[Oeva-list] [seva] Cannon Beach and Wayland Invitational Trip Report

John Christian john.p.christian at gmail.com
Wed Jul 28 09:13:55 PDT 2010

To JARB's point about too much Leaf news; here is a trip report from a SEVA
member - good stuff.....


On Tue, Jul 27, 2010 at 5:45 PM, Tom Saxton <tomsax at mac.com> wrote:

> This year's Wayland Invitational was the most fun I've had with the
> Roadster
> since it arrived. Not only was the event a blast, I really enjoyed the
> drives down and back.
> On our web site, Cathy and I posted this report (with a few photos and
> formatting) <http://www.saxton.org/dragrace1007/index.php> and a gallery
> of
> photos <http://www.saxton.org/galleries/1007dragrace/index.php>.
> Driving to Portland via Cannon Beach
> Cathy and I started with a charge-scouting drive to Cannon Beach, Oregon.
> We
> stopped for lunch at the Artic RV Park and Tavern along highway 101 in
> Artic, Washington, a bit over halfway from Seattle to Cannon Beach. Cathy
> called ahead to confirm that the tavern would be open for lunch and ask
> about charging. When she explained that we wanted to plug in to charge our
> electric car while eating, the owner, Roy, responded enthusiastically and
> encouraged us to stop by. Forty minutes later, we pulled into the parking
> lot and he was outside greeting us before we'd made it into a parking spot.
> He led us to a NEMA 14-50 outlet and we had a nice chat while plugging in.
> We asked what he charged for the hook-up and he said we'd already paid for
> the electricity in information.
> In Cannon Beach, we stayed in a cabin at the Sea Ranch RV Park and charged
> at one of the NEMA 14-50 RV hook ups. They were packed to overflowing and
> so
> charged us their normal rate for the spot, as otherwise they probably could
> have rented it to an RV. Becky, the manager, was also incredibly interested
> in EVs and stayed to chat with us even though she was already late for
> getting home. (Note that you're expected to bring your own linens when
> staying in a cabin. Becky solved our problem with that even before she
> found
> out we were there in a cool car.)
> We drove 207 miles that first day, mostly on tree-lined state highways with
> very little traffic, a very pleasant drive in cool, overcast weather. We
> spent an hour charging over lunch and another 45 minutes while unpacking
> and
> getting settled into the cabin. We got back from dinner at JP's and an
> excellent play at Coaster Theatre to plug in for the night around 10 pm.
> The
> car was fully charged before 5 am the next morning. We never had to "wait"
> for a charge, it just happened while we were doing something else. I don't
> miss gas stations at all.
> Friday morning, we stopped by Cannon Beach City Hall to chat with Mark See,
> the public works director. They are planning to include infrastructure for
> EV charging in an upcoming public parking lot remodel, but don't have
> specific plans for chargers yet. I'll follow up and try to help them avoid
> the usual rookie mistakes.
> We took state highway 26 to Portland, another great road winding through
> forest, this time in sunny weather. There was more traffic, but frequent
> passing lanes so we could pass or be passed as needed. We were motivated to
> preserve charge for the drag races that night, but there's a limit to how
> restrained I can be when I have plenty of charge to reach the destination
> and I'm driving behind a slow, ugly truck. Charging in range mode is great,
> but I'm a fan of switching back into standard mode for driving. Even when
> I'm driving for range/efficiency, I want access to the Roadster's
> acceleration when I need to pass a slower vehicle going up hill.
> The Wayland Invitational
> There were a bunch of EV drag racing legends at the event trying out newly
> revised vehicles. John Wayland and the White Zombie team had a new
> Dow/Kokum
> Lithium Ion battery pack, Father Time had a new dragster with 2 gigantic
> motors (one for each rear wheel, wired in series), Mike Willmon was there
> with Crazyhorse Pinto, Dave Cloud had his electric rail dragster. Some new
> cars there included Jay Donnaway in his Karmann Electric and Stephen
> Johnsen
> in his electric Fiero.
> White Zombie fried their ailing dual 8-inch motors Friday, so the team
> worked around the clock to get new dual 9-inch motors installed. They got
> it
> done and put in some test runs Saturday night. There were some issues that
> prevented them from breaking their 1/4 mile record, but they blew away
> their
> 1/8 mile best with a high-six time. Their Zilla controller was shutting
> down, but even coasting for the second half, they put in a
> Roadster-roasting
> 11.7 1/4 mile ET at 80-something mph. When they get the bugs worked out,
> Zombie is going to set some records. John was giddy with the power of the
> LiIon pack, estimating 0-60 time at around 2.4 seconds and gloating about
> being able to drive home after three heavy track runs and no charging.
> Crazyhorse Pinto had some wild wheel-popping starts (some suspension
> adjustments are needed to get rid of the bounce) and his times were
> dropping
> down but the track did a poor job of scheduling the EVs on Saturday,
> limiting Mike (and the rest of us) to just a few runs each after they hit
> the noise curfew at 10 pm and kicked nearly all of the gas-burners off of
> the track.
> Jay and Stephen had a number of good runs, but I don't recall the times.
> They both seemed pretty happy with getting their cars on the track. Father
> Time had controller issues that kept him off the track despite several
> nights with only 4 hours of sleep getting ready. We're all pulling for him
> to get it on the track soon.
> Last year, Richard didn't take delivery of his Roadster until just after
> the
> Wayland Invitational, so we drove down together and took turns driving my
> Roadster. This year, Richard was excited to drive his car and I was anxious
> to see how my car performed compared to last year, being a year older and
> having just passed the 10,000 mile mark on the drive down to Cannon Beach.
> On Friday, Richard and I did eight runs each, all very consistent, me in
> the
> 13.2's and Richard in the 13.1's. I started around 65% charge in
> performance
> mode that night, better than Friday night last year. I was practicing the
> two-foot launch and trying to get decent reaction times.
> On Saturday, I was only able to get in four runs because of the track
> scheduling issues, all were head-to-head against Richard. My first run was
> a
> 13.3, but on the second run I got a good launch (0.187 sec RT) and took the
> lead. Hurtling down the track, Richard started to gain (and beat my 1/8
> mile
> ET), but then I pulled ahead breaking into the 12's: 12.978 1/4 mile ET at
> 103.40 mph, actually edging out Richard for the "win." After the launch,
> there's isn't any great skill in keeping the Roadster in its lane and the
> accelerator pedal on the floor, but it was still pretty exciting to go
> neck-and-neck down the track at Roadster speeds. On the next run, Richard
> restored things to their normal order, pulling a 12.968 1/4 ET at 103.27
> mph
> compared to my 13.007/103.40.
> We were both quite pleased to break into the 12s, and I was especially
> thrilled to beat my best time from last year (12.982 1/4 mile ET at 103.48
> mph) after a year and over 8,000 additional miles on the pack. To be fair,
> last year I was driving with traction control on and was pretty clumsy with
> the two-footed start, so I should have beat my time from last year by more
> than 0.004 seconds if all else were equal. There are many factors that
> affect performance (state of charge, battery pack temperature, tire
> pressure
> and tread, air temperature, humidity, track surface conditions, etc.), but
> whatever I've lost in my battery pack's power capacity is within the range
> of environmental conditions and variation in my limited driving skill.
> Car Shows and Parties
> It seems to me that just about everyone in the EV drag racing community is
> in this to demonstrate that EVs can be fun, exciting cars. In fact, I read
> about John Wayland and White Zombie before I'd even heard about Tesla
> Motors. Knowing that John and the rest of the NEDRA community were building
> electric super cars in their garages added credibility to Tesla's plans. If
> it weren't for that, I'm not sure I would have had the nerve to put down a
> deposit on a Roadster so early.
> The EV drag races are more about engaging the public in a dialog about
> electric cars through showing the cars than about winning races. Beating
> gas
> burners and setting records just quantifies EV progress.
> In addition to the ad-hoc car shows at the track, we gathered for the "Show
> and Shine" in the Village Inn parking lot Saturday morning. There was a
> great turnout of vehicles from the drag racing community and the broader EV
> community.
> The Waylands also host a gathering at their home, aka the EV Juice Bar,
> where everyone collects to socialize, charge up, repair, upgrade, and
> commiserate. All the big EV experts collect there: Otmar Ebenhoech, Mike
> Willmon, Dave Cloud, Rich Rudman, Father Time, and others with experience
> in
> batteries, motors, controllers, and drag racing mechanics. It's amazing to
> see what goes on in John's garage, driveway, and yard as this community
> converges to share stories and expertise. My big contribution to the
> community was taking Jay Donnaway for a ride in the Roadster so he could
> buy
> a fuse at Radio Shack.
> Back to Seattle via Burgerville
> Cathy took the train back to Seattle Saturday afternoon, so I did the drive
> back solo. I stopped at the Centralia Burgerville, about halfway between
> Seattle and Portland, to use the Tesla high-power connector they had
> installed for Roadster charging. For the first half, I drove a steady 60
> mph
> on cruise control, watching the outside temperature reading on the
> touchscreen rise steadily from 75 to the mid 80's. I spent about 35 minutes
> charging at Burgerville while I stretched my legs and enjoyed one of their
> cold smoothies. When I headed back to the car to field any questions while
> finishing the smoothie, a family of three had just pulled up. Mom was
> pointing to the cable plugged into the charge port, explaining the car to
> her son, "this is an electric car charging its batteries, we should all be
> driving electric cars." Drag racing is fun, and has real public outreach
> benefits, but moments like that are why we bought a Roadster.
> With the little bit of extra charging, I had more than enough charge to
> finish the last 90 miles no matter how I drove. As the temperature climbed
> into the 90's, even showing 107 degrees at one point in traffic, I jetted
> the rest of the way home going 70 mph with the AC on full blast.
> -----------------------------------------------------------
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John P. Christian
OEVA Chairman

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