The organizers of the Leavenworth Earth Day Fair have notified Plug-In NCW that we will be one of the recipients of proceeds from this year's silent auction. This financial assistance will certainly aid our mission. We are currently installing six new charging opportunities in the north central Washington area. In June Plug-In NCW is sponsoring "Charge across Washington" to highlight that small battery cars can drive along US Highway 2 all the way from Everett to Spokane. We will stage mini EV car shows at each charging stop on the route and have committed to spending advertising money to notify local residents of this opportunity to learn about EVs first hand. The new funds from the silent auction will be put towards fulfilling this objective.
New electric car owners learn the ropes.
Story - Wendy Isenhart, Photos – Ed Isenhart
Electric car #1 Full disclosure-- -this isn’t exactly our first electric car. That honor goes to the pink Barbie electric jeep we bought our granddaughter for Christmas ten years ago. Our daughter was irked, “You are the guys who wouldn’t let me have Barbie dolls-- -!” But she came around fast, anointing it “the first electric car in the family.”
Electric car #2 - The second electric car in the family belonged to our son, Wolf and daughter-in- law, Naoko who work in high tech in Seattle. They leased a red 2012 Nissan Leaf, the first year it came out with a built-in fast charger. They loved the car, we loved the car, everyone who got a chance to drive it loved the car. Perfect for short hops around Seattle, it was plugged in at home every night, warmed up remotely on house power before work every morning and never ran out of fuel—well, almost never. Four years later, with lease returns showing up in the used car ads, we wondered about an electric car for our second car.
Ed and I were down to one car after a car/deer collision (mine) totaled the good old Highlander and a sports car liquidation sale (his) and the cherished 1972 Volvo 1800ES is now in California with younger, more limber owners). We’d been trying to get by with one car, but one just wasn’t enough. Someone was always getting stranded.
And then-- -I’m on the board of Plug-In North Central Washington, (PINCW), a nonprofit focused on building charging station infrastructure up and down Eastern Washington’s highways to encourage adventurous EV owners in Seattle, Portland and Vancouver, B.C. to come visit our fruit and wine wonderland, drive their electric cars through scenic routes, stay in our unique towns-- -so, there was pressure to practice what my team was preaching. After the deer encounter, we replaced the Highlander with a 2009 diesel VW Jetta sports wagon. When they found out, I was booed.
Our experiences brought us, in late September, to wandering around the Town Nissan dealership in East Wenatchee, looking at a few uninspiring used cars in our $5000 price range. Beyond, in the new car section, a 2016 electric Leaf caught a golden shaft of late afternoon sun. The deeply lacquered bronze metallic new car paint seemed to glitter. Our salesman perked up and asked if we’d like to take a look?
Electric Car #3 - Two hours later, let me just say that shopping on the last day of the month and the last day of the quarter, plus $5000, put us into a brand new electric car lease at a monthly fee even we could afford. So-- -after the paper shuffling and signing, Ed drove her home to Chelan. I followed behind in the VW that had just lost its new car status. He’d come up with other names, “Leaf Erickson” and “Cleveland Brown”, but she was too close in shape and color to be anything but the Coffee Bean.
In my headlights, I admired the sleek, not-so- little brown beauty. Muscular sports car haunches hinted at her torque off the line and bright LED headlights swept the road ahead, illuminating orchards alongside. I was in awe but, even after a quick lesson from Salesman Dan, all I knew for sure about the Leaf was how to answer my iPhone with no hands. The dashboard was a high-tech monster, replete with Sirius radio, GPS, touch screen navigation and choices, choices, choices.
The rest was an operational blur-- -three different forward drive gears? Birdseye camera? Big and little connector ports? How was I supposed to know which one was the right one? I flashed back to us walking out of the hospital with our first baby, thinking-- -they trust us to take him home? Don’t they know we don’t know what we’re doing?
Two months later - Well, now the Bean has 1200 miles on her, we’ve learned some things that may be helpful to you when you get behind your first EV steering wheel.
1. Read the manual, then sit in the car and read it again. After following my own advice, some things were still outside my brain, waiting to be absorbed.
2. Talk to everyone who has owned an electric car. They love giving advice and can answer most questions, although the technology keeps advancing, so your new car will be different and better in some ways.
3. Visualize your Leaf (and any similar-capacity electric car) as a fossil fuel car with a 5-gallon tank. It magically refills every night when you plug it in, but for longer trips, plan ahead.
4. Take a friend who has had an electric car along for a ride. After muffling through suggestions one, two and three for a few weeks, I asked fellow committee member and one-time 2011 Nissan Leaf owner, Randy Brooks, to ride with me to the November PINCW meeting in Wenatchee. We often use the Executive Boardroom at the Hilton Embassy Suites since PINCW installed and provides maintenance for two Level 2 chargers in the front parking lot. Randy said,
“This plan will work out great-- -we’ll drive 40 miles to Wenatchee, plug in for the two-hour meeting and then drive home to Chelan on a full battery.”
My 2016 Leaf EV has the larger 30kw Lithium battery with about 100 miles, give or take, in a full charge. As I was learning, actual mileage depends on terrain and temperature and load weight and driving style, just like fossil fuelers, but they have more wiggle room. We had an 80-mile drive down and back, in mountainous terrain with the heat on and headlights one way. It would be a squeeker without a recharge.
I picked Randy up at his and Anne’s house north of town. He admired the Bean and her leather upholstery, and then asked, “Why aren’t you in ECO mode?” Well, I’d heard and read about it, but hadn’t tried it out. ECO is one of the three forward drive modes, the one that doles out acceleration in modest amounts, saving energy.
“Push the big button that says “ECO” on the steering wheel,” Oh, yeah, that one. “Anne and I always drove in ECO”, he said. “It could also be called ‘SNOW MODE, because it’s perfect for winter driving conditions.” Randy’s an early adopter and an engineer. Getting the most out of the least energy is his thing, while I guess mine is driving the Leaf like I’d drive any other sports car. Today, we’re being conservative.
ECO mode made an immediate difference visible on the mileage indicator. Randy explained that it was really a “Guess-O- Meter” and not a sure thing. I felt a shiver of “range anxiety.” I thought it was a promise, not a guess. But hey, no worries, I had the expert along.
Randy fiddled expertly with the NAV screen between us, changing from energy use readouts to charging station locations to GPS, showing me how to turn the eagle-eye camera to side view for parking and check the battery usage of heated seats and various elements, like interior lights. He marveled at the difference LED bulbs made. Much less battery draw, he noted approvingly.
Going down the Knapp’s Coulee grade, I shifted into DRIVE a second time, putting the car in “B” mode, the third forward drive gear. Randy was delighted. “We didn’t have that maximum regenerating mode in 2011,” he said, as we watched the Guess-O-Meter’s estimate of miles go up. I relaxed and enjoyed the learning experience all the way to Wenatchee, until I turned into the driveway of the Embassy Suites.
“OH NO!” Randy yelled. “We’ve been ICED!” I wasn’t sure what that was, but I was sure it was bad, real bad. “Internal Combustion Engines, parked in the EV charging stalls!” Randy spit it out. And sure enough, there they were, blocking me from the twin chargers.
The nice woman at the front desk sympathized, but there was a convention and all the suites were booked and there were no other parking places. The car owners were paying guests and, well, we weren’t. After the PINCW meeting, our President, Jack Anderson had the best idea-- -I should have parked behind them where the long EV cord reached, leave a note on the dash saying please notify the desk and I will move my car immediately-- -but it came too late. Randy and I were heading home with half a battery of juice and it was uphill all the way.
The Guess-O- Meter melted miles-- -by the time we came into Chelan, it had stopped showing any numbers at all, just three blinking lines -- - -- - -- -. “It will do that for awhile and then it goes into TURTLE MODE” Randy said. “Anne got that far down once. In TURTLE MODE, you can only go 35 miles an hour. Just enough to get you to a safe parking place beside the road.” And then what?
“Then, you call AAA and they come and tow you to a charging station.” Randy nodded, “every EV owner should join AAA.” Well, since I hadn’t done that, you can imagine my happy face when I saw the Clipper Creek charger on the wall in Randy’s garage. He plugged the Bean in for 20 minutes while we had a cup of tea and I drove home on 12 new miles worth of Randy and Anne’s electricity.
My last new owner advice would be to go ahead and endure Nissan’s clunky App setup (Randy helped get mine installed on my iPhone, Ed did his own on his iPad) as it leads to great things-- -like warming up the car on house power while you finish your coffee and getting a text message that your car is fully charged if you’re out and about.
And one more thing-- -join an EV group, like Plug In NCW. It expands the good feeling of being on top of the technology, which allows you to relax and savor the sheer joy of driving a responsive car that runs for FREE. Well, almost.
I was quite happy to see the Quest Pontoon boat displayed at the Wenatchee Sportsman Show by Sandy Williamson was powered by an electric motor. Quest has three electric outboards that they can integrate with any of their pontoon boats.
Most of us are aware that Minn Kota makes trolling motors, but did you know they have a line of “E-drive” outboards? Sandy explained that you can get several 48 Volt options in the Minn Kota line. Then there was a manufacturer that I have not heard of, “Ray Electric Outboards.” These guys produce electric outboards in Florida and you have to like their positioning line, “We Don’t Troll - We Motor”.
The Quest pontoon boat being displayed at the Town Toyota Center was powered by a Torqeedo Cruise outboard. This is a German manufacturer that is likely the leader in electric power for boats. Check out the “Deep Blue” line of outboards producing as much as 80 HP!
Torqeedo in a partnership with Johnson Controls, developed and is now marketing the Deep Blue High Voltage Lithium pack which looks like an automotive battery.
Quest also markets an optional solar charging system that is designed into the boats structure for a natural and functional look. As we investigated the system we were impressed with the Torqeedo Lithium battery pack. The one on display was a 48 Volt system with a 110 Ah rating. Completely waterproof, only 130 pounds and small enough to be completely unobtrusive. This is a “Shout Out” for PontoonWest and Sandy because they have brought an electric powered boat into their inventory so that the rest of us can see them.
For more information contact Sandy Williamson at: Sandy@Wordboats.com, or (888) 387-1963 or (253) 376-8273.
Check these websites for more information on electric outboards:
http://www.torqeedo.com/us/en-us/products/batteries/deep- blue-high- voltage-battery/4101- 00.html
Washington state law requires all motorists carry tire chains during winter. When “tire chains required” signs are posted, two-wheel drive vehicles are required to have chains on the drive wheels, even if they have approved snow tires. All-wheel drive vehicles with approved snow tires are usually exempt, but in severe conditions “tire chains required on all vehicles” may be posted. In this situation even AWD vehicles with approved snow tires are required to have tire chains on. So it’s important to always carry tire chains during winter.
Many modern vehicles have very little clearance between the tire and fender well, including our newly acquired pre-owned 2013 Tesla Model S. It’s important to follow manufacturers recommendations when choosing tire chains, to avoid damage to your vehicle. The chains Tesla recommends on their web site are pricey - $450. So I looked for alternatives.
I came across a page on the WSDOT web site listing legally-approved alternatives to tire chains (http://www.wsp.wa.gov/traveler/images/traction/alt_traction_device.pdf). The one approved for most vehicles was the Auto Sock. I had never heard of these before. They are a fabric wheel cover, similar to a wheel sun cover but enclosed all around the tire. They have a kevlar fabric over the tire tread. Checking on amazon.com and youtube.com, I found information about how they work, that they work very well on compact snow and ice, and that they are readily available. They have been used in Norway for over a decade. Comments mentioned checking the manufacturers web site to insure you order the correct size for your tire size. At around $100 (depending on size), and assuming I would rarely need “tire chains”, I decided to give them a try.
After confirming what size would fit, I ordered a pair on Amazon Smile (selecting NCWEDD, the parent organization of Plug-In NCW as my non-profit for Amazon to donate to) and received them in a few days.
Jack Anderson and I tried them out on our snow covered driveway, over the stock all season radial tires. They were a little tight to get on and off, but significantly improved traction, so I felt comfortable using them.
A week later Anne and I travelled to the west side, over US 2, Stevens Pass. I prefer Stevens Pass over Blewett/Snoqualmie passes, not only because US 2 has L3 chargers along the way (essential during our Leaf days), but because I feel Blewett is poorly engineered and unsafe, and Snoqualmie has heavy truck traffic.
While on the west side, with pass conditions deteriorating, we decided to get snow tires and were fortunate to find what we needed at a reasonable price at the Redmond Discount Tire store. With our newly installed snow tires, we headed back over Stevens Pass.
Tire chains were required, so we installed our Auto Socks, but they were really hard to get on. Our new snow tires were obviously slightly larger than our well worn summer tires. The Auto Socks worked great though! But when it came time to get them off, despite our best efforts, we could not get the off! We finally had to cut them off! Fortunately, a pair of sharp scissors did the job quickly.
As we were finishing cutting our Auto Socks off, a small sedan pulled up behind us in the “chains off” pullout, also with Auto Socks installed. The middle aged woman driver hopped out, wearing slippers, grabbed her Auto Socks with one hand and pulled them off! Obviously ours were the wrong size!
After returning home, I contacted Amazon and they authorized a return and refund - even though I told them the Auto Socks had been cut in half and were ruined! Impressive return policy!
I e-mailed the Auto Sock manufacturer in Norway and they assured me the size I had ordered was correct, but also suggested I try ordering the next larger size. I ordered the next larger size, through Amazon Smile, and they go on and come off much easier.
Even though we had a steep learning curve, I feel the Auto Sock is a great, legal, alternative to tire chains.
Garrett Brown has been driving electric in a Cayenne Red Nissan Leaf since 2011 and is current president of the Mid-Columbia Electric Vehicle Association, a southeastern Washington chapter of the Electric Auto Association. Although he enjoyed racing toy electric trains and cars as a child in the 1960s, Garrett's real interest EVs emerged dramatically when Iraq invaded Kuwait during the 1st Gulf war. While bicycling home from University one day and seeing an antiwar demonstration, he ironically noted that everyone had driven gasoline-powered automobiles to attend. Throughout most of his college and work years, he primarily commuted by bicycle, including below zero temperatures, snow, hail, lightning and rain storms, and only drove his grandmother's 1972 Dodge Dart sparingly, knowing that every dollar spent on gasoline was going to a cause that he did not want to support. In 1991, he purchased his only ICE vehicle, a Nissan Pickup and retired the Dart so it wouldn't have to haul so many yard and garden supplies. He boldly told his wife that their next vehicle would be "electric" and they began saving $50/week for that eventual future. Knowing his ability to tinker and "repair" things without being able to quite put them back together in working order, he even promised to wait until real commercial EVs could be purchased. It has been a long twenty year wait, but now there are numerous EV choices, from neighborhood EVs to Tesla super luxury cars. What started as a personal resentment against the oil industry, has resulted in a more enjoyable driving experience. EVs are simply superior over ICE vehicles in every category. They are powered by American-made electrons, increasingly generated by solar, wind, and hydroelectric power. They are less costly to operate, fuel, and maintain (total cost of ownership). They are quieter, smoother, cleaner, accelerate quickly, and cannot fake or fail emissions testing. Best of all, they can be filled nightly, while the owner sleeps, pre-warmed in the garage, ready for each day's adventure.
In addition to his day job as an Analytical Chemist, Garrett's current interests include educating the public about the benefits of EVs, increasing the number of people driving EVs, and increasing the number of EV charging stations in southeastern WA State. He still enjoys the great outdoors by gardening daily, filling his yard with native and non-native flowering plants, hiking/camping on occasion, and bicycling as fair weather and old bones allow.
Starting this month the Electric Auto Association is offering to let you join for free! Well, for six months anyway. Annual membership is $35 at the basic level which means taking the option to read "Current EVents" in digital form but really no other difference with the next higher option which is to have the publication mailed to you. If you have not read "Current EVent" you are missing the nation's best reporting on what's happening around the frontier of electrification. You can preview past editions by visiting the EAA website, www.electricauto.org.
When you decide to join please indicate Wenatchee Electric Vehicle Association as your home chapter. Doing this will put you in contact with other EV drivers in the greater Wenatchee area. To join at the reduced rate use Promo Code; EAABEVPHEV2017 (all upper case and no spaces.)
Yes, it's a Tesla!
We've been electric vehicle advocates for many years, doing conversions and being active in Plug-In NCW since 2005. We just ended a four year lease of a Nissan Leaf and wanted a longer-range EV to allow environmentally-friendly cross country travel.
We've always considered the Tesla to be way outside our price range, but after considering alternatives like the Chevy Bolt (months away, if we're lucky) or the Tesla Model 3 (years away), we started looking at used Tesla Model S's with Supercharger capability.
When we learned that Tesla Motors has "pre-owned" vehicles (lease returns and trade-ins) on their website, we checked it out. Not only can you order new vehicles, but also "inventory" vehicles (new loaners and demos) and pre-owned vehicles.
We found two vehicles at the Seattle Tesla SoDo store that were within a carefully crafted budget. Coincidentally our credit union sent us an ad saying we prequalified for a low interest auto loan that would cover the vehicle cost after our down payment. It was fate!
We went to Seattle and test drove the vehicle we were interested in. It was in perfect condition, a late 2013 60kWh battery (200 mile range) with only 28,000 miles on it. We would have driven it home, but Tesla insisted on going through a 200+ point inspection and reconditioning process.
We paid our deposit and went home where we anxiously waited almost four weeks for the car to be ready. When the big day arrived and we went to the Bellevue Tesla store to take delivery, we were not disappointed. The car looked brand new! We received a very thorough orientation to the vehicle operation and all my technical questions were diligently answered.
The ride home was surreal. We are still a little awe struck. It really happened. We own (along with the credit union) our dream car! If we can do it, so can you!
But even if you can't afford a Tesla, there are lease return Leafs available for less than $10,000! Remember that the majority of climate changing emissions, in Washington state and the U.S., are from transportation. The single greatest thing we as individuals can do to have a positive affect on climate change emissions is to drive an EV instead of a fossil fuel vehicle!
We already had an L2 charger (240 volt, 30 amp, J-1772 plug) installed in our garage for our Leaf. It works just fine with the J-1772-to-Tesla plug adapter provided with each Tesla. The car comes with a “Mobile Connector” cord which allows L1 (120 volt, 12 amp) charging, and L2 (240 volt, 50 amp, NEMA 14-50 plug) charging. Other L2 plug adapters for the Mobile Connector can be purchased. We also purchased a Chademo-to-Tesla adapter so we could use Chademo L3 DC quick chargers in the area. Then there are the 744 SuperCharger stations nationwide! With all these charging options, we’re looking forward to our first road trip!
- Anne and Randy Brooks
After more than two years of effort, the haL2 charger (80 amp) in Davenport, WA, on U.S. 2 is now operational. This closes the last gap on Highway 2 from Everett to Spokane, making it possible for small battery EVs to easily travel across the state.
The installation was a cooperative effort of Plug-In NCW, Lincoln County Museum and Visitor Center (the host), Lincoln County Economic Development Office, the City of Davenport and the Davenport Lions Club. The installation was done by Back Roads Electric and Construction, Almira, WA.
There were a number of iterations and obstacles over the last two years, but through it all Margie Hall, of the Lincoln County Economic Development Office, coordinated the local effort, and kept everyone informed and involved.
The Clipper Creek CS-100 (80 amp) charger was funded by donations to Plug-In NCW. Thank you donors! The installation was funded by Plug-In NCW donors, in-kind work of Davenport area residents, and a donation by the Davenport Lions Club. The City of Davenport has agreed to pay for the electricity used.
Donations to help pay for electricity are gladly accepted at the Lincoln County Museum, 600 7th St, Davenport, WA 99122, 509-725-6711, May - Sept, Tu - Sat, 9 - 5; Oct - April, by appointment.
The charger is posted on PlugShare and is accessible 24/7. There are public restrooms in a small public park about half a block away. Free high speed WiFi is available at the bench outside the Library 24/7, also about a half a block away. Several places to eat are within walking distance. Enjoy “small town” Davenport!
Plug-In North Central Washington and the Chelan Public Utility District have completed an agreement making Plug-In NCW responsible for the cost of electrical power dispensed from the PUD's current and planned EVSE installations in Chelan County. Washington State law prohibits public utilities from "giving away electricity" so to make the PUD project possible Plug-In NCW stepped forward to "pay the bill."
Plug-In NCW is more than excited to announce that Cascade Auto Center a retailer of new and previously owned vehicles from several manufacturers has become the soul sponsor of this endeavor. Cascade Auto Center is the Wenatchee area Chevrolet dealer and is aggressively preparing for the 238 mile range, Bolt EV that Chevrolet will begin shipping within the next few months. Sponsoring electric vehicle chargers is a fantastic way to encourage people to give the Bolt a look. Cascade Auto Center will benefit by having their message and logo in the sponsor's space on each PUD installed car charger. Electric vehicle drivers will benefit by having even more charging opportunities available in Chelan County.
It has often been said the price of gasoline is the key to electric vehicle adoption by the general public. Critics of EVs have gloated recently as the price of gasoline declined saying the EV revolution would die now that the main cause of atmospheric pollution was so cheap and available. However, take a look at the record for this year. The only conclusion to be drawn is that the “general population” is beginning to understand that electric drive vehicles are faster, quieter and way more fun to drive than their ancestors. What do you think?
Eventbrite Registration: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/ice-age-floods-ev-tour-pledge-for-power-tickets-23462727650
Plug-In North Central Washington welcomes EV drivers to tour the fantastic geologic imprints left by the Ice Age Floods. Imagine a raging flood so powerful that towering waves studded with glacial icebergs toss giant boulders downstream like pebbles, and the landscape is irreversibly altered as eroded soil is carried more than 500 miles to the ocean.
It might sound like a scene from a Hollywood movie – but it’s real. And it happened in the Wenatchee Valley between 13,000 and 18,000 years ago, as water from glacial Lake Missoula raged across the landscape at 65 miles-per-hour when the ice dam blocking its path gave way to pressure, releasing the violent deluge.
http://www.iceagefloodsinstitute.org/floods.htmlfor more of what this tour will explore.
Plug-In North Central Washington is hosting this tour as a fund raising EVent. Our goal is to underwrite the cost of electrical power dispensed from the Chelan PUD operated haL2 chargers that they are planning to install around Chelan County. We have pledged to underwrite up to $5,000 for this. Tax qualified receipts will be issued for donations. Ken Lacey will be our tour guide he is very knowledgeable of the geologic events and local agriculture. He is also full of interesting stories about the people and history of the area. We will conclude the tour with dinner, wine tasting and dancing at White Heron Cellars.
The Marriott Springhill Suites has blocked twenty rooms for tour attendees; reservations must be made directly with the hotel. Miguel.Cuevas@marriott.com is ready to talk with you about lodging via e-mail or, call and ask for Miguel (509) 667-2775. We have 20 rooms blocked for this EVent.
Driver and EV registration includes some L3 charging for your EV in Wenatchee and L2 near Cresent Bar. Wine tasting fees at White Heron Cellars and entry to the Mushroom Festival are also included.. Full details of tour will be sent when registration is received. If you have questions please contact us.
Hope to see you here!
By David Morgan, Wenatchee, WA
About 18 months ago we bought a 2013 Volt, which had been leased for two years by the original owner. With only 15,000 miles it was practically new, which was important seeing how our other car was 20 years old and probably on its way out. We considered a Leaf, but since we had to assume we might soon have only one car for a family of four, that wasn’t a good option.
We had it home for about two days when we realized we’d never again consider having a car we couldn’t plug in. It came with a 120v charger to use with a regular outlet. Kind of like our cell phones, only a little bigger, and out in the garage. We experienced that about 10 hours and 45 cents later we’d have a full battery, good for 25 to 50 miles, mostly depending on how cold it was outside.
As time went by, it just kept getting better. The car was comfy, responsive, silent, fine in deep snow, and solid as a tank. In the first year we drove 12,000 miles, buying gas exactly 9 times and each time it seemed so long that I’d almost forgotten where the nozzle went. One time my dad was visiting so we gave him the Volt. I needed to take our 5-year-old someplace in our old car, which mostly just sat in the driveway like a relic, which I really consider it to be, like a time machine to a primitive era. It was cold that day and my daughter asked, “What’s that smell; it smells good?” and I said “exhaust fumes”, then I realized that in her mind the Volt is a normal car and since it almost never uses gas, how could she know? Later around Christmas I got stuck in traffic during a snowstorm. I looked around at the beautiful flakes falling in the dark, and all the not so beautiful plumes of pollution rising into sky from every car except the one I was driving. Did I mention that at its lowest point the car’s lifetime mpg, covering 31,000 miles, was 189? No, you did not misread that. Most of the time it’s over 200 and when you get to 250 it just reads “250+”. How cool is that?
Enough bragging. Part of the reason is there are so many “Level 2” chargers (240v) set up in public places in the area. So it’s not difficult in to drive well over 50 miles in a day, charging while you’re parked, never using a drop of gas. Many of these are free to use, installed by Plug-in NCW. In order to maximize our electric-only potential, recently we decided to buy our own and have it installed in the garage. Then we’d have the ability to get a full charge in less than 4 hours, meaning realistic potential to log 100+ battery-only miles in the same day. We bought a charger called Juicebox, made in CA for $475, delivered to our door; a model we chose because we can bring it with us and plug it into RV-type outlets when we’re on the road. We hired Salcido to install it for $325 (they did a great job, and no sales tax by the way). Next year when we do our taxes we’ll get 30% of this back.
Speaking of back, by now I’m sure you get the idea that in my opinion there’s no going back(wards). Part of me is amazed to see so many “normal” cars still rolling around, which is a bummer when I think about what it was like last summer when it was nearly 110 degrees several times in Wenatchee and it seemed like everything was on fire. But hey, that just makes it easier for me to find an unoccupied place to plug in wherever I go. Not! Seriously, I’d really be happy to share. Make the switch. If you’re curious enough to be reading this in the first place it’s a safe bet once you do you’ll look back and think what a no-brainer…..
By Gary Taylor, Plug-In NCW Board Member
Mother Earth provided us with gorgeous sunny skies and fragrant blooms as we celebrated this year’s Earth Day Fair in Lake Chelan. Our new location (across from where we were last year) provided us more visibility and yielded better display space for our various examples of EV tech. We had everything from the Chelan County PUD’s new commercial grade mower to a local who refurbishes old golf carts into custom works of art.
The crowd was steady all day and we had lots of opportunity to spread the word about our cause. I had a couple stay with me for at least a half hour discussing my Volt and I’m pretty sure they’ll be ordering one soon. As always the Tesla contingency served well as the centerpiece (we had two model S) attracting people like flies to honey.
The event organizers do a great job and made frequent personal visits to be sure we were well taken care of. All in all I’d call it a great success and feel confident that more than a few minds were opened to the realities of the future and began to realize we are in it right now!
Wenatchee PowerSports took a very large step towards electrification of agricultural field vehicles today as they delivered the first Polaris Ranger EV Li to Amos Rome Vineyards of Manson, WA. Chris Bergman, Service Manager stated that the Voltronix, USA conversion kit was easy to install and that they would be more than interested in performing more conversions. Plug-In North Central Washington is involved in this project as we see that Lead Acid battery packs can not offer the reduced maintenance costs most fleet operators require. Lithium batteries are simply charge and use, they cause no corrosion and have a service life that is about three times longer than Lead Acid chemistries.
Our congratulations to Voltronix, USA and Wenatchee PowerSports on this accomplishment. We look forward to converting many more Polaris Ranger EV side-by-side machines in the future.
By Jack Anderson, haL2 Coordinator
I've heard it said, “There’s a day for every event.” Now I believe it. February 18th is National Battery Day!
What can you do on a day to honor a battery? Well, it is a day set aside, according to the Battery Manufacturer’s Association, for all Americans to appreciate what batteries do for them and how batteries have improved their everyday life. As I thought about battery day I wondered about recycling in the Wenatchee area, so after a quick Internet search and a few local visits, I am happy to tell you that on this National Battery Day you could recycle your batteries.
It was very encouraging to talk with the manager and some employees at Pacific Power Batteries (742 South Mission St., 509-663-6100) about their battery recycling capabilities. They will take nearly any and all rechargeable batteries - even those pesky little hearing aid types. Most rechargeable batteries use Nickel Metal Hydride or Lithium chemistries and for a very long time no recycler would accept them. Now, these small rechargeables are collected, sorted and processed to repurpose the metals and chemicals that make up the cells. Pacific Power Batteries will accept these batteries from individuals for no cost.
When did this need to recycle small batteries start? The first battery-operated watch was produced in 1957 by the Hamilton Watch Company. Batteries and electronics have become quite ubiquitous over the last 70 years. So as you take inventory of all the battery-powered devices you and billions of people use every day, consider recycling them when they die.
By Jack Anderson, HaL2 Coordinator
Projects funded by private contributions rarely get scrutinized to see if the results attained meet the claims made during the appeal for funding. The purpose of this article is to check up on Plug-In North Central Washington's two-and-one-half-year-old effort to promote EV tourism throughout central Washington. The haL2 Project had an objective of placing 12 high amperage (70A or higher) EVSE units along major travel corridors in our area of interest. While planning started in early 2013, our first fundraising activity was in August that year. The "Electromotion EV Winery Tour" proved very successful and the first haL2 EVSE unit was installed in Winthrop during September 2013. The first image below we used during fundraising pitches; it shows our "intended" locations. Compare it with the second image showing our results. We are not "mission complete," but we are on track!
The City of Tonasket approved funds to install an 80A EVSE last week and the City of Davenport is actively seeking funds for the provisioning of the electrical power needed to install an 80A unit there. Plug-In NCW has the chargers on-hand and has worked closely with both cities as they develop their plans. Speaking of plans, you will notice we did not envision four 80A chargers in the popular tourist town of Chelan! We also did not conceive the Pybus Public Market in Wenatchee would become a host. The "golden" check marks show locations with at minimum one haL2 charging opportunity. Places with the "targets" represent our two currently active projects. Just a note; Seattle City Light is still operating one of our haL2 (80A) EVSEs at their Newhalem site.
My conclusion is that Plug-In North Central Washington did pretty much what they claimed they would do. How do you see it?
If you have been reading our posts on this site for very long you know that Plug-In North Central Washington is all about haL2 charging. We choose 70-80A chargers because our goal is to encourage EV tourism and foster EV adoption throughout central Washington. The majority of EVs in Washington can travel about eighty miles on a charge, so we sought host sites that were about fifty to sixty miles apart. Our electrification of Highway 2 from Wenatchee to Spokane is about to be completed with installation of an haL2 80A EVSE at the county museum in Davenport.
As we've now driven this route several times, we realize EV80 drivers might want some "assurance" on the Coulee City to Davenport segment. While there are no good haL2 host site candidates, there are some RV Parks. The question of how to provide L2 charging at an RV park at the least expense was answered by the JuiceBox 40 from eMotorWerks (Electric Motor Werks, Inc.). These units have an NEMA 14-50 compliant connector that is the main stay of RV park receptacles. Protected by a 50A breaker these outlets can provide 40A continuous charging. The 24-foot delivery cable ends with a J1772 handle enabling connection to all commercially available EVs.
Plug-In NCW purchased three JuiceBox 40 units with the intention of demonstrating their effectiveness. We believe RV park operators may purchase these to enhance appeal to EV drivers. It is also our intention to demonstrate these EVSE units for the Washington State Parks Department as a potential answer to their interest in offering EV charging opportunities at their parks. Finally, we are planning an Ice Age Floods Tour for 2016 that is over 100 miles in length. Our three JuiceBox 40s will enable EV80 vehicles to join the tour as we can charge them at RV parks. It is an understatement to say, "we are energized by this purchase of JuiceBox units..."
Jack Anderson and Randy Brooks, Plug-In NCW volunteers, just completed the semi-annual inspection, service and data retrieval of high amperage Level 2 (haL2) electric vehicle charging stations. These chargers are hosted by communities and businesses encouraging use of zero emission EVs and encouraging EV tourism to North Central Washington.
These chargers are listed on PlugShare.com and we strive to keep their postings up to date. Thanks to all those who donated to Plug-In NCW to support this effort.
Below is a summary chart of the charger use sessions. Sites are listed in order of in-service date. A couple sites had no data due to monitor battery failure. We’re working to avoid those problems in the future.
We are currently working on a haL2 charger in Davenport, which will complete the “electrification” of U.S. Highway 2 between Wenatchee and Spokane.