MNEAA, Minnesota Electric Auto Association, alternative fuels, altfuel, AltraEV, Battery electric car, California Air Resources Board, Who Killed the Electric Car, CARB, clean cars, clean transportation, Don't crush, Electric car, electric cars, electric vehicle, electric vehicles, environment, environmental vehicles, EV, EV+, ev1, Ford , gas-optional hybrid, General Motors, GM, green cars, Honda, Hybrid Vehicle, national security, Nissan, peak oil, Plug-in hybrid, PHEV, EV, pollution, ranger EV, rangerEV, rav4 ev, smog, Toyota, toyota rav4 ev, transportation, Zero Emission Vehicle, ZEV, ZEV Mandate, high mpg, mpg, fuel efficiency
 

 MNEAA Minnesota Electric Auto Association

MNEAA, Minnesota Electric Auto Association, alternative fuels, altfuel, AltraEV, Battery electric car, California Air Resources Board, Who Killed the Electric Car, CARB, clean cars, clean transportation, Don't crush, Electric car, electric cars, electric vehicle, electric vehicles, environment, environmental vehicles, EV, EV+, ev1, Ford , gas-optional hybrid, General Motors, GM, green cars, Honda, Hybrid Vehicle, national security, Nissan, peak oil, Plug-in hybrid, PHEV, EV, pollution, ranger EV, rangerEV, rav4 ev, smog, Toyota, toyota rav4 ev, transportation, Zero Emission Vehicle, ZEV, ZEV Mandate, high mpg, mpg, fuel efficiency 

 


 

Electric Cars at the Minnesota State Fair

20 MNEAA Members Discuss EVs

By
Marty Elstrom

Electric cars were on display at the Minnesota State Fair from August 27 to September 7, 2009 in the Eco Experience building. Total paid attendance for the 2009 fair was 1,790,497, surpassing the previous record set in 2001 by 27,521. The fair had 97,000 more attendees than last year.

About twenty Minnesota Electric Auto Association (MNEAA) members were on hand to talk with fairgoers about the cars on display and about electric vehicles in general.  They also distributed business cards featuring the MNEAA website for further information about the association and to encourage interested persons to attend a monthly meeting.

Chris Simonís 2001 Ford Focus conversion and the Stew Robertsí 2003 Ford Ranger truck conversion were featured in the associationís display area.

Simon, an electrical engineer, completed his conversion in March with a DC motor and 136 volts of power supplied by 17 8-volt golf cart deep cycle batteries connected to two chargers. A third plug-in powers a small battery heater for the winter months. The converted Focus can reach 70 miles per hour and has a range of almost 30 miles. The conversion cost Simon $4500 for the used Focus, $11,500 for parts, batteries and welding labor, for a total out of pocket coast of about $16,000 plus an indeterminate amount of labor. He has used the car for commuting to and from work since March.

The Ford truck conversion was recently featured on Minnesota Public Radio (MPR see below). Roberts, a mechanic and owner of The Foreign Service repair shop in Woodbury did the conversion for a customer, Todd Seabury-Kolod. The used truck cost $3,000  

plus another $15,000 a kit, additional parts, batteries and labor for the conversion. With power supplied by twelve large 12-volt lead-acid batteries, the truck can achieve 70 miles per hour and will travel 35 to 40 miles on an 8 to 10 hour overnight charge.

Also featured in the transportation area of the Eco Experience building were two ready-made all electric vehicles from member Carl Gulbrandsonís Electric Vehicle Store in St. Louis Park where some of the MNEAA meetings are held. A new neighborhood electric vehicle (NEV) named the Wheego strongly resembles a Smart Car. The black NEV can go 25 to 36 miles per hour (can be adjusted, when laws are passed, to 50 mph)and can travel 40 miles on a charge. Sticker price on the Wheego is $19,995; a $7,500 federal tax credit is also available

The yellow Current electric auto was featured in a central display in the building mocked up to resemble an electric car charged by solar panels from above.  The Current, which many MNEAA members have driven, is a four-passenger car that can achieve speeds of up  to 70 miles per hour on the highway and can travel 55 to 75 miles on a charge.  The car is available with a variety of options to increase range (to 200 miles) and comfort (air-conditioning). Sticker price on the car is $28,999; and the car is eligible for a $7,500 federal tax credit. Gulbrandson had sign-up lists for fair attendees to request free rides in both of his cars.

 


 

Mechanic's electric truck gets State Fair debut

by Stephanie Hemphill, Minnesota Public Radio
August 28, 2009

Roseville, Minn. ó A Minnesota mechanic is touting the viability of electric vehicles at the State Fair.   

Stewart Roberts, who owns The Foreign Service repair shop in Roseville, is displaying a black 2003 Ford Ranger at the fairgrounds, which he's converted to 100 percent electric power.

The truck sports a new wax job and a bunch of slogans painted on the shiny surface, such as "100-percent electric vehicle conversion" and "40-miles per charge," a rough approximation of how far you can travel on a charge.

"And it says 'no more blood for oil,' a little political statement there," Roberts said. "That's on the gas door. And look at that, there's a gas cap there, but if you take the gas cap off, you can see the ground down there."

 Stewart Roberts makes an adjustment under
the hood of the Ford Ranger he converted
into an all-electric vehicle.
(MPR Photo/Stephanie Hemphill)

"And stacked up on top of that," Roberts continues, "is the controller, that allows you to apply the throttle and have a normal acceleration rate. And then there's various controls for generating 12-volt power to run the lights, the heater, the windshield wipers and things like that, that you need on a normal vehicle. And sitting on top of all that, because it's kind of neat-looking, is the battery charger."

Also under the hood are three big 12-volt lead-acid batteries. Nine more are in the truck bed, taking up a little more than a quarter of the cargo space.

Roberts converted the truck for Todd Seabury-Kolod. The truck cost $3,000 used, plus another $15,000 for the conversion.


Todd Seabury-Kolod says he'll save some money
by charging his car with electricity instead of
filling it with gas. But he says the most
important thing to him is reducing
his contribution to global warming.
(MPR Photo/Stephanie Hemphill)

"I like to think of myself as a mild-mannered person, but I seem to be overcome with this mad-as-hell-not-going-to-take-it-anymore feeling," Kolod said.

He's mad because the technology to make an electric truck like this has been around for more than twenty years, but he says the big automakers and the government have ignored the potential of electric vehicles.

"You get $4,500 for Cash for Clunkers but you don't get one penny for an electric conversion like this," he said.

Since the conversion, Kolod's electric bill is going up, but he thinks his overall costs will go down.

"Especially with gas prices hovering at around $2.50, there is a little bit of savings, but I think more importantly, the carbon footprint is less, and that's probably what I care most about," he said.

Studies show that, even factoring in the coal-fired power plants producing the electricity, electric cars put out about 25 percent less global warming pollution than gasoline cars.

That climate change advantage will improve as we add more wind power to our electric energy mix. Roberts says electric vehicles can help even out the demand for electricity.

The Ford emblem flips aside to accommodate a
standard household plug. It takes eight to ten
hours to charge the twelve lead-acid batteries
that will go for about 40 miles.
(MPR Photo/Stephanie Hemphill)

"We can be charging our batteries for our electric cars at night when there's surplus of electricity; we can also be turning on chargers during the day if it's a windy day and there's a surplus of wind energy."

It takes eight to ten hours on standard household current to fully charge the batteries. That'll get you 35 to 40 miles the next day.

Members of the Minnesota Electric Auto Association have electrified all sorts of vehicles, from trucks to VW bugs to sports cars. (MPR Photo/Stepanie Hemphill)

The truck rides smooth, and very quiet. Roberts says the truck will go 70 miles an hour, but he doesn't recommend it.

"It's really not a good idea to drive at high speeds because it's not good for the batteries. And there's no reason to; it's an around-the-town vehicle, where our speed limits are all 60, maybe 65 at the most."

This is his second conversion project. He says it's easy to convert trucks, because it's obvious where to put the batteries.

The Ford Ranger and a bunch of other electric cars are on display at the State Fair. There are other conversions, and a couple of cars made to be electric at the factory.

 

Broadcast Dates

      All Things Considered, 08/28/2009, 5:55 p.m.

http://minnesota.publicradio.org/display/web/2009/08/28/electric-truck-fair/

 

Audio

Mechanic's electric truck gets State Fair debut (feature audio)

 

 

 Copyright 2009 by MNEAA. All rights reserved.
This web site was last updated on
 
Web Design by
The Computer Coach who sells Boat Parts