Here, There, and EVerywhere – Day 16

A quick note of thanks to the Beatles for inspiring the title for this series of posts. This is the sixteenth in a series of posts written about our trip that will be published four weeks to the day of the trip.

Missed Day 15, click here.

Day 16 – EV Advocacy at Sustainable Morristown Sunday, May 17, 2015

Today’s plan is simple, hang out with my cousin in the morning and join the NJEAA guys at the Sustainable Morristown event in the afternoon.

The previous day, we took the time to figure out what the optimal rate of charge was for the Model S on my cousin’s 110V outlet. We placed it at 8A and the charge held.  As I previously mentioned, the Model S will reduce the speed that it charges when it senses stress on the wire, and here is a picture of the Model S automatically reducing speed of charge (see the “Charge Speed Reduced” message on the dash below.)



To prepare for the Sustainable Morristown event, we decided to go ahead and wash the car.  After all, NJ is not in a drought, so took the opportunity to clean the car and present it in the best possible light (if you want to see how I usually wash the car @ home, you can see my first Periscope (by Twitter) attempt to instruct folks on how to do a car wash of the Model S.)

In the meantime, before we went to the EVent, we found the communities near Morristown, NJ to be a Random Model S spotting bonanza.

The first one we spotted was at the church parking lot.


We spotted the LKTRFYD NJ plates parked across from us.


On the way to the Sustainable Morristown event, we spotted a blue Model S on Speedwell Avenue heading the opposite direction from us.

Sustainable Morristown

The event was held at the U Driveway of the Vail Mansion. The driveway was barricaded, but we were let in by Airton Azevedo. As soon as we parked the car, Chris Neff introduced me to a reporter covering the event for the Daily Record.


Unfortunately my comments didn’t make the reporter’s article. But darn, I was good. I wonder if she didn’t like my answer to the question regarding range anxiety. (I don’t really have it, notice the California license plate?)

Got a few good panoramics of the cars that participated in the event. Most of the NJEAA folks that was at the EV Meetup the previous Monday were here. Unfortunately, I missed Tom Moloughney’s “red” i3.


Pay attention to the 10 x 10 Green Tent that is at the left edge of the picture below. Michael and Pamela Thwaite do a lot of EV advocacy, and they were smart enough to set up some “shelter” from the sun as they interact and educate with the public.


While we were hanging out at the EVent and talking to the public, I spotted a third Silver Model S that drove by on the street.  This car wasn’t participating on the EVent, it seemed to be a Model S that is just passing by.

At the EVent, I was fielding a lot of questions about range.  Hopefully, bringing a California Model S to a New Jersey event hopefully helps hammer home the point that electric vehicles are not only limited to “short trips.”  My wife and I met with a lot of people, both locals and folks from further away, like Westchester County, New York.  People were intrigued by the cross-country travel aspect of the car as soon as they realized that we were there from California.

We were the “go-to” folks to field the question of range anxiety, which [Spoiler Alert] we don’t have.  We had a lot of folks that approached us because, for a while, we were the only Model S at the event and they had questions for that, before they notice the California plates.  To which many first thought that we worked for Tesla (to clarify, again, we don’t.)


Where’s the engine is another common question at these EVents, so we like to open the frunk and show the lack of an “engine.”  Additionally, people really enjoyed seeing the little 18650 Panasonic battery (see below comparing it to a pen, AA, and AAA batteries, it’s the green one) that we carry around for these types of EVents.



My cousin and his wife hung out with us a little, since they had an event in the evening, we walked them back to where their car was parked.

The fourth Random Model S sighting. Though with the California Manufacturer’s plates, that tells me that it’s a Service Center Loaner.



The Sustainable Morristown event wasn’t all just cars.


Some great chalk art at the entrance of the event.



But, you know me, I’m kind of an EVaholic and Andrea Giangone and his blue Model S joined the EVent. Andrea’s Model S has a cool little mod.


There were some blue accents on the Tesla logo on the trunk of his Model S.


Ben Rich showed up later with his modified 2014 Zero Motorcycle.


This one is modified to have faster charging. Notice the two chargers on the side of the motorcycle.  He obtained and installed two Elcon 2.5kW chargers from Hollywood Electrics.  So, adding 5 more kW of charging to the built in 1.3kW charger of the motorcycle yields him 6.3 kW of charging speed.  Not bad.

Many were quick to point out how sharp the mounts were that Ben installed to connect the chargers to his motorcycle. We guess he doesn’t need to carry a passenger with him.




Remember the 10 x 10 tent that Michael and Pamela Thwaite use for their EV advocacy, it’s even more impressive how they carry it.  The trunk of a Tesla Roadster is one of the smallest trunks that I’ve ever seen.  It’s design is such that people can fit one set of golf clubs in it.  The Thwaites, however, are expert at packing things and their chairs and tent fit in the back of the roadster.


Aside from the ZeroMC, there was also a Fit EV that was parked beside our Model S.  Airton’s 2nd Generation RAV4EV and then the Andrea’s Model S.


Sal Cameli‘s Nissan Leaf has a URL for his website.


We spotted a second Ford Focus EV of the trip.


A great shot of the rears of the EVs.




A better shot of the second Ford Focus EV of our trip.


Michael Thwaite’s Roadster.


Chris Neff’s BMW i3.


Another shot of Ben’s Zero MC.  Like we previously mentioned, watch out for those metal blades that he mounted those two chargers on.


Airton bidding us farewell until next time.  Perhaps Tony Williams will figure out how to enable the 2nd Generation Toyota RAV4EV for supercharging.  He’s already on his way to getting it running on CHAdeMO (or as he calls it the JdeMO).


Randolph, NJ

It was a full day and we plugged in for the night and started charging at 8A again.




Go on to Day 17. Click here.

16_Randolph to Morristown to Randolph

Here, There, and EVerywhere – Day 10

A quick note of thanks to the Beatles for inspiring the title for this series of posts. This is the tenth in a series of posts written about our trip that will be published four weeks to the day of the trip.

Missed Day 9, click here.

Day 10 – Drive on Monday, May 11, 2015

So, how was Delaware for the night? It was quite relaxing, actually.

Aside from spending the evening with my cousin in Randolph, NJ, we had several goals in New Jersey today. One thing that was high on our list was to pass by the Allwood Bakery (now known as Brothers Bakery of Allwood) in Clifton, NJ and to visit the EV destination of Nauna’s Bella Casa in Montclair, NJ.

Prior to reaching New Jersey, we made arrangements to meet some fellow BMW Active E Electronaut alumni (Airton Azevedo, Tom Moloughney, Chris Neff, and Michael Thwaite). These guys also happen to be involved with the New Jersey Electric Automobile Association (NJEAA), so we scheduled an EV meetup at Nauna’s for 6:00pm that evening. It was an open invitation to other EV drivers, and the guys invited other members of NJEAA and we were glad that they did.

Hampton Inn and Suites Newark

But first, we had to get out of our hotel in Delaware.

No, the car did not spring a leak. It’s condensation from the preconditioning.






So, we lost four miles after pre-conditioning. So, it’s not a great test of what the conditions were overnight. Though I didn’t have a picture of it, I checked my notes and had written down that there was 213 Miles of Rated Range in the morning, so that’s a one mile loss overnight, and another three due to pre-conditioning. The distance between Newark, DE and Hamilton Marketplace, NJ is around 75 miles, so we had a LOT of buffer. Actually, the distance between Hamilton Marketplace Supercharger and the Edison Supercharger is around 35 miles (or a total of 110 miles,) so we didn’t even need to stop in the next two New Jersey superchargers.  One of the main reasons that we did was to help with the entries for the beta of the (now released) Teslarati App for iOS.

The times that I’ve driven through Delaware over the years, the only thing I remembered was the Delaware Memorial Bridge.


No, it is not time to stop and check in to a hotel, we just started the day for crying out loud. The camera was just out of focus for the bridge and the “Welcome to New Jersey” sign.


Hamilton Marketplace Supercharger

The Hamilton Marketplace Supercharger was the first supercharger in the state of New Jersey and it was the first New Jersey supercharger that we stopped at.  As previously mentioned, we really didn’t need to supercharge there, so we stopped for a quick charge.



Went inside the Barnes and Noble.  On the way in, I spotted something that made me stop and ponder.


I wonder if the Barnes and Noble at the Hamilton Marketplace Supercharger stocked this book by the door, and close to the supercharger on purpose.  As tempting as it was to pick up a book on Nikola Tesla, I just passed on it.

If you do end up at the supercharger at Hamilton Marketplace, NJ, you will note that there is a Starbucks inside the Barnes and Noble. The store hours at this location are 9:00 am – 10:00 pm except on Sundays where it’s 10:00 am – 9:00 pm.

It started raining before we got to the Hamilton Marketplace Supercharger, and it remained actively raining by the time we got parked to charge. So, I waited for the rain to abate a little before I plugged in. Seeing that it was just raining and not thunder and lighting, we felt that it was safe to charge.




The six superchargers at Hamilton Marketplace is at the side of the Barnes and Noble.  A location that is closer to a shopping center than some of the other
shopping mall located superchargers from earlier in the trip.  Seeing that it was raining before I ran into the store, I appreciated the fact that the chargers were so close to the store.

After getting a little charge, we left for the Edison supercharger, and was met by even more rain.  Lots of rain.  As fast as drivers were going when the road was dry, it was notable how much slower the traffic adjusted to the wet weather.   We only had to travel 35 miles to Edison from Hamilton Marketplace.



Edison Supercharger

And just like that, we ended up at another mall located supercharger. This time though, the superchargers are at the edge, like most other mall locations in the country. The superchargers are split between two sets of four chargers. There was another Model S from New York a few stalls away, however, it was raining, and we really didn’t socialize.





Though we didn’t need to charge to full, we were tracking early for our meetup with the NJEAA guys and gal, so we charged up to not be reliant on any other charging going forward. Nauna’s does offer several charging options, but we’re meeting with other EV drivers, and I didn’t know if any of them would need to use any of the available chargers at Nauna’s.

Brother’s Bakery/Allwood Bakery – Clifton, NJ

Our first stop, prior to getting to the meetup, was the Brother’s Bakery of Allwood.


Whenever I find myself in Northern New Jersey, it has been a tradition that I’ve adopted to stop off at this bakery for its banana cake. The banana cake is not “famous” as it is “sentimental” (aside from being delicious.) My best friend’s grandmother used to live in Clifton and he used to share the banana cake with me when his family would travel back to Southern California after visiting her in New Jersey. I just adopted their family tradition as my own (and it does help that the banana cake is tasty!)


We got “primo” parking by the bakery. But, getting there when they have banana cake is the real “win” here.


Nauna’s Bella Casa – Montclair, NJ

Clifton and Montclair are very close to each other. So, we were able to make our meet-up in no time. When we got there, the first ones at the site were Doug Stansfield and Sal Cameli (pictured below left to right). A couple of Leaf guys we met this evening.

Sal likes to take photographs of vanity license plates and posting it on Instagram, so apparently we got some likes for our license plate that he posted earlier in the evening (May 11, 2015).

Meetup at Naunas Doug and Sal

I’ve written a review of Nauna’s from 2012. Since we had plans to meet with my cousin for dinner, we just had some appetizers at Nauna’s, I opted for “Grandma’s Rice Balls” and my wife had the “Spinach Ravioli” and they were both satisfying.

Arriving later in his Electric Motorcycle was Ben Rich (not pictured, but his bike is).


Chris Neff was here in his i3.


One of my biggest questions was what car would the Thwaites arrive in? The Roadster? Ford Focus EV? i3? Nope… They showed up in their Electric Smart Car.  As tight as the parking lot of Nauna’s became, the Smart did what all Smart cars do, and fit in at a niche.


Doug’s Leaf was next and it was parked at the other charger and right beside our Model S.

Airton parked his “Tesla Inside” powered RAV4EV 2nd Generation beside our Model S. Seeing that RAV4EVs are “usually” limited to California purchasers or lessors, Airton is taking a big “risk” in having a compliance EV outside of California. He really enjoys it.


Another shot of Chris Neff’s i3 and Sal Cameli’s “pimped out” Leaf (Sal not only possesses the most complete set of charging adapters for his car, but he also connected the biggest speakers I’ve seen on a Leaf.) And boy did we feel the bass when he drove off in his car.


We figured to take a panoramic with the cars, so, pictured here are (from left to right) Sal Cameli, a Nauna’s customer and Plug-in Prius driver whose name escapes me, Tom Moloughney, Michael Thwaite, Pamela Thwaite aka Transport Evolved’s own ElectraGirl, Chris Neff, Doug Stansfield, me, and Airton Azevedo. Not pictured is my wife (who was taking the picture) and, because he had another commitment, EV Motorcycle Rider Ben Rich.


A nice close up of Airton and I from Airton’s camera…


I’ve been visiting Nauna’s for a while now… However, usually it’s a picture with Tom and his car, however the red i3 was in for service when we had the meetup, so we didn’t get a picture of Tom’s red i3.

Here is a throwback to October 18, 2012 with the ActiveE version of “EFOPEC.”


So, we took the opportunity to take the picture with our car. After all, we did drive from California for this picture!


It was a great meet and not only did we just meet a bunch of the Active E guys and gal in real life for the first time, we also got to make some new EV friends with Sal Cameli, Doug Stansfield, and Ben Rich.

This dinner was a nice inflection point for the trip.  Since we didn’t know where we planned to go to next, we figured to ask our NJEAA friends where to go next, North or South, and it was a unanimous suggestion from the crowd to take advantage of the good weather and go North from New Jersey. So, we figured they were onto something and decided to go to New England.

Additionally, the NJEAA had let us know that if we were back in town the following Sunday that they were doing some EV advocacy at the Sustainable Morristown event on the 17th of May. Since we didn’t know where we would be, we made a soft commitment to make it, if we happen to be near New Jersey on the 17th.

Asahi Sushi – Morristown, NJ

We figured that we were close enough to New York City and my cousin is reliable for food suggestions that we would go to sushi. From the EV Meetup at Nauna’s, we proceeded to dinner at a sushi bar in Morristown, NJ called Asahi Sushi.



The sushi was very good and definitely worth going back to and we made a mental note to add it to the “good to go back” list.

Randolph, NJ

After dinner with my cousin and his wife, we headed back to their place in Randolph, NJ. Randolph is considered rural New Jersey, and our drive back to their home was a little nerve wreaking because of our new-found “nemesis”… The “Deer Crossing” signs. We developed an irrational fear of deer, and there were several points on the drive from Morristown to Randolph that we passed these same signs.  I suppose when your only means of getting home is the car that you’re driving in and it’s close to 3,000 miles drive to get back, you get to be a little conservative in your drive.

We were also challenged by the quality of the 110V feed in my cousin’s garage. It turned out that his garage outlet was the farthest feed from his main panel, so we found ourselves charging at 6A overnight. That looks to be a 1 mile per hour rate. Seeing that our goal for tomorrow is to visit another cousin (in Long Island this time) I was just trying to not lose the miles overnight.  We plugged in the evening at 189 miles of rated range. However, throughout the night, the charge kept tripping at 12A then 9A, worked at 6A.



It was a pretty fun-filled full day. Short on the miles, but long on the fun.

Go on to Day 11. Click here.

10_Christiana to Randolph