeting for July !  Instead come to 
        the 2nd Annual SEVA Picnic on SUNDAY, July 9th.
     o Board Meeting, Monday July 10th at 7pm.             
     o General Meeting, Saturday August 12th at 10:00am.
     o Board Meeting, Monday August 14th at 7:00pm.

Bay Area & Modesto EAA Activities --
     o Palo Alto Concours de Elegance, June 22nd
        Contact Anna Cornell at 510-685-7580.
     o East Bay EAA Chapter Rally , Aug 12th
     o Silicon Valley EAA Chapter Rally, Sept 16th

National/International EVents --
     o Chrysler Neon HEV Challenge, June 5-13
        Call 708-252-8677 for info.
     o Formula Lightning Races, June 9th
        Contact SERA 602-953-6672.
     o Solar Splash Electric Boat Regatta, June 22-25
        Call 602-774-8474 for info.
     o Pikes Peak Hill Climb, July 4th 
        Call 719-685-4400 for info.
     o Sun Sprint of the Rockies, July 11th
        Call Zach Keele 303-872-3882.    

Member Want Ads

FOR SALE: 1986 Ford Escort Conversion. Wagon model with new batteries (1st set ran 3 1/2 years). 4 roof top solar panels, AM/FM cassette. Call Dan Field at (916) 536-0828 home; or (916) 522-4135 pager. Available in March.

FOR SALE: 1980 VW Pickup - Excellent Body Condition. Ideal for an electric conversion. Make offer; original owner ! Call Jim Wilkersin at 916-753-5642.

FOR SALE: 15 Hp - 400 Amp DC Aircraft Generator - $300.00; 400 Amp - 24Volt Cutler Hammer Contactors - $25.00 each. Call Dave McGuire at 916-823-2469.

FOR SALE: 1960 Renault Sedan Body fair. Needs batteries, and controller. $200.00 takes it away. Call Doug Johnson at 916-921-1847
Return to the SEVA HomePage