2013 National Plug In Day wrap up

We had a great time on Sunday at the Third Annual National Plug In Day, and we were glad to be able to step up and organize (and co-corporate-sponsor) this year’s event. We acknowledge it was different from the two previous years (it rained and everyone was happy about it), but from watching the field-trip of students who stopped in to talk with owners for a school project on plug-in electric, we’re certain the future is strong for EV technology.

Brian’s Saturn looked great with the new lithium batteries, and Ben’s Jeep conversion presented nicely alongside the off-the-shelf EV models .

Austin EV (full disclosure – Cara) wrote a summary of the day and it’s available on the Austin EV website:


We’re not sure if we’ll be sponsoring next year’s event (it was a lot of work!) but any ideas or suggestions are greatly appreciated.

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REVOLT will be at the 2013 National Plug-in Event in September

Austin EV and several Central Texas vehicle groups will be coordinating the National Plug-in Event for Austin, TX, September 29, 2013. REVOLT will be there as well, supporting plug-in electric vehicle use and technology.

Aaron is organizing many aspects of the local event. If you would like to register to attend, show a car or to volunteer, please add yourself here: http://www.pluginday.org/event.php?eventid=61

(updated 9/13/2013)

Join Austin, TX area electric vehicle enthusiasts for an electric vehicle display and  presentations on Sunday, September 29 from 10am to 3pm at the Northwest Recreation Center.  We will have all kinds of electric vehicles on display and their owners will be there to talk about how their electric vehicles fit into their lives.

(updated 9/23/2013)


(update 9/25/2013)

Speaker Lineup!

11:00 – 11:45 AM
Driving on Sunshine: charging your vehicle from solar panels on your home – Dale Bulla, Interfaith Environmental Network

noon – 12:45 PM
Testing the Cells: cycle testing on cells for electric vehicles – Marc Kohler, Director of Product Management, Actacell

1:00pm – 1:45 PM
EV’s Today – experiences from actual EV owners — a panel discussion led by Tim Ziegner – president of the Nissan Leaf Owners group

2:00pm – 2:45 PM
The Future of Homebrew and Small-Shop EV Conversions – Chris Robison, Product Lead, REVOLT Electric Vehicles

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Porsche 911 Upgrade: Prototyping Models

One of the projects currently in the REVOLT garage is a Porsche 911. We did not perform the original conversion, but we were hired to convert the pack to lithium.

After evaluating the project specs and consulting with the client, one of the first things Chris did was to make a 3-dimensional scan of the engine bay to determine where the brackets for the pack would be mounted. From that, he created a virtual model of the part in CAD software.

Working in CAD allows us to quickly design the components we need and produce them in a reproducible way if we work on the same type of car in the future.  However, there are often elements of the vehicle (cables, overhangs, etc.) that aren’t always obvious in the modelling software. This can lead to frustration if we produce the part in metal before discovering the conflict (we do try to learn from our mistakes).

To avoid expensive mistakes (and frustration), we prototype the parts we make.  One technique we use when the parts are destined to be made from sheet metal is to laser cut the parts and build prototypes in similarly dimensioned cardboard.

Here are some photos of the bracket Chris tested:


By creating our part in cardboard, we discover the nuances of production before committing to metal, making our process easier to replicate, faster to troubleshoot, and less expensive than finding out the key part of the assembly will interfere with a feature after we’ve spent time and money to produce it in metal and prep it for install.

If you’re in the Austin area and need access to prototyping equipment (or just want to be around makers), you might wish to consider joining the ATX Hackerspace. They have tours on Tuesdays if you want to check out the space. If you see us (since we might be working on one of our projects), come on over and say hello!

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