[clug] Canberra electric vehicles group - first contact

Paul Wayper paulway at mabula.net
Mon Feb 1 06:29:03 MST 2010

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Hi all!

Tonight I went along to a group at once new and very familiar.  They all were
passionately keen about a new technology, and yet they'd all had to explain
the benefits over and over again to disbelievers.  Most of them were working
on their own projects but came together as a larger community.  While they all
knew it was the inevitable way of the future, powerful commercial interests
were working against them and governments and the general public seemed
indifferent to their cause.

This was, of course, electric vehicle hobbyists.

For my part, I'm keen on constructing an electric motorbike.  I'm also
interested in adding open source components and microprocessor controllers to
various parts of the project, partly to keep the cost down (some of the
proprietary parts are really expensive) and partly for the fun of tinkering.

There were three really interesting things that readers of the CLUG list might
be interested in.

Firstly, there's a lot of interest in the local group in starting a EV racing
standard and, within one to two years, getting actual races happening.
Initial ideas revolved around a standard car chassis that is fully CAMS
approved (which is necessary for official racing), but then someone mentioned
go-karts as a lower-cost entry level category which also got a lot of nods.

Secondly, the group is trying to collect information about building EVs into
an online resorce.  I put in my oar and proposed using a wiki (which they sort
of have already) and keeping it public (opposing the person who said it could
be monetised in the future), both of which met with general agreement.

Thirdly, there was a lot of interest in the hardware hacking theme that is all
the rage with CLUGgers at the moment.  Everything from makerbots and repraps
to arduinos and programmable fridges was met with interest and requests for
more detail.  I'm trying to find their email list to make a general
announcement and I'm hoping that I'll get a few people coming along to the
next CLUG meeting.

Have fun,

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