SEVA EVUpdate Newsletter

May 1996

Contents: Presidents Message | Monthly Meeting Minutes | CARB/Automakers ZEV Agreement | A Point of View | Sun Sprint to the Rockies | Editors Corner | New EV Partners | EV News Bits | Upcoming EVents |

Presidents Message by Mark Bahlke

Hey, it's me again!

Well, I'm back in action, sort of, and dizzier than ever. On Monday April 8 my second son was born. Phillip Logan Bahlke wieghed in at 9 pounds 6.2 ounces, and 21 inches in length. So I have been really busy, sleepy and happy with all that. Unfortunately, this was a very difficult pregnancy for my wife, so I was caught up in alot of things taking care of her, and my older son. I'm not apologizing, it's has been a great experience for our family. Some of you have noticed that I have been less visible than usual lately, and this is the reason why. We are all healthy and happy now, all of the problems are behind us.

Well, at the last minute CARB caved in, that's old news, I know alot of you had high hopes, and worked hard to support the mandates. Don't feel like you failed, though. The oil companies are snaky and nasty, and the dillignece of all the supporters of the mandate was noticed by alot of people in government, and the general public. The fact that there was literally overwhelming support for the EV concept, EVEN IF it really did cost more (of course it doesn't), was very obvious.

I hope no one in Sacramento who is even slightly aware of this battle is the least bit surprised by the recent increase in gas prices. Having successfully directed the California government as to the policy the oil comanies want to see enacted, they are now basically just out to recoup the expenses of their multimillion dollar propaganda campaign. These things are expensive you know, and someone is going to have to pay. Just not them.

Now that the California government is safely tucked in the back pocket of the oil companies, they will proceed to tell us what we will buy, and how much we will pay for it, and how often. I did not see this coming before prices went up (to tell the truth, I don't pay too much attention to gas prices in general, since I mostly drive an EV), but as soon as it happened, and people began to squeal about it, it made perfect sense to me. Now that reality is finally setting in, check some of these quotes from some of our legislators:

Sen. Steve Peace, D-El Cajon, suggested the price hikes were connected to successful oil industry efforts to delay California's electric vehicle marketing requirements and defeat tax-credit legislation for natural gas powered vehicles.

``The only thing that stood in their way was aggressive programs to create a competitive market and have alternative fuels,'' Peace said. ``Having destroyed the competition with the largest single public relations and lobbying campaign in history of the United States we now see the payoff.''

``It's time this legislature got off its duff and hurt the refineries, just like you're hurting the people of this state,'' Sen. Dan Boatwright, D-Concord, told oil company representatives.

But Peace said complaints about reformulated gasoline were a ``Trojan horse.'' ``It's critical that we not lose track of the fact that this is essentially a monopoly that ought to be investigated not only by our Justice Department but also by the Justice Department of the United States for price fixing,'' he added. ``They engaged in predatory marketing to gobble up the market.''

``Today's price structure is an anomaly that is unsustainable,'' said Lynn Westphal, director of planning for Ultramar Inc., an independent refiner. But he predicted that prices would not drop to pre-April levels.

Oil company representatives blamed the price hikes on a variety of factors: the reformulated fuel, increased demand, reduced refinery capacity and increases in crude oil prices.

Yeah, right, and smoking doesn't cause cancer, and isn't addictive.

This article came in over the EV distribution list as I was preparing this months column. I couldn't have asked for better timing. It is now clear to me that the legislators of this state see the situation in pretty much the same light I do. What the effect will be remains to be seen, but I think the public has been exposed to alternative fuel concepts enough to know that there are options, and when they continue to get stabbed in the pocket book by an industry whose main product is environmental pollution and destruction and only has transportation to offer as a side effect, well I think we may be soon on the cusp of a revolution in this state, and nation.

No, I don't mean guns and looting in the streets. But we can build these electric cars in our garages and back yards! We don't have to take the #@%* they are dishing out. That is how the revolution will happen. People are fed up, and now even more so, because there ARE alternatives, they DO make sense, and if Detroit won't come through, well, by gosh, this is America, WE'LL DO IT OURSELVES!!

Once, there were dozens of people driving a few electric vehicles many miles. Then there were hundreds driving thousands of miles. The benefits became very obvious. The oil companies saw it, and squashed it. They even got caught at it. But because no one at that time knew what the ultimate costs would be, it was not stopped. Now there are tens of thousands of people all over the country, and even more around the world driving millions of electric miles, without polluting the skies, water, and earth with lead fumes, toxic acid spills, soot from countless new power plants to charge the cars or any of the other silly problems that have been made up and thrown around just to make a good thing look bad.

It is too bad that in our culture it is a reality that people will in general accept bad news, or criticism of something as truth before they will accept something positive; and that once they have heard the negatives, it is much more effort to convince them of the real truth than if they had heard it outright.

I sincerely believe in the concept of "think globally, act locally". The global benefits of electric vehicles and alternative transportation are clear.

We in SEVA can act here in our community to spread the positives about EVs, and alternatives to a deadly polluting way of life. That is why I feel we exist. There is a definite need for people to talk about truths in an age where deception is the rule. It is even more important when the deceptions will kill us, and the truth will make our lives tomorrow better than we can conceive of today. Mark Bahlke

Monthly Meeting Minutes by Bill Dean

The meeting was opened at 10am by VP Tim Loree. He shared some news items, including his success at getting a grant for #35K to create an Advanced Technology Training Center affiliate. He announced the Clean Air Awards Luncheon, sponsored by the Lung Association, at which SEVA has a table. Tim also announced the Clean Air Commute, which takes the place of the meeting on May 11 (moved up to May 4th).

The speakers were Craig McCann, Len Menges, and Richard Stokes of the 49er Regional Occupational Program, a workforce training program for high school students. Craig said that the future of EVs lies in the hands of future generations. Today’s high school students will be customers when EVs become plentiful. Students get excited about something new and different.

Craig’s students converted a Chevy S-10 truck. It is a demo vehicle for ride-and-drives. Also he loans it to local businesses for two week trials. The truck is serviced by the students who built it. Craig is on a strategy council of the Advanced Transportation Job Alliance, to figure out the training needs today for the jobs of 10 years from now. Key job skills are teamwork, innovation, flexibility -- qualities not found in traditional curricula.

Len’s program at Nevada Union High School puts students in an industry during the workday. In the past four years, 200 students have been exposed to hands-on experience with constructing EVs. The program covers many facets of training, especially safety. The lecture and lab include both theory and practice of electricity.

Richard, from Placer High School, brought a Voltswagen and two students. The conversion took two years, with two sets of students doing all the work. Local businesses helped train the students. Then the students disassembled and reconditioned the car, including 3 months of body work. In the second year, a different group of students put the car together.

After a few weeks of shakedown, the car will rotate among county agencies. Richard will take the car to intermediate schools, where his students will give rides on school property. The Placer County Air Pollution Control District provided the $13K for the project, much of which went for restoration of the beat-up car.

Tim let the Board members introduce themselves and make announcements. The meeting was closed at 1125 so that everyone could go outside to view the Voltswagen.

CARB/Automakers ZEV Agreement

Editors note: For your reading pleasure.
What CARB agreed to with the major automakers in exchange for backing down on the ZEV mandate.

CARB ZEV Program Memoranda of Agreement -- Fact Sheet

The ARB staff is proposing that the Board enter into a separate memorandum of agreement (MOA) with each of the seven largest auto manufacturers, Chrysler, Ford, General Motors, Honda, Mazda, Nissan and Toyota. Each MOA represents a cooperative agreement between the auto manufacturer and the ARB which commits both parties to tasks designed to ensure the successful launch and long-term success of the zero- emission vehicle (ZEV) program. The MOAs establish a program which allows vehicle introductions to be voluntary, but requires continued investment in battery and vehicle development, demonstration, and commercialization.

Principle Elements of the MOA:

The seven largest auto makers agree to:
o offer ZEVs for sale according to their estimate of market readiness, and have indicated a capacity to produce over 14,000 vehicles per year beginning in 1998;
o produce and demonstrate a combined total of 3,750 advanced battery-powered ZEVs in 1998, 1999, and 2000;
o provide ARB with ZEV product introduction plans and access to their facilities; and
o make up for lost air quality benefits resulting from the postponement of the ZEV requirement by producing and selling cleaner light-duty vehicles nationwide (NLEV) beginning with model year 2001, which will create benefits in California through migration.

ARB commits to:
o work with state and local governments and others to help ensure the development of ZEV infrastructure and the removal of barriers to ZEV introduction (i.e. safety, financing, insurance, battery recycling, etc); and
o continue conducting biennial reviews of the ZEV program.

o A manufacturer that fails to comply with the requirements of the MOA will be subject to fines and could be subject to the reinstatement of the ZEV requirements prior to 2003.

Benefits of the MOA
o Market-based ZEV launch which is consistent with manufacturers' product introduction plans and estimates of market acceptance -- production commitments already made for four models
o Continued progress and investment in critical technology
o Cooperative effort on implementation issues
o Reporting requirements to keep the process "honest"
o Strong enforcement features
o No loss in emission benefits
o Percentage production requirement retained for 2003 and beyond
o Increased assurance of long-term success of ZEV program

MSD/March 27, 1996

A Point of View by Bill Dean

The California Air Resources Board summoned representatives from oil companies to account for the recent rise in gasoline prices. Huh? Since when does CARB regulate gas prices? Has CARB concluded that cleaning the air is too hard, so it is diversifying into new areas? The photo in the Bee shows a packed room. Nothing like a hike in gas prices to get people upset. I wonder if it occurred to CARB that higher gas prices encourage people to drive gas cars less, resulting in lower emissions.

Some people are blaming the rise in gas prices on oil company greed. Huh? Does anyone really think that oil companies are greedier now than they were a few months ago?

Supposedly the oil companies are waiting for Iraqi oil to come to market. If that happens, we will see another oil glut. That will drive petroleum prices back down again, bailed out once again by Middle Eastern oil.

Just a few months ago, we kept hearing that the price of gasoline, in real dollars, was at the lowest point in the lifetime of most of the readers of this newsletter. Americans had been responding by driving cars further and faster. Now the price returns to normal, and people start screaming like brats. Maybe it is time to trade in those gallons for kilowatt-hours.

Sun Sprint to the Rockies - an Invitation


We are the organizing members for the Sun Sprint Race of the Rockies. The Sun Sprint is a solar/electric car race that our high school has set up. We are very interested in your car and your team.

We would love to have your participation. The race starts the 4th of August and lasts until the 13th. You can also go for just the first half or the last half of the race. If you would like more info, we encourage you to visit our web site at:

If you have any further questions, comments, ideas, etc. please feel free to email us at or you can call us at (970) 872-3882 from 8 am until 3:30 pm (MST) or you can write us at Hotchkiss High School, 3535 J60 Rd., Hotchkiss, CO, 81419.

Thank you, Cara Alvey and Darcie Short

editor: This came to me via email after they visited SEVA's web page. If your interested in participating in an EV and Solar Road Rally, then give these folks a call. It's a lot closer than the Tour de Sol and the only one I'm aware of out in the West.

Editors Corner by Tony Cygan

WOW ! Look at those gas prices... They go up more every day... It was a nickle less just this morning... I better fill up before they raise the prices again... What's causing this ?... I heard it was the new gasoline... No I heard it was because of an oil shortage... I think the oil companies are raising prices just to make more money for the summer...

Does all of the above sound familier ?

It's been the big conversations wherever you go or whoever you talk to right now, and if you drive a gas car you're feeling the pinch too. We have a lot of viewpoints on the gas situation in this months newsletter so read on.

I just read that the price of gas is the highest it's been in something like 6 years. The last time it was this high we were fighting over the oil in Kuait. I'm sure everyone remembers watching CNN while the missles were going off in the background. It was exciting, but oil is NOT something I want to put my life on the line for.

Some people have tried to put the blame on the new gasoline that is supposed to cut auto emissions, but the cost of that increase is only 5-10 cents of that 40cent increase.

In reality most of the increase is because the oil companies didn't guess right when buying oil on the market. They were expecting cheaper oil to come from Iraq which never materialized. They also had a few fires at gasoline refineries and of course you've got to put some extra profit in there in the way of 'supply & demand' due to the summer travel season.

Now some of our esteemed elected representitives want to cut gas taxes thinking that this will lower the price by 4 cents a gallon. Never mind that there is no assurance that the oil companies will pass it on, or that our road repairs and other items that these taxes go for won't be needed down the line.

And did you ever notice that prices sure go up real fast when the gas companies have 'a problem', but they never seem to come down the same way.

I've heard that we won't see any real price reductions until AFTER Labor Day in September. One guy told me 'yea, Labor Day - NEXT YEAR...'.

So when I've been filling up my gas car now, and someone else is filling their's next to me - I mumble to them - "I sure wish I had one of those electric cars right now".

See you next month. Tony

New EV Partners

Wilde EVolutions and Eyeball Engineering Join Forces.

Ed Rannberg of Eyeball Engineering has been building electric vehicles for over 20 years. He is one of the Electric Vehicle Association of Southern California's founding 5 members. Ed's EV projects have spanned a wide range of vehicle types, from 4 wheeled sedans, to three wheeled saddled vehicles, to high speed 11 second drag bikes.

Among Ed's many EVs is the Lightning Rod, an electric streamliner Having run over 188 MPH so far in tests on the Bonneville Salt Flats, we expect Ed to be the first to break 200 MPH in an EV.

Ed is obviously one of the original "wilde" men. It is therefore fitting that Eyeball Engineering and Wilde EVolutions have joined their parts operations to offer you the best EV components resource anywhere.

Our team offers a breadth and depth of experience which no other EV parts supplier can match. Whether testing components at the drag strip and the salt flats, or helping you choose the right parts for your personal project, you can depend upon the leading EV parts team in the industry.

We are authorized dealers for
- Advanced D.C. motors,
- EVCC adapters,
- Curtis and Auburn Scientific controllers
- Albright and Kilovac contactors,
- Westberg, Curtis and Cruising Equipment gauges,
- K&W and Bycan chargers,
- Deltec shunts,
- Quick-Cable and Ample Power power distribution products,
- plus our own products.

So even if you don't need to go 200 mph or beat the GM Impact from stoplight to stoplight, we'll be happy to help you get the most from your EV.

Contact: Wilde-EVolutions at 1-800-FAST-EVS.
EV News Bits

Florida Alliance For Clean Technologies Partners With Alamo Rent A Car
To Initiate Electric Vehicle Pilot Lease Program

(Alamo's Station Car Press Release) Fort Lauderdale, FL (April 2, 1996) - Alamo Rent A Car, the largest independent rental car company in the nation, has joined with the Florida Alliance For Clean Technologies (FACT), a non-profit organization committed to development and marketing of electric transportation products and systems, to conduct an electric vehicle mass transit pilot program in Dade County beginning June 1996.

The pilot program will match selected Dade County commuters with a small fleet of electric vehicles. Each user will participate for a 30-day period during which time they will use Metro-Dade County's Metrorail for a portion of their daily work-related transportation and an electric vehicle for the remainder. In the course of the entire program, an estimated 80 to 90 commuters will participate.

The vehicles, manufactured by U.S. Electricar, will be used throughout the day and evening, and recharged at residences overnight and at specified locations with charging outlets during the day.

Participants will be asked to maintain daily driving logs and complete a questionnaire at the end of the subscription term. The data generated from the pilot program will help prepare for a larger demonstration program in 1997 using approximately 500 electric cars, cans and light trucks throughout South Florida. Alamo Rent A Car will own and operate the fleet of electric cars.

The Station Car electric vehicle pilot program concept is considered a valuable tool in the ongoing research to solve the air pollution problem and commuter traffic congestion in metropolitan areas. Using electric vehicles along with Metrorail will create pollution free commuting. Automotive exhaust is one of the largest causes of air pollution in the country, and the largest source of air pollution in South Florida.


The EV1 and the Atlanta Olympics

Atlanta, Georgia - The last thing marathon runners want is a tailpipe in their faces. This year, they won't have to worry. General Motors' EV1 electric car will pace the marathon at the Summer Olympic Games in Atlanta, reports Auto Week. The two-seater sports coupe, which GM will be marketing in Southern California and Arizona through Saturn dealers, features zero-to-sixty acceleration times of 8.5 seconds, a range of 70-90 miles, an all-aluminum chassis, amenities including air conditioning and a compact disc player - and no tailpipe. While GM has signed on to be the official domestic automaker of the Atlanta Games, BMW will be the official car of the Olympic Torch Relay.


Japanese To Sell Electric Cars

(Los Angeles Times) Toyota and Honda, Japan's No. 1 and No. 3 automakers, said Monday they will begin marketing their first electric passenger vehicles in California next year, the first importers to challenge General Motors Corp.'s EV1 coupe unveiled in January.

Both the Toyota and Honda vehicles will present stiff competition to the two-seat EV1 because they will be the first mass-produced vehicles to use advanced nickel-metal hydride batteries, which have twice the power of the traditional lead-acid batteries that will power GM's EV1.

Toyota Motor Sales USA, Toyota's U.S. unit based in Southern California, will market electric versions of its four-seat RAV4 sport utility vehicle to fleet users in California, starting in fall 1997.

Upcomming EVents

Local SEVA Activities
o	Clean Air Commute to Davis, Saturday, May 4th at 10am  
		***Replaces our regular monthly meeting*** 
o	Board Meeting, Monday, May 13th at 7pm. 
o	General Meeting, Saturday, June 8th at 10am. 
o	Board Meeting, Monday, June 10th at 7pm. 
o    Annual Picnic, Sunday,  July 14th at 11am until ??? 
	      ***NO Meeting on Saturday*** 
o    Board Meeting, Monday, July 15th at 7pm. 
Bay Area/Modesto Activities
National/International EV Activities
o	Tour de Sol, From New York to Washington, May 10th to May 17. 
o	Solar Splash (EV Boats), Milwaukee, WI., June 20th to June 23rd. 
o	Cleveland (Formula) Electric Classic, June 27th to June 29th. 
o	Pikes Peak Hill Climb, Colorado, July 4th. 
o	Sun Sprint of the Rockies, August 5th to August 13th. 
o	Beijing International EV Exhibition, September 20 to 2