The EAASV is our local chapter of the Electric Auto Association (EAA), which has many local chapters throughout the United States as well as a few international chapters. The Silicon Valley Chapter has evolved from the original EAA founding event in 1967, and has promoted the adoption of electric cars ever since. In the early years, there were very few commercially available electric cars, so some of our “DIY” (do it yourself) members would convert a gasoline powered car into an electric car using forklift motors and lead acid batteries.
For many years, the EAASV group held annual car rallies in the Palo Alto area where members would compete to see who could drive the farthest on a single battery charge. In conjunction with this event, electric vehicle (EV) shows displayed these cars (and other electric vehicles such as bicycles, motorcycles and scooters) to the public. Some of our members would give rides in their EVs to the visitors at these shows. The idea was to plant a seed in the visitors’ minds that there was a viable transportation alternative to gasoline and diesel vehicles.
In addition to these annual events, our members would hold monthly meetings with guest speakers that would provide updates on the technological improvements that allowed EVs to go faster and travel farther distances on a single charge. Also, our group would be invited by local businesses and schools to display our EVs at health fairs and Earth Day events. Between meetings and events, members would share information via an email group and through informative articles in the Current EVents monthly magazine that was sent to members.
Some common themes would develop as a result of these activities. Among them were the clean air benefits of EVs compared with the toxic exhaust and environmental harm resulting from the use of petroleum based fuels by the vast majority of drivers. Another theme was independence from foreign oil producers and damage caused by accidental spills from oil refineries, leaking oil wells and tanker ships. One surprising theme is how much fun it is to drive an EV. The instant torque, powerful acceleration and quiet smooth ride give many drivers the “EV grin”.
Over the years, governmental activity has resulted in a demand for lower vehicle emissions and adoption of cleaner sources of energy such as wind and solar. Gradually, the idea of zero emission vehicles has gained momentum and over the past few years more and more commercially produced EVs have entered the market. As a result, most of our members now buy their EVs at a dealer and the number of DIY EV conversions has dwindled. These commercially produced EVs are far more sophisticated than the DIY conversions and are far more appealing to the car buying public. This link from our resources page contains a recent list of EVs that are available for purchase or lease.
Still, our mission remains to educate the public about the many benefits of EVs. The number of EVs on the road today is still just a few percent of the automotive market. Although the California Governor has mandated that by 2035, all new vehicles sold in the state must be zero emission, a lot more drivers need to have their minds converted before that goal can be achieved.
If you are not yet a member of EAASV, you are invited to join us. Click the following link to become a member.
If you would like to subscribe to our email list (it’s free), please send your request using our Contact Us form.
Click the following link to join our Facebook group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/eaasv/
Here is the link to receive our Twitter tweets. https://twitter.com/eaasv
Please explore our website to learn more about the benefits of EVs.