Thursday, October 15, 2015

The EVCCON that wasn't ... or WAS IT?

After announcing the cancellation of EVCCON 2015, Jack Rickard noted with some bemusement that it just didn't want to be cancelled. He left the door open by offering his shop for an open house to whomever might care to visit, and it looks like pretty much all of us did. I had a hotel room and rental car all lined up, so I figured, "for a couple of days, why not?". And since the Porsche wasn't going to make it, I'd be traveling light anyway. Others like Michael Brown and Nick Smith were in the middle of global tours, coming from Thailand and New Zealand respectively. They were going to be there regardless. Speakers like John Hardy from the UK offered to do their thing anywhere there was a laptop and a projector, so Jack set up the showroom/studio of his shop classroom style and EVCCON 2015 took on a life of its own.

Once again Michael Brown did a superb job of live blogging the proceedings, so I'll direct you to his site again for the synopsis:

Day -1:…/…/evccon-2015-day-1.html

The session room was comfortably full and the information exchange with speakers and other attendees was more than worth the trip. 

Jack's direction for EVTV is all about making OEM components accessible to DIY guys like me, so that was the focus of the presentations and most of the break time chatter in the shop. A highlight of my last afternoon was the demonstration of a working Tesla drive train.

And there were cars - here's a sample:

All had been to EVCCON before, but it was good to see them again. Most had some detail improvements, and that's what makes these things fun. I'm disappointed that my Porsche wasn't ready in time because it really models the new direction, being fit almost entirely with OEM components. I brought along some problematic components that needed attention, and Jack was more than kind to give me his time to reload software and reconfigure settings. More on that in a future post.

In the previous four years of EVCCONs, the Thursday night barbecue at the Rickard estate had rained out. Not so for the EVCCON That Wasn't. Beautiful autumn weather and a spectacular setting overlooking the Mississippi river were on tap this year.

Many of the EV conversions made the short trip from the EVTV shop, and looked perfectly at home in front of the garage where the early shows were shot.

Of course Jill's Tesla looks right at home, because it is.

On a cool October evening, the fire pit was a welcome gathering spot. I said my farewells after the dinner because I was heading back to Austin in the morning, but EVCCON 2015 continued on without me. I hope we have not seen the last of these events, because all of us work in relative isolation and hunger for the opportunity to hang out with others who share our passion.