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Posted: Sat Jan 10, 2009 2:02 pm
by Peter Eggleston
If you really believe in ev's and their promotion then I think that you should be faithful to the BVS, since at the moment it is all we have got. Remember that it is a purely voluntary organisation and any member can work to improve it or voice their opinion on how to improve it or in what directions it should go.
To jump ship just because there are a few squabbles is childish and unhelpful. Having different views and opinions is part and parcel of a club.
I will be renewing my subscription.

Posted: Sun Jan 11, 2009 10:16 am
by Jeremy
There is one point that seems not to have been discussed here, yet which I feel is worth airing.

What do people expect to get out of membership of an electric vehicle society?

My own views are that, years ago (pre-internet) many joined to be able to discuss ideas, innovations etc with like-minded souls, either face to face at meetings or through the pages of the society journal. Most, if not all, specialist interest societies seem to have come about for this reason.

Things have now changed, though. We can find out far, far more about what's going on, almost instantly, via the internet. We can join in with many thousands of like-minded souls and get a very broad, multi-national, understanding of the current state of technology. Best of all, the rapid exchange of ideas this engenders is producing very rapid developments at the amateur level, as anyone browsing some of the really big EV forums will have found.

I know that there are some who look upon the internet as some new fad and ignore it, but a quick comparison between the aged content on the A5 newsletter that popped through my door last week and the vibrant discussions on somewhere like the ES forum shows just what those who are anti-internet are missing.

I'm undecided about renewing my membership of the BVS, solely because I can contribute, and benefit, to a much greater extent via any of the big EV internet forums. After all:

- Internet forums are now spawning very successful local meetings; one organised through the ES forum was reported in the last issue of Plugged In.

- Internet forums are full of useful information on suppliers, and can quickly organise "group buys" to get prices down.

- Internet forums allow near-instant exchange of information and ideas, speeding up development times dramatically.

- Internet forums are often full of people with expertise and practical experience, allowing interested novices to acquire the knowledge and information they need quickly.

- Best of all, most good internet forums are free!

What's special about the BVS that should make me remain a member?

What does the BVS offer (other than a magazine) that any good EV forum doesn't?

I hate to use a hackneyed marketing phrase, but the BVS needs to know what it's USP (Unique Selling Proposition) is; what is going to give the BVS the edge in the market for new enthusiasts?


Posted: Sun Jan 11, 2009 8:42 pm
by MB
Jeremy - I haven't come across the ES forums before. Have you got a link?

You make some good points about the BVS - it needs to know what it wants to be.

One option could be to do something like Mensa - have an umbrella organisation and lots of Special Interest Groups within it. Mensa have hundreds (possibly even thousands?) of SIGs, covering everything from a singles group to chess to ESP to anything you could think of.

SIGs organise their own events to which all Mensans are invited. Many of them have their own newsletters that are produced in addition to the Mensa magazine. Many of these newsletters look remarkably like a budget version of the BVS Review, but nobody complains about the layout or the flimsy paper because it is a special interest newsletter that goes out in addition to the very professional Mensa magazine.

Think about it - we could have a self-builders SIG, a Solar SIG, a conversions SIG, a Citroen Berlingo SIG, the Cornish SIG, the one-eyed-people-with-a-wooden-leg SIG, electric bike SIG... in fact, whatever we wanted - Junior SIG to encourage younger members. Now there's a thought.

BVS members can join two SIGs as part of their membership, and can pay to join additional SIGs if they wish. Club funds are partially distributed to the SIGs with amounts based on SIG membership.

If a member wants to start up another SIG, so long as there are at least three or four other people who want the same SIG, they can start one. They agree to a code of conduct and off they go.

Posted: Sun Jan 11, 2009 9:05 pm
by Jeremy
Mike, here's a link to the ES forum; Much of it is about ebikes, but as my current interest is a electric motorcycle that's fairly well covered, too.

Even though ES is ebike-centric, many of the people there have experience of higher power EV stuff. In particular, this group seems to be at the cutting edge when it comes to battery and small brushless motor experimentation.

Like any forum, it can get a bit anarchic at times, plus there are some seriously odd characters there, but several of the cooperative projects are very interesting. I got some of my ideas for using multiple RC model motors from there, for example.

I've been a member there for a year or so, and find it an enthusiastic forum that often gives me new ideas. I'd appreciate your views as a newcomer to the site.


Posted: Mon Jan 12, 2009 6:50 pm
by ChrisB
Liking your idea there Mike, not quite sure how that would sit within the current way of things mind you :?

I also drift about on ES from time to time but get frustrated due to the foreign aspect of it, quite often I've seen something posted on there and follow a link hoping to purchase what looks to be a really tastey charger or similar only to find the dam companys in Vancover :roll:

Yeah I know I could import it but I personally want UK based companies and information.

But as you say Jeremy it is a wealth of info 8)

From what I see of the BVS it does seem its got the new skool who love to own and drive their vehicles and use all the modern tech available and the older tinkers who enjoy nothing better messing about on Sunday afternoon with some motors and a couple of batteries taking measurements etc etc , nothing wrong with either and it would be great if both get along but it does seem if they try it causes massive friction at every corner.

Your post about SIG's got me thinking Mike and wondering if the BVS had two almost independant groups , the orginal BVS and the new BVSi, as in BBCi, iPod etc
The orginal BVS would remain as is with its A5 mag etc and the new BVSi would be a far more electronic based and new skool style with its mag being a larger A4 glossy available in PDF format etc etc
The BVSi would have to stand on its own feet I feel and to be a member you'd have to decide which you'd join BVS or BVSi of course a option could be made that you could join both if you so wish, dunno if it would work or not ???

Disclaimer : (cos I better put it or my inbox will get bombed with people saying when was this drawn up :roll: ) The above is only a idea that I thought up and in no way constitutes how the BVS may run in the future, this idea has not been put to the committee or anyone else, it is not the thinking of the BVS or its committee but my own thoughts on the subject. :wink:

Posted: Mon Jan 12, 2009 8:11 pm
by FlossyThePig
I don't know if the following link will work without registering.

It is a link to a pdf format magazine produced by the editor of the Midas Owners Club paper magazine. As a compromise between the Review and Plugged In it shows the way to go.

If it fails register at


Posted: Mon Jan 12, 2009 8:52 pm
by ChrisB
FlossyThePig wrote:I don't know if the following link will work without registering.

It is a link to a pdf format magazine produced by the editor of the Midas Owners Club paper magazine. As a compromise between the Review and Plugged In it shows the way to go.

If it fails register at


Works for me :wink:

Yes I like the style Hugh, what form does the printed mag take is it A5 or A4.

In theory both the Reveiw and Plugged In should be able to be reproduced electronically for members as they are both created on a puter in the first place.


Posted: Tue Jan 13, 2009 12:17 am
by FlossyThePig
ChrisB wrote:Yes I like the style Hugh, what form does the printed mag take is it A5 or A4.


The printed version is A5, which it was when I produced it in the early 90s. Introduced colour by getting suppliers to pay for advertising.

I would volunteer to do Plugged In but it would mean instant divorce, so don't ask!

Posted: Tue Jan 13, 2009 2:28 pm
by qdos
From reading the comments here over the past few days it seems we're all pretty much of the same mind.

Jeremy has actually hit the nail on the head though in what he has said about those who are online and those who are not and how far apart they are. Sadly that (in my opinion) has been the problem with the critical members of the committee and I don't see it changing much. The comments made about The Review and Plugged In have indeed picked up on this illustration quite well.

There's lots of people desperately trying to do things to improve things, for example the pretty straight forward matter of letting people get in touch with one another but this sort of supply of information has some members on the committee saying that people are not allowed to do this and that there must be rules stopping people who pass on information about other members.

There's lots of great ideas but sadly getting things past the committee can be a devil of a job. I think of all the committee meetings I've been to there's only been one where there's not been a pretty considerable disagreement among people and I would honestly say they are not in my opinion pleasant events.

However unless you turn up at some you are going to find it very hard to be heard as significant members of the committee do not partake in online forums. If you do try to tell them about what people in the forums say they always reply with the same old answer of 'are they members and how do you know for sure that they are?' Bit tricky really when you're not given access to the membership list............

Thankfully things have been changing but there's still a long way to go.

Posted: Wed Jan 14, 2009 7:51 am
by Jeremy
One, admittedly fairly radical, idea is to question whether a formal society of association structure is actually beneficial.

There are several special interest groups, formed via internet fora, that operate very successfully without being so structured. Some have "membership" figures running to thousands. Many organise events, hold social gatherings and shows, as well as having a lively on-line presence.

I was involved with the group of Prius owners that regularly chat on the Yahoo Prius group. We had social gatherings, including getting Toyota to host the group at a Prius "birthday party", at the UK Toyota plant, complete with presentations on technical stuff. No one pays subs, there are no accounts, there isn't an elected committee, so there are no politics(!). The only downside is that there is no magazine, but that is more than made up for by the massive amount of useful information in the files and photo's area.

It's certainly a dilemma for any association or society in this day and age. The real need for such formal bodies is now questionable - the group that gains the most members will effectively come to dominate and influence in any special interest area, and I suspect that this is more likely to arise from a vibrant internet forum than it will from a paper-based society.