It seems a bit strange replying to my own mail but here goes! We held our first meeting and I am posting the minutes.....
We had a very pleasant and interesting first meeting of the Canberra EV Group at Wests Rugby Club on Tuesday evening. Ten people turned up for the meeting; they were Chris Curtis, David Rossiter, Charles Sweeney, Geoff McFarlane, Kim Featherston, Nicholas Day, Tanja Taglietti, Warren Overton, Bill Gresham and Dave Micklethwaite. We had apologies from Pete Gorton, Ben Mettes, Clare Redmond and Rhys Howitt who had previous engagements and could not make it.
The meeting began with everyone introducing themselves and their interests in EVs.
Chris Curtis gave a slide presentation covering his entries in 4 of the Solar Challenge runs from Darwin to Adelaide. His vehicles were three wheel tricycles with a 200 watt DC motor, lead acid batteries and solar panels.
Charles Sweeney showed a short video of a Suzuki Swift that he converted to electric drive about 15 years ago in Canberra. He drove it for 5 years and then sold it because it wasn't big enough to carry his growing family. This vehicle had a DC motor, Curtis controller and 10 x 12 volt lead acid batteries. Range was about 60 Km at 70 KPH. Charles is planning another conversion, this time a Triton dual-cab ute.
Warren Overton described his Karmann Ghia conversion which will have Lithium batteries and an AC drive. The work is being done by Ross Blade (http://www.bev.com.au/
) in Castelmain and the vehicle could be on the road in a couple of months!
There was a lengthy discussion about the future of the group without any definite conclusion being reached. It was clear, however, that there is sufficient interest to hold future meetings. The posssibilities discussed include: forming a local branch of the AEVA, becoming a "special interest group" under the umbrella of a local organisation such as ANZSES (www.anzses.org
) or SEE-Change (http://www.see-change.org.au
). Bill Gresham agreed to find out more about these possibilities and report to the next meeting for consideration by the group.
There was some interest in the idea of converting a vehicle as a group project. The would allow all participants to learn about the planning, electrical and mechanical aspects of a typical conversion. More thought is needed before a project like this can begin. Projects like this are underway at CERES in Melbourne (see http://www.ceres.org.au/projects/climatechange.htm
Members will give thought to other possible activities and guest speakers (maybe venues) and bring ideas to the next meeting. Chris plans to bring his latest solar bike for a show-and-tell. Hopefully Warren will soon be in a position to give a show-and-tell of his Karmann Ghia. We'll need a different venue for that.
The next meeting will be on Thursday 5 June at the same venue unless otherwise advised. Hopefully, Thursday night will work better for the people who could not manage Tuesday night.