What Is the EVDL?

The Electric Vehicle Discussion List (EVDL), founded in 1991 by EV enthusiast Clyde Visser PE, is the Internet's oldest and most comprehensive resource supporting EV hobbyists. It's ad-free, non-commercial, and volunteer-operated.*

We have hundreds of members all over the world, many with dozens of years of EV experience. Some have built (or are building!) EVs for a living. Others sell, design, and even manufacture such EV components as motor controllers and battery chargers. It's very possible that you'll find one or more of our members living near you.

In recent years, fuel costs have soared, dipped, and weaved. In the summer of 2008, when gasoline prices approached $5 per gallon in parts of the US and $10 per gallon in Europe, EVDL membership reached an all-time high. Even though fuel prices have since fallen back, most of those folks have stayed with us. They know that the days of cheap gasoline are in the past. Having an EV in the garage is good preparation for the next big run-up in fuel prices - and, more importantly, for a possible future when gasoline and Diesel fuel might be scarce.

Just so you're not disappointed, though, remember that fuel isn't the only cost of operating a vehicle. Whether you actually save money overall by driving electric really depends on many factors. They include where you live; your area's cost of liquid fuel, electricity, and batteries; what kind of EV you build or buy; how you drive it; and how you maintain it.

But even if you don't save any money at all, there's still a huge satisfaction in driving your EV past the filling stations, and keeping your wallet closed to the petroleum companies. We call that the EV grin. And if we should ever see a repeat of the gas lines and quasi-rationing the US had in the 1970s, well, you'll be ready for it.

There's more to the EV grin. EVs are a pleasure to drive! They're quieter, smoother, and more efficient than fuel-burners. And despite what you may have heard, they definitely don't have to be slow. Every year, electric cars and bikes set new records in EV drag racing.

If you're more interested in helping the environment than in going fast, not to worry. You'll find plenty of company on the EVDL - our main focus is on practical, everyday electric transportation. And you should know that regardless of what the PR machine says, EVs really are cleaner, even when you consider powerplant emissions. If you put PV panels on your house's roof, you can even fuel up your EV with 100% renewable, carbon-neutral, pollution-free energy harvested directly from the sun with photovoltaics. Try that with a gas-burner.

Whether your interest is energy independence, smooth, quiet performance, or ultimate greenness, why not get your own EV grin? Join us! We talk about nearly anything and everything directly related to EVs. All we ask is that you to stick to the list's conventions.

Discussion is great and it's always welcome, but what we really want to do is put people into EVs. Since there aren't yet many production EVs offered for sale, and the ones you can buy tend to be pricey and/or limited, we'll help you build your own. Like most of us, you'll probably use an ordinary ICE (internal combustion engine) vehicle as a base (the glider). But if you're really ambitious, you might join the brave EVDL souls -- and not just professionals -- who've actually designed and built electric vehicles from the ground up.

The EVDL's charter, written by the founder, says:

The EV (Electric Vehicle) Discussion Mailing List is intended to provide a forum1 to discuss the current state of the art and future direction of electric vehicles. It is not intended to discuss either EV appropriateness or comparisons with other transportation primary drive modes such as the venerable internal combustion engine. Those discussions are best relegated to the appropriate usenet newsgroup.

An electric vehicle is any vehicle which uses an electric motor as the primary or sole motive force. The energy storage device used to drive said motor can use any technology including, but not limited to, solar electric, electric battery, fuel cell, internal combustion engine coupled with a electric generator (hybrids), or any combination of these.

Production electric vehicles are currently available. Internal combustion engine vehicles can be converted to electric power. A number of companies perform this conversion. A number of manufacturers provide equipment and components allowing you to "do it yourself."

1(Just to be clear here, we call the EVDL a forum, but that's in the traditional sense of the word. It's not an Internet forum or bulletin board, but rather an email discussion list.)

This is what the EVDL can do for you:

  • Help you determine whether an EV will suit your needs
  • Help you decide where and how to start finding or making an EV
  • Encourage you on the project if and when you run into challenges
  • Support you when something goes wrong with your finished EV2
2(Warning: Actually, many of our EVs are never finished. ;-)

If you'd like to see what sorts of issues are discussed on the list, check out our archive before you subscribe.

We hope we'll see you online!

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evdl.org is a noncommercial, public service web site.

*The EVDL's listserver doesn't insert advertising into the messages it distributes, but some messages may contain ads from the senders' ad-supported mail services. The archive / forum front end is a separate, ad-supported service. We allow announcements of new EV products and private EV-related offers, as long as you follow our guidelines and don't overdo it. Spam us, though, and we'll show you the door.

 

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