Science Alive

Our little EV has been on display at Science Alive – a local 3 day science show. Our local branch of the Australian Electric Vehicle Association (AEVA) was asked to set up a booth. A good chance to show off Electric Cars to the general public.

Rosemary at Science Alive

At the show we set up a slide show of photos on a big LCD screen, for example shots of the car under construction and the various components and tools we used. We also typed up 2 page flyers on Rosemary’s Electric Car (yes, I have admitted it is hers!) which talks about our real EV life experience and busts a few EV myths like:

  • Electric Cars are Expensive
  • Electric Cars are Slow
  • They don’t have enough range
  • But we need infrastructure like charging stations
  • The power stations will be overloaded
  • Charging is slow

The cool thing about our EV is it gets used every day. We greatly prefer it to our other, infernal combustion car. This gives us real life EV experience that we like to communicate to people. Much better to hear it from real people using a real EV every day than the media or car companies.

The booth was staffed by local AEVA members over 3 days, including Rosemary and I. Rosemary manned the booth on Friday when all the school students came through. She found the girls to be more interested in the the car – they asked the best questions.

Rosemary with students

I spent Sunday at the booth. I thought the LCD slide show worked really well to explain things that weren’t obvious from the assembled car, like exactly how the motor fits to the transmission. There were a lot of common questions, which could probably be handled by signs at the next event:

  • The range (80-130km for our car). This is a major preoccupation for non-EV drivers. However we find our EVs range isn’t an issue for us in day-day driving. The question is more an indication of the current state of education on EVs. Once you drive one, a lot of concerns like range and charging go away.
  • Where is the motor? Our motor is small (7 inch diameter by 14 inches) and obscured by batteries. A picture or arrow might help.
  • Kids instinctively want to touch, even though there is a do not touch sign. Little kids can’t read. This is a concern when you have 120V and 500A within a few cm of little fingers.

Thanks especially to Eric Roda and Edward Booth for the hard work they put into this event. Science Alive was a good warm up for the National EV Festival which will be held here in Adelaide on November 5/6 this year.