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Charge On!, Issue #007: The Great Newsletter Comeback
May 27, 2009

Happy Spring 2009!

Hey, you might be asking, where's Lynne been, anyway?

I know, it's been a long time.

A lot of things have happened in the world since we last spoke, hm? The price of crude oil went through the roof, with the price of gasoline hot on its heels. The world economy destabilized, to put it mildly - a lot of us have lost our jobs, our customers, or our retirement investments; we have a new President, and a new administration; and we have the promise of electric cars and plug in hybrids, coming soon to a dealership near you. Now the price of gas is going back up. Think it's time to get that EV conversion project started!

So where is your running commentary on all these things, Lynne, you ask?

I spent most of 2008 across the water in Seattle, shuttling back and forth between Children's hospital and the Ronald McDonald house, because His Cuteness, Gavin, was diagnosed with leukemia last year, and in treatment. He's 4, and I'm the mama, so he took priority over "the Girls", as you might expect; )
He's finished with all his treatments now, and is home and back in school, and I'm trying to catch up again.

(Special thank you to all the people who donate to Children's Hospital and Ronald McDonald house. I promise, it really does make a difference to somebody.)

So if you didn't get a reply to your email in a timely fashion, if I missed answering your conversion question, bear with me. It'll get answered soon. (Well, either that, or maybe it's already been answered in someone else's question.)

Speaking of the economy... The dealership directory will continue to be a free service for the benefit of visitors and NEV dealers until at least next year. It's hard enough to stay in business if you're a Chevy dealer, let alone an NEV dealer.

So what's interesting these days?

  • The Chevy Volt.
    I like it well enough, anyway. I'd like it better if it were sitting in my driveway and not "coming soon" - I hate "coming soon".
  • The Fisker Karma.
    Which I like better than the Volt, and even better than the Tesla (follow the link if you want to hear that story), although it's another "coming soon" - this one I actually believe in.
  • Hypermiling.
    Drive like a girl to get the most miles out of your EV's battery pack, maximize your plug-in hybrid's mpg, or just stretch out your Buick's gas mileage. There are some slight variations, but the basic practice is the same.

Conversion Questions Recently Asked

Spotlight on...
Not a dealership this time, but a project called Electric Auto Shop. They're providing comprehensive training and tools for high schools to offer EV conversion classes as part of the auto shop curriculum. How cool is that?

Coming soon on "the Girls":
(I know, I know - "coming soon"; )

  • Forklift Salvage.
    A few guys are building seriously cheap electric car conversions, as in "under $1000", and I'm looking into that. One of them doesn't live very far away, so I'm thinking of taking a road trip and having a peek at it; )
  • Build Your Own Electric Vehicle (version 2)
    Mostly, I like it. A lot. The original version was written by Bob Brant, and it's become the "EV Bible" for people looking to convert their cars to electric. Seth Leitman has managed to improve on the Bible, by making it more readable, more relevant, and actually translating the equations into English. Warning: Some of those equations seem to have typos, so if you're actually using them, edit them with common sense first.
  • EV University Online
    If you're converting a car to electric, or your Prius to plug-in, or scratching your head about the battery choices out there, or how to build your own DC controller, chances are you've gone to one of the forums where very smart EV converters dispense advice about your project (and several non-smart also dispense plenty of advice; ).
    Wouldn't it be great if you could take an online class on that very subject, taught by those very EV experts? Wouldn't it be great if you could talk to them about your project before you spent 10K on parts - and FRIED them by connecting wire A with fuse 1B instead of 1A?
    Wouldn't it be nice if you didn't have to learn the hard way?

    Yeah, that's what I thought, too; )

    So I'm working on a project called EV University, where classes will be offered on all sorts of EV subjects, including "Right Way the First Time: Designing your EV Conversion" and "Build Your Own: AC controller/VFD" - and folks whose names you'll recognize will be teaching the classes.

    If you'd like to cast your vote on what classes should be offered, or if you'd like to take a class or teach a class, click through and take the EVU course content survey.

    That's pretty much it! Thank you for your time, your patience, and your loyalty, and enjoy your lovely May (what's left of it, anyway...)


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