[Oeva-list] Fw: Legislative proposals sent to Rep Riley re EVs

Tim Kutscha tim_kutscha at yahoo.com
Sat Jan 3 08:43:56 PST 2009

Hi All,

  Here's an e-mail I received from Philip Kollas regarding some of the legislative proposals that he made for the 2009 session.  If you have any thoughts or feedback for Philip, please contact him at pkollas at comcast.net.

OEVA Chair

----- Forwarded Message ----
From: Philip Kollas <pkollas at comcast.net>
Sent: Monday, December 29, 2008 8:24:12 PM
Subject: Legislative proposals sent to Rep Riley re EVs

Legislative proposals sent to Rep Riley re EVs Hi again, Tim,

We talked a couple of times by e-mail in early August re the OEVA and some upcoming events where we would be showing our EVs.  So, I wanted to send you my proposals for the 2009 legislative session and see what you (and any other OEVA folks) thought.  I’d be happy to hear from you.

Below is the text of what I have today sent to my rep in the Oregon House, Chuck Riley; I’ve talked with him in person in the past and have found him to be willing to listen and help on other matters.

Happy New Year,
Philip Kollas (Hillsboro ZAP driver)

Hello again, Rep. Riley,

Congratulations on your win in the legislative race last month; I’m sure you’re eager to get on with the business of state government again.

Introduction and Proposals

Although some would wring their hands in this economic environment, I see an opportunity to re-make our way of doing things in Oregon, for both the short-term and the long-term good.  We can turn the economic downturn to our advantage while vastly improving our environmental standing as a green and innovative state.  And it’s all in keeping with Governor Kulongoski’s overall plan to bring electric vehicles (EVs) to Oregon in a big way.Here are my two proposals:

	1. Add the final crucial ingredient to the governor’s plan for building and selling EVs in Oregon:  design them here, so that the quality is unquestionable from start to finish.   This will be crucial, as you will see from the information below. 
	2. Eliminate the arbitrary speed limit for four-wheeled EVs (currently 30 mph, I believe), so that the average car buyer is willing to consider an EV in any future purchase.


Based in part on environmental concerns and in part on the price of gas, last spring I researched the available EVs in this country and quickly narrowed down the list to two, one of which was out of sight for price ($36,000).  That left exactly one affordable type (about $13,000 new), offered by a California company that imports a Chinese-built EV.  Note that this import is a three-wheeler, technically a three-wheeled motorcycle, so as to avoid the 30-mph speed limit artificially imposed in Oregon on four-wheeled EVs.  Since the top speed listed in my owner’s manual is 40 mph, having a three-wheeler allows a theoretical one-third faster trip than does any four-wheeled EV.  This was important in my purchase decision.

I made arrangements with my employer, which is roughly 18 miles away by back roads, to recharge my EV on their dime while I’m at work, thus allowing me to have a fully charged battery pack when I head home in the middle of the night (I work swing shift).  So far, so good.

This worked fine until the battery pack started pooping out about five miles shy of my work site, requiring me to recharge for 30-45 minutes somewhere along the way—and show up late for work.  Not good.  Numerous calls and visits to the Portland dealer (with whom I have no complaint) disclosed that the onboard charger did not receive, from the manufacturer, the correct algorithm (think of software that tells the charger how long and how deep to charge the batteries) for this particular brand of batteries.  My EV wound up at the shop, getting new algorithm after new algorithm from the manufacturer, for more than five weeks this past autumn.

In addition, the windshield turns out to flare badly whenever the sun strikes it at low sun angles, such as in the late afternoon.  The dealer admitted that the quality of the glass supplied by the manufacturer was low.  This creates an unsafe situation during certain hours, but the manufacturer’s warranty does not cover such windshield replacement.

Rationale for the Proposals

Why do I mention these problems?  The quality of the Chinese import is just too low to be a serious contender for American consumers.  No one in his right mind would knowingly buy a rig with these defects, which were more design flaws than construction flaws.  Had U.S. individuals designed the rig, these flaws would not have been allowed (sorry, but we all know by now the problem with Chinese quality control:  it’s nonexistent).

If we control both the design and the construction of EVs here in the Northwest, we can guarantee a good product.  If we merely import Chinese-built EVs for the US market, we will quickly have no new EV drivers . . . and gasoline usage (and pollutants) will continue at present levels.  This is not good for consumers, the environment, or the economy.  My understanding is that Governor Kulongoski’s plan is to import some Chinese EVs and to build certain Nissan EVs in Oregon.

My proposal is that we both design and build EVs in Oregon, and that we eliminate the needless speed restriction that will otherwise kill any effort at  selling four-wheeled EVs.  This will allow a quality product and a favorable environment for the use of the new “green” vehicles that the governor wants to see in Oregon.  EV speeds are already inherently limited by the battery pack and electric motor used in each type.  Most models I know of can hit only about 40 mph on the level anyway; they don’t need an arbitrary speed limit below that.  Consumers will not buy an electric vehicle, no matter how clean its energy source, if it can’t get them where they want to go in a reasonable time.

Summary; Specific Legislative Requests

In your role as vice-chair of the Workforce and Economic Development Committee, would you please introduce legislation to achieve the two proposals listed above (add vehicle design to the current push for building green cars; delete the 30-mph arbitrary speed limit for four-wheeled EVs).   I’m not sure how the bill for the first proposal should read; I will leave that to your discretion.  The second proposal should need only a bill eliminating the current speed limit specifically levied on four-wheeled EVs.  

I thank you for your time and consideration of these two matters.  If you have any questions or comments, do not hesitate to contact me.  I would be willing to testify regarding the proposed legislation at any hearings.

With respect and best wishes for the new year,

Philip Kollas
1179 SE Fir Grove Lp
Hillsboro OR  97123-8806

Home 503-681-2181 

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