Saturday, August 30, 2014


It's taken me a couple of weeks to decompress and reflect on the 2014 EVCCON experience. This is the fourth annual celebration of Electric Vehicle conversions hosted by EVTV, specifically Jack Rickard and Brian Noto. Once again held at the A. C. Brase Arena in Cape Girardeau, MO, it's my time to get revved up again and get my inspiration from the presentations, renewed friendships, and the beautiful cars. This is my fourth time attending EVCCON and it just keeps getting better. I brought my eBugeye in 2011 and the evTD in 2012 and 2013 as well as this year, so maybe something new will be on tap for next year. More about that and some other surprises later.

This year I didn't get my camera out quite so much, more focussed on absorbing the atmosphere, personalities, and information. Fortunately, there were some far better photographers involved and they have generously shared their photo documentaries. Check out these wonderful albums from Tim Catellier and Duane Lindsey.

Mike Brown won the Furthest Distance Travelled award by coming all the way from Thailand to attend. He once again did a super job of capturing the activities of EVCCON in his own blog and I'll refer you there for a day by day rundown:


I had once again loaded the evTD on a U-haul trailer behind a rented pickup and set out for the conference, this time driving solo. My father had accompanied me the last two years, sharing the driving chores. This year he declined because of some recent surgery and wasn't sure he was up to a road trip.

It takes a day to get out of Texas and another day to get where you're going, so I've found Texarkana to be a good place to put in for the night. This year I had gotten a pretty good deal on a brand new Hampton Inn on the Arkansas side. Very pleasant stay with dinner at a really tasty New Orleans themed restaurant in walking distance. Happily reserved for the return trip as well.

Now for the surprise: after the last presentation on Thursday, I'm walking out of the arena and find Mom and Dad waiting for me! They had driven in from North Carolina. Mom said Dad was moping around the house saying he wished he could be at the conference with me, so Mom says, "Let's go" and there they were.

It was a dry run for their trip to Texas for our grandbaby Easton's baptism. Easton James won't make his entrance until October, but daughter Becky and son-in-law Erik are making plans. Good times!

Friday is play day at the airport, and Mom and Dad were there for the event, visiting with John Bishop and strategically positioned close to the beer trailer. It was a constant stream of drag races and autocross, interspersed with great food, capped off with dyno runs. The dirty little secret about EVs is that they're FUN TO DRIVE. The greenies and tree huggers don't want to let that secret out since it might attract the wrong sort of people, but it's true!

On the other hand, Mom just wanted some pictures of herself in the evTD for her friends at home. She didn't want to ride, until Jill Rickard twisted her arm to go down the drag strip in the Tesla Model S. What a thrill!

Saturday is the Car Show, EV Parade, and Banquet, and we all had a great time. Dad rode with me in the parade and Mom got to ride in Jill Rickard's Tesla once again. They are clearly enjoying themselves!

Photo courtesy Tim Catellier

Photo courtesy Tim Catellier
The banquet was a superb and fitting close to a wonderful week. Jack and Brian traded witty comments on the stage. After awards were presented (all well deserved), Jack kind of wanders across the stage area with a stream of consciousness review of the past four days and his vision of what electric drive can be and how we will change the world one car at a time.

Once again I'm ready to go: get liquored up, play with high voltage, and go for a drive.

Earlier in the week, Brian and Jack announced a show special of 10% off nearly everything in the EVTV store. Since I already had a Better Place battery pack and Siemens/DMOC/GEVCU package in my garage, it was an opportunity to select the other odds and ends I'd need to complete my next build. Since I had a truck with me, I could avoid all the shipping costs, so I picked up a charger, DC/DC converter, dual cooling system, J1772 charge port, Evnetics throttle, and emergency and maintenance switches. Now all I lack is a car to wrap around all that EV goodness. Once that dilemma is solved, I'll be putting together a fresh new build to bring to EVCCON 2015.

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