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USA: January e-News from Plug In America

I want to express my sincere appreciation to everyone who responded to Plug In America’s year-end request for donations, as well as our campaign to extend the federal EV and infrastructure tax credits which expired December 31st. Both calls for support resulted in the best December receipts ever in our history. On behalf of the board, staff, and volunteers at Plug In America, thank you!

As we enter 2012, it’s increasingly clear that electric vehicles are facing attacks on a number of fronts. At our annual board meeting held recently in Los Angeles we discussed our strategy for the coming year. Some of the key components to our efforts include:
•Establishing a Plug In America Speakers Bureau, which will be prominently featured on our homepage. We have a long history of fielding talented and passionate speakers who preach the EV gospel, but we need to get the word out more that we’re in the public speaking business and eager to book more engagements.
•Developing media outreach materials specifically targeted at reporters and news outlets in an effort to head off as much of the frequent misreporting about EVs as we can.
•Raising the visibility of our consulting practice, also via our website. We’ve been successful landing fee-based work in Washington state, California, and Hawaii over the last two years, but we’ve found that people in other areas of the country aren’t aware that we have a deep bench of professionals ready and willing to deliver expert EV consulting to both public and private clients.

We’re already planning to co-sponsor the next National Plug-In Day with the Sierra Club and to continue our support for screenings of movie documentaries like Revenge of the Electric Car. We accomplish the latter by displaying EVs and holding Q&A at premieres. The most recent of these screenings was held at the Honolulu Art Academy earlier this month. Be sure to check the Revenge website for a schedule of upcoming shows across the country.

Internally, we plan to significantly increase our capacity as an organization to deliver ever-more-effective outreach and policy work. We will be adding staff and expanding the capabilities of our board of directors and volunteers. Consistent with our desire for prudent functional cross training and management succession, I am concluding my three years as President of Plug In America. I am thrilled to announce that my colleague Chad Schwitters, a very active boardmember from the Seattle area, has agreed to be my replacement. Tom Saxton, also from Seattle, takes over the reins as Vice President, and Mike Kane and Jennifer Krill are continuing as Treasurer and Secretary, respectively. Please join me in welcoming the slate of officers for 2012. Our team is growing ever stronger.

Quotation dictionaries disagree over who coined the phrase, “The future belongs to the young.” Regardless, this month’s newsletter certainly makes the point. We’ve got three great pieces, each written either by or about a youthful EV activist. Soon the day will come when children everywhere will experience quiet, efficient, non-polluting electric vehicles as the norm, and internal combustion vehicles as a special case.

Thank you for joining us in what is sure to be an exciting year, and for supporting the work of Plug In America.

Dan Davids
Board Chair

Charged Up & Ready to Roll

It’s time to order your very own copy of “Charged Up and Ready to Roll: The Definitive Guide to Plug-In Electric Vehicles,” 2012 edition. The third edition of our consumer reference guide is now available in print for only $5. (orders placed this week will ship Monday, January 30th.) A digital version will be downloadable for members soon.

We kick this year’s guide off with a commentary by Chris Paine, director of Who Killed the Electric Car? and Revenge of the Electric Car. Following that, EV industry leaders reflect on the first year of mainstream EV availability and how to turn down the social media volume on uninformed EV naysayers. Military veterans are doing their part for the EV movement and we hear from two who have made an impact. We also go around the globe to learn about Norway’s EV success and the use of E-trikes in the Philippines.

The Plug In America guide would not be complete without driver testimonials, state and federal incentives, EV resources, and tips on how to calculate your electricity bill, get the most out of your charge, and be creative about charging on the town.

Wherever you find yourself along the EV spectrum, Charged Up & Ready To Roll is your go-to guide for all things EV. Order now!

Spotlight on Young EV Activists

This month Plug In America celebrates young EV activists. Meet Justin Lamb, a 15-year-old from Southern California who has vowed never to to buy a gas car and is hosting a Plug In America Electric Driveway Party as part of his efforts to educate the public about EVs (article below). In our featured podcast, Ivan Kumamoto from Dallas discusses OYEA (pronounced “oh, yeah!”), a high school organization dedicated to raising EV awareness deep in the heart of oil country (listen here). Finally, Plug In America’s own Colby Trudeau blogs on the reasons so few college students drive EVs – even though they’d like to. (read it here).

Somewhere in Time

When Howard Dunholder passed away last November shortly after his 100th birthday, the EV community lost a long-time friend and champion. This 20th Century Renaissance man’s passion for electric cars began in 1921 when he was only ten years old and continued to the end of his life.

Howard’s love of electric cars came to mind when I recently had the pleasure of interviewing 15-year-old EV activist Justin Lamb. What struck me was the thought of two young men — 90 years apart — catching sight of an electric car and falling in love with the technology. Justin had the distinct advantage of experiencing Who Killed the Electric Car right before he noticed a Chevy Volt moving down the highway. Howard, on the other hand, recalled watching local ladies gliding silently to and from church services in electric cars back in the Roaring Twenties. Both boys were entranced by the sight, silence and “seemingly magical movement” of electric cars and both thought the cars would be (in Justin’s words) a “blast” to drive. Howard, unfortunately, had to wait until late in life to lease an EV1 and even later to purchase a Tesla roadster.

Justin, however, was able to inspire his parents to get one of the first production all-electric LEAFs. So far he has taken the car on supervised spins in local parking lots with the stated intention of “never buying a gas car.” Says Jason, “Environmental concerns helped to spark my electric vehicle obsession. It’s scary to think about all that carbon going into the atmosphere, not only because it involves big numbers, but because it’s depressing.”

Like Howard Dunholter before him, Justin declares, “I’m trying my best to advertise the benefits of EVs to my community. One way is by proving that EV myths are just plain wrong.” To that end, Justin is hosting a Plug In America Electric Driveway Party with test drives at his high school on February 4 from 9:00 am to 2:00 pm. (more information here). Says Justin, “All are welcome.” Two Tesla roadsters, two Nissan LEAFs, two Chevy Volts, and one MINI E have confirmed attendance. Some will be available for test drives

Somewhere Mr. Howard Dunholter is smiling.

Source Plugin America


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