DAY ONE: Aug 23, 2008 - Saturday.
Day one of the Santa Rosa Junior College Course -
DET-193. ELECTRIC VEHICLE CONVERSION.
Some 23 people gathered to for the introductory session of this new course, taught by Peter Oliver of Make Mine Electric. The students ranged from a senior in Highschool to a builder nearing retirment age and looking for a change.
We gathered in room 2070 of Lounibos Hall on the Campus of the Santa Rosa Junior College. The Classroom is attached to the large workshop in which Peter had parked his tantalziing electified Porche Speedster replica.
After general orientation, and student introduction, we went into the workshop to look at Peter's car, and two other vehicles in process which are to be completed and moved out to make way for new projects.
After breaking for lunch we re-convened and consulted on what would be the parameters of a car that most of the class would be happy with coming up with the following:
Range: 60 - 80 miles
Top speed: 70 - 80 mph
Acceleration: 0 - 60 mph in 15 seconds.
Seats: 2 (but I hope for 4 in mine)
Cargo: 100 lbs
Extras: Climate Control (AC/Heater).
Grade: Handle 6%
Weight: Stay within original weight
Power: Pure Electric.
The task prior to next Saturday is to use Peter's hand-outs to calculate the needs for the car we have in mind as our EV project vehicle - and then determine the budget.
From what I heard today, I think we would be looking at $15,000 to convert our 20 year old Nissan Sentra. The motor would be good for 20 to 30 years - but will the rest of the car hold out. It is in great condition, everything works, and it seems well put together, so I think it is still possible. But as my wife Sherna points out - would we be better just to wait untill the Big Boys start producing EV's and get a new one rather than investing in a 20 year old car.
A large part of the answer to that is my personal goal in all of this. I want to be part of the solution, and encourage others - waiting for the big boys to get their act together and make more billions off us doesn't interest me a whole lot - but can we really afford to put ourselves out by $15,000 to be at the bleeding edge?
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