Felix Kramer (CalCars) makes minor bit of history driving his Chevy Volt to Tahoe

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reikiman
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Felix Kramer (CalCars) makes minor bit of history driving his Chevy Volt to Tahoe

Felix Kramer is the founder of CalCars and a long-time activist for plug-in vehicles. He lives in Redwood City and when he launched CalCars the Silicon Valley EAA chapter was the first group he came to for resources/advice/assistance. They developed and published the information allowing "anyone" to do a Plug-In Prius conversion and I think to a large degree their efforts are what's put plug-in hybrids on the radar of the powers-that-be.

He was able to get one of the first production Volt's last month and has had a bit of experience with it now.

To Tahoe and Back in My Chevy Volt is an article about a trip he took with the Volt to Tahoe, where he thinks he may have made a small bit of history. Namely, the first plug-in vehicle to make it from the SF Peninsula to Tahoe without refueling.

The distance is 225 miles and the Tesla Roadster has a 240 mile range limit. However there's the matter of climbing the 7000 feet to Donner Pass. Every Tesla owner who's made the trip has recharged the battery pack before making the ascent.

Yesterday he came to the EAA Silicon Valley meeting to show off the car and talk about it. It's been one of the largest chapter meetings in a long time. Below are some pictures I took.

One thing he called for is a team to work on "instrumenting" the Volt. The Volt dashboard gives a small amount of data (probably GM wanted to make the car user friendly). It's possible to do for the Volt what they did for the Prius - tear it down, study it, work out how to make it better, document the results for everyone. So far, no takers.

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marcopolo
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Re: Felix Kramer (CalCars) makes minor bit of history ...

Felix Kramer is the founder of CalCars and a long-time activist for plug-in vehicles. He lives in Redwood City and when he launched CalCars the Silicon Valley EAA chapter was the first group he came to for resources/advice/assistance.

Well done Felix!

Sigh, there is only two disturbing things about the photo's, everyone appears to be a bunch of serious, unfashionable late middle-aged males, self-importantly standing around an auto.

The disturbing things? Well, I now fit into that category! Oh, and this picture is alarming like all those fading sepia pictures of a bunch of guys standing round an Automobile circa 1915! (less hats, less hair)!

But the Volt looked great!

marcopolo

reikiman
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Re: Felix Kramer (CalCars) makes minor bit of history ...

everyone appears to be a bunch of serious, unfashionable late middle-aged males, self-importantly standing around an auto.

It's a little divergence from the topic of this thread --- but ---

The EAA does have a small question of "okay, now what" syndrome. As an organization it's purpose for existence has been to spread awareness of electric vehicles ...etc... Well, now that electric vehicles are starting to be manufactured by major companies, and assuming that this time they don't kill the electric vehicles, then what purpose remains for the EAA? The organization itself is nearly 50 years old and it started here in the SF Bay Area - I believe that the San Jose chapter is the founding chapter, with the Silicon Valley chapter being nearly as old, and some of the members of our chapter have been involved for decades. I know that the EAA leadership is debating "what do we do now" etc, and one clear observation is the organization didn't do a good job of staying young (bringing in young people). Not that there aren't any young people - just that the membership is skewed towards not-so-young.

- David Herron, The Long Tail Pipe, davidherron.com, 7gen.com, What is Reiki
- Electrified Electra To

marcopolo
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Re: Felix Kramer (CalCars) makes minor bit of history ...

The EAA does have a small question of "okay, now what" syndrome.

Oh, my comment was meant to be an ironic observation on the fact that the more we change, the less we change!

However, I think that your point is very relevant. The day of amateur hobbyists fight for EV awareness is past.The kind of investment and developments being undertaken by the major manufacturers is too substantial to be written off.

So where do organisations like the AEVA, EAA, etc, go from here?

I think there will always be a need for enthusiast car clubs, modifiers, customisers and so forth, just as there are ICE motoring clubs,and associations.

The only difference is that the EV sponsors will be Utility companies instead of oil companies!

V is For Voltage will still be relevant, to debate the merits of the majors products and small independents. The second hand market, will provide the hobbyist customiser with the platforms to 'individualise' his own ride.

Oil companies will no longer be the evil enemy, instead battery and power companies will be the new targets for conspiracy theorists.

The different types of Solar panels and other valid power saving devices, will replace debates about fuel saving technology, while creative scamsters will try to sell investments in snake oil to "magically extend battery life', turn water into power in a special vat, harness moon power, and crystals to improve your power supply!

As I say, nothing really changes!

marcopolo

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