[Oeva-list] EV Strategy Draft comments

Myles Twete matwete at comcast.net
Thu Dec 1 09:06:10 PST 2016

Some good points, Alan, thanks.

Regarding (1): Not living in Portland for the past 10 years, Alan, you have no idea how much bike commuting in this town has increased---I commuted via bike, MAX and bus for much of 2015.  I've seen it, experienced it and no, it doesn't depend on the weather for these die-hards, many of which probably don't even own a car (thanks to car sharing, Uber, etc.).  While I also think that 25% is likely a pipe dream, the very high influx of young folks here in the past 2 years greatly supports the notion that the bike commuting trend will continue upward---plus, flex hours and Telecommuting will both have a positive impact on traffic.  My beef about bike commuting was the danger and mania of too many bicyclists during the commute (particularly the Hawthorne bridge) and the fact that if you didn't get on the train at the right stop with your bike, you'd end up having to ride the train standing and holding your own bike for an hour.  The bottleneck to getting more bike ridership is the limitations with the mass transit infrastructure and not the weather.

My recommendation: Max Trains will need a better way to accommodate more bikes---at least one train car should be designed to flexibly accommodate hanging at least 30 bikes---right now only 8 bikes can be normally hung on an entire Max train and that just doesn't work for the cyclist and doesn’t work for everyone else.

Regarding Converting Cars to EV's: Alan, sorry, but "that is so 20 years ago"--- I can't imagine that many people out there are interested in converting gas cars to EV in this decade of affordable, reliable lithium-based EV's.  Sure, tinkerers exist as they always have, but the bulk EV community going forward will be the turn-key owners.  Some 24 years ago at one of our OEVA meetings I asked this question: "Once quality EV's can affordably be bought instead of converted, will EV enthusiast groups like the OEVA become irrelevant?"
How many years now has it been since we've had more than 2 EV conversion cars at a regular OEVA meeting?  At the last meeting I went to there were no EV conversions and not a single car had its "hood up".  Contrast that with our meetings of even 10 years ago where nearly every vehicle in attendance was a conversion and no one parked their car on the PGE plaza without having the hood up.  How often do we see even the old die-hard conversion enthusiasts at a regular meeting---e.g. Victor Tikhonov, John Wayland, Marco Mangillo, Don Blazer, etc.?  I think my point is proven---there's little interest in EV conversion these days unless it's to convert a boat to electric --- and boy is that still a growth industry (I'm the moderator for the Electric Boats forum on Yahoo---over 5000 members).  Still, one reason to consider some uptick in conversions: Affordable availability of surplus or used lithium packs---e.g. the stack of Enerdel packs that Don Blazer bought a year ago were bought with hopes that folks would want to use these in conversions.

Regarding the Bolt using a charging system "that is rare": Sure, the newer combined SAE HV/J1772 charge stations are rare, so I get your point.  But I'm holding back laughter because unlike everyone else in the industry which opted for charging connectors that were SAE and "standard" (even ChaDeMo at least had a consortium behind it), Elon Musk opted to not only develop a "rare" proprietary connector but then went off and deployed his own exclusive network of "rare" charging/fast-charging stations for only his higher paid customers---not exactly a choice that a team player would have made...  Instead, Elon chose to create an elite cult following and created a charging infrastructure that only those in his little club could use.  Now that his company has seen huge growth in sales, that little charging network he created is going to get overwhelmed---and it's why they're changing the charge cost model away from FREE for LIFE.  He's had a lot of time to work with the rest of his industry and governments to find a way to fund more massive deployment of charging infrastructure and to open up---he chose not to.  And now he sees his own infrastructure as inadequate---and that's both sad and a testament to his success.


-Myles Twete, SE Portland

1920 Milburn www.evalbum.com/348 (uses "standard" Type-N Anderson 100amp DC charge connector compatible with standard public charging infrastructure of the 1910's-1920's).
2011 THINK www.evalbum.com/1018 (first car to publicly demonstrate ChaDeMo charging at 2010 National Auto Show---sadly, the company didn't include this when it went into production for 2011)

-----Original Message-----
From: oeva-list-bounces at oeva.org [mailto:oeva-list-bounces at oeva.org] On Behalf Of Alan Batie
Sent: Wednesday, November 30, 2016 11:34 PM
To: CCTestimony at portlandoregon.gov
Cc: OEVA <oeva-list at oeva.org>
Subject: [Oeva-list] EV Strategy Draft comments

As I look over the draft EV strategy, I have the following comments:

1.  Expecting 25% of commuting to happen by bike in our weather is a pipe dream.

2.  Achieving 25% transit will need a massive expansion of capacity, particularly in both the transit system itself and the park-n-rides. 
When I was still living in the Portland area, I considered transit, but even nearly 20 years ago, the Sunset transit center was always full, and I'm sure it's no better now.  And that doesn't deal with destination "last mile" issues.  Expecting and planning for commuting by car to drop by 2/3rds is only going to exacerbate the congestion problems that are why I'm glad I left the Portland area over 10 years ago.

3.  Now living in Corvallis, I travel to Portland fairly often, usually in my Leaf.  Two inconveniences I face doing so are variations on the same thing: lack of destination charging.  I can often make it to my destination easily enough, but wouldn't be able to make it back to a fast charging station because there's no place to charge near my destination.  As a result, I have to spend more time fast charging, when my car could be charging while I'm at the destination, optimizing the use of my time.  The two variations are when I'm visiting businesses, and when I'm visiting friends.  I'm not sure it's practical to put L2 stations every couple of blocks to resolve the latter case, but encouraging businesses with parking lots to provide EV charging, and sprinkling EV charging along streets in commercial zones would help a lot with the former. For example, when I was visiting my dentist in Beaverton this morning; movie theaters and restaurants are obvious low-hanging fruit as well.

4.  On the other hand, I believe this to be a short term problem - long range EVs are starting to show up and will be common in the near future, so I'm not sure a large investment is worthwhile - destination charging will still be occasionally useful, but much less so, and mainly at destinations where people often travel distances to reach.  The real critical infrastructure to encourage EV adoption is cross-country fast charging of the sort Tesla has built out.  The main reason I'm holding out for a Tesla Model 3 over the Bolt is the Bolt's usage of a charging system that is rare, and GM has expressed little interest in changing that.  For a single car family to adopt an EV, it has to be able to satisfy all the needs, even infrequent uses.

5.  Converting city vehicles to EVs will be a valuable tool in demonstrating to the public that EVs are actually practical vehicles now.

More information about the Oeva-list mailing list