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Month: August 2017

Ford Ranger ICE conversion to EV

Ford Ranger ICE conversion to EV

I had the pleasure of being able to meet up with Terry Orr last week to check out his Ford Ranger conversion from an internal combustion engine to a full electric vehicle.

To be honest I was not sure what to expect before arriving at his home in Calgary.

I had seen little more than a short video of a Ford Ranger moving from a backyard parking stall to running up and down the alleyway, with the claim that he had made it work. At the point of seeing the video, I was already impressed enough to reach out to him to see about an interview or maybe getting some video, however when I spoke to him and found out that he accomplished the ICE to EV conversion on the truck in three weeks, I was simply floored and knew that this needed to be seen by people in his own words if at all possible.

I got to Terry’s house and we exchanging greetings, pleasantries and had a short chat about EV interests.

After a few moments of talking, he ran into his house and brought his wife and daughter out, pointing excitedly at my Nissan Leaf parked in front of his house exclaiming that he was so happy to see someone else driving one in Calgary. He lamented on his trip to British Columbia and how he saw so many EVs there and how few there are here in Calgary at this point. He talked about how hopeful he was that the EV adoption rate would increase here and that he hoped his contribution could help in it.

From there we went around into the back yard.

Bicycles were neatly parked by the back gate leading to a gravel parking pad with a Ford Falcon and a Ranger parked outside next to the garage.

Terry made mention that bikes are still his favorite mode of transportation for getting around his local community and talked a bit on his passions of skateboarding, surfing and snowboarding, but then the conversation started into cars.

Terry is very much a car guy.

He has played with a bunch of ICE vehicles over the years, including his Falcon that we did a fast look at before we started into the EV side of things. He said that he put an old Mustang engine into the Falcon but didn’t go with a big V8 like everyone else seems to want to go just to be different.

After a few short moments, Terry told me he wanted to wing the video and off we went.

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After doing up some of the video capture, Terry explained that he had a problem that developed on the Ford Ranger that morning as he was “tuning and playing” before my arrival and that the truck had a 12 volt power problem. He said that he had nothing going to his fuse box and as a result had no lights, signals, radio or anything else attached to it. He asked if I knew anything about electrical problems and tracking then down and faster than you can blink an eye, I was excitedly playing under the hood of his electric truck with his VU meter.

Within about 20 minutes we had found the problem and got it resolved; a simple ground bolt caused the issues of not completing the circuit.

I didn’t do much to help to be honest, but I am going to hold the bragging rights that in some small way, I got to work on a cool electric vehicle conversion and got my hands dirty (not really, his build was clean enough to eat off of)!

I left his house overjoyed with meeting him, talking about EVs, doing video, playing with his EV truck and the day.

Thank you Terry for a great meet and proving that you can be a “gear head” and “back yard mechanic” in an EV world and congratulations on your amazing EV conversion!

You can find out more about Terry and his conversion project on his blog at Forward Future Fun.

Weekend Wrap Up

Weekend Wrap Up

This was a fairly busy but good weekend with both the Brentwood Sustainability Festival on Saturday and then the Sunday Drive to MacKays Ice Cream in Cochrane on Sunday.

Donna and I had a lot of fun at the Brentwood Sustainability Festival this Saturday, where we got to talk a bunch of very cool people interested in electric vehicles, solar electricity, aquaponics and solar cooking. Although the turn out was small, the event was enjoyable and the smaller numbers meant that we could spend more time with the folks that did come out.

Electric vehicles were of top interest at the event, with just about everyone sitting in the cars and getting to know more about them. The usual concerns were raised on range, winter driving and inabilities to charge the vehicles, all of which we addressed with real information.

We had our 2016 Leaf SL and had been told that a Tesla would be joining us.  Imagine our surprise when a 2014 Fiat 500 E rolled in and parked beside us and no Tesla came.

Dave, the owner of the Fiat, had another display set up in the field, so we did some fast research on the vehicle so we knew at least something about it if people asked.

This vehicle was brought in used from California as an old lease by a friend of Dave’s who is setting up a company (sorry, he did not have the information on the company) to bring in used EVs, refurbish them and get them the out of province certification for Alberta.

While we were doing research we ran into an interesting article on leasing a Fiat 500 E in California and how it leases for a three year term for as little as $49.00US a month. (Canadian Government, are you seeing this? This is how you push EV adoption!) The article is well worth a read and a wake up call to what could happen if the Cafe regulations were enforced here like they are in California.

Check out the photo gallery on the 2014 Fiat 500 E.

By the end of the event, we had several people re-thinking electric vehicle adoption and the positive benefits they have to offer.

Huge thank you to Alan Nagal from Sun Country Highway (who set us up for going to the event when he could not attend) and Andrea Teruel Diez who organized the event!

The following day had us going out to Cochrane for the Sunday Drive to MacKays Ice Cream.

We decided to go out early and have lunch while we were there. We stopped in at the Half Hitch Brewing Company and took advantage of the charger they have for a top up for the day.

This out of the way brewery would not have gotten our business and we would not have gotten to know about or eat at a very cool location in Cochrane if it was not for having the charging station. This is a perfect example of how installing an EV charger (of which they have both a standard level 2 charger and a Tesla charger) can pay off both ways. Having the charging station on PlugShare allowed us to find it and was a perfect method of advertising for their company. Hats off to the Half Hitch Brewing Company being trailblazers and aiding in the EV world!

Good food, cool location and friendly staff.
Definitely an EV stop to go to!
We will be back!

After lunch and a charge, we went off towards MacKays Ice Cream and walked around the town shops. There are a bunch of very cool and unique place to check out that are well worth taking the extra time to explore! It was also a great way to burn off lunch and make room for the Ice Cream.  After the exploration and controlling the impulse buying, we went off to stand in line for Ice Cream at MacKays.

The line was fairly short when we got there, but by the time we came out, it was half way down the street. The entire experience brought back some childhood memories for me and it still amazes me how iconic the place is after all these years.

We got our ice cream and went out to find a bench to enjoy it after doing a short stop by the Leaf for a fast picture. This gave us an opportunity to talk to a group of other people about the EVAA and electric vehicles who were sitting at an adjacent bench.

Over all, it was a great day!
But how could it not be?
Electric vehicles, a nice drive, lunch and a charge, ice cream and time shared with great company always make for an awesome day!

Huge thanks to MacKays Ice Cream for being the awesome iconic place of yesteryear maintained to today!

Hope to see everyone at our next event!


EVAA Coffee Meet

EVAA Coffee Meet

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We set up the first EVAA coffee Meet for August 8, and I can honestly tell you that it was fantastic.

I was not sure how it was all going to play out with only a couple folks seeming interested in the event, but Trevor Dewaard Marc Verones and Donna Hayes made it a huge success!

We had fantastic conversations on a range of topics from EV adoption to vehicles details to autonomous driving and pet peeves of some of the vehicle features. One of the big topics of conversation was the lack of information available locally on EV’s from dealerships and the amount of misinformation and misconceptions there is out there from other sources. I believe that these coffee meets could be an awesome means of delivering that information to the masses by people who know about and own EV’s.

There is something to be said for bringing people together face to face, away from the screens that we think we know people by. This event proved that in many ways. I got to know these people from a completely different perspective and we had very pointed conversations with honest and open dialogues that I dont think anyone was actually ready to walk away from when the night ended.

I would like to thank Trevor, Marc and Donna for being a part of the event, and look forward to the next one.

If you have an EV or are just interested in finding out information about EV’s, I welcome you in attending the EVAA Coffee Meets (Find more information in the Events).

I would also like to make the challenge to anyone out there with an EV outside of the Calgary area to set up a monthly coffee meet in your area for EV owners and for those interested in getting information. If you do set one up, please let me know and I will add it to the events Calendar and send you the graphic for the table card. I will also post up the pictures of the event that you take and the write up about it!

Lets make this happen everywhere in Alberta!

Electric Vehicle Association of Alberta

Electric Vehicle Association of Alberta

Welcome to the first of many posts for the website!

Our goal is to promote electric vehicle adoption in Alberta with information, reviews, events and advocacy.

Stay tuned for the exciting stuff to come!