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April e-News from Plug In America

In this issue:
Deliverance: The First Official Nissan Leaf Delivery in Utah
Educators are Driving the rEVolution
EV Materials for the Classroom
EVS26
New Website for Educators
Dear David,
This month Plug In America focuses on education, because when it comes right down to it, plug-in education equals more consumer demand for plug-in cars and millions of EVs on the road.
From the very beginning we set out to educate automakers about the fact that there really is a market for plug-in vehicles. Later, we began educating and inspiring lawmakers to create meaningful incentives and infrastructure ordinances. However, our main focus continues to be consumer-driven education. With cars finally hitting the roads, the key to how many will be available in the future depends on how many people know about the cars and line up to buy them now!

This is important work. Plug-ins hold enormous advantages for all of us; a much improved local economy, far better energy security, cleaner air, better health and fewer climate change emissions. Americans need to know that they can contribute to those outcomes without sacrifice. They should have the choice to purchase a car with more environmental, economic and personal benefits as compared to traditional gas cars. Americans simply need to realize that plug-ins represent a win-win solution.
One of the serious obstacles to reaching our goal is the existence of an uninterested populace. People generally don’t know anybody who actually drives a plug-in so they mistakenly assume that plug-ins (like some “green” cars of the past) must have major disadvantages. Plug-ins are slow, unsafe, ugly and no fun to drive; right? Plus it’s all too easy to assume the cars are more expensive to own, given that most drivers do not calculate their gas costs or know how to calculate electric costs. Lastly, consumers don’t compare plug-ins to gas cars in the same class. And really, who would want to pay more for a bad car that does less. Your average automobile consumer is not going to go out and research these variables on his or her own. Ergo: potential plug-in drivers will keep their misperceptions unless we intervene.

The media feeds into these stereotypes. Every article calls them “green” cars as if concern for the environment were the only reason to buy a plug-in, despite owner surveys indicating that environmental concern is not the main purchase motivator. Other reasons behind a plug-in purchasing decision are then missed. Worse, vociferous people use the media to spread deliberate misinformation. Plus automakers haven’t sold plug-in cars before and have no idea what resonates with buyers.

We need to let the public experience the cars for themselves. Let’s dispel the myths and educate our people about plug-in advantages and cost savings. Our country is a big place, we are a small group of volunteers, and we need your help. If you have a plug-in, show it off! Have an Electric Driveway Party, Volunteer, or Donate.
Thank you for joining hands with us as we work to get millions of plug-in cars on the road.
Chad Schwitters
Board President
Deliverance

So it all started about 30 years ago when Utah resident Mark Larsen had the opportunity to drive his father-in-law’s Bradley GTE kit electric car. The Bradley’s lead acid batteries were heavy, the car was easily trounced by a Ford Maverick and the range was “a mere 40 miles at best.” But that outrageously expensive kit car ignited a powerful lust for electric cars that stayed with this EV advocate. Declares Mark: “It seemed a foregone conclusion that sooner or later, car companies would realize that this was the future and start mass-producing better EVs than that kit car and at a much more affordable price.”

Seeing the film documentary Who Killed the Electric Car? only added fuel to Mark’s fire. He set about designing his custom home in the red rock desert community of Ivins, Utah complete with a roof-top 8 kW solar array and a 240v Milbank power panel in his garage along with a dedicated EVSE circuit to power a future EV. Finally in April 2010, after waiting an impatient two years, Mark was able to reserve his Leaf. Then on March 28, 2012 Nissan made good — REALLY GOOD — on its EV promise. After being contacted by Nissan Leaf’s Director of Marketing, the first official Nissan Leaf delivery in the state of Utah went directly to one ecstatic Mark D. Larsen. And the dream became reality when the Electric Vehicle Operations Manager for the Western Region pulled into Mark’s desert driveway with a Glacier Pearl SL Model Leaf.

Mark believes that “nothing convinces customers to make an EV their next car better than seeing, touching and driving one.” Within a week after accepting delivery of his long-awaited Leaf, Mark took Utah State Representative Lowry Snow for a ride in his new car and then handed the amazed congressman the keys so he could experience his own electrifying spin. The upshot of all this? Congressman Lowry — somewhat stunned by the Leaf’s quality and performance — is considering introducing a key phrase to legislation which would increase state incentives for electric cars.

Apparently even State Representatives are inclined to fall under the spell of the fabled EV Grin. Good work, Mark, and congratulations on your new ride!
Educators are driving the rEVolution
Plug in America salutes the thriving community of EV-minded educators who are working hard to inform the public about the many benefits of electric cars. Students and teachers; parents and activists; publicists, car salesmen, and retired court reporters – they’re all educators when it comes to spreading the word about EVs. This wonderfully diverse group understands the financial, ecological, and political importance of EVs, and is doing everything in its power to share that understanding with students, neighbors, and the general public. In classrooms, parks and driveways, members of this vigorous grassroots network are pouring out their energies. Such creativity and dedication makes them a rEVolutionary force to be reckoned with.
Here is a chance to meet a few of these pioneering educators:
For Kitty Adams, a former nursery school teacher, the love of humanistic education led to developing an EV charger model that some are calling “groundbreaking.” Listen the story of Adopt-a-Charger here.

At 18, Ivan Kumamoto is already a dedicated EV activist. As co-president of OYEA (Organization of Young Environmental Activists, pronounced “Oh, yeah!”), he works to promote public EV awareness deep in the heart of Texas oil country. Meet Ivan here.

Linda Nicholes, the California EV-lover whose outrage sparked the historic “Don’t Crush” campaign, continues her activism with a vigorous program of outreach at local schools. Linda discusses her experiences connecting with kids from the very young, who may not understand the bigger picture, to somewhat jaded teens here.

Scott Mercer is the 25-year-old co-founder of Volta Industries, a Hawaiian company that has developed a potentially “game-changing” model of charger service delivery. Based on the web model of free sponsored services, this system could provide free public EV charging … forever. But before Scott’s vision could materialize, he had to educate local business sponsors on the benefits of bringing this model from the web into the real world. Scott tells the story here.

EV Materials for the Classroom
Plug In America has donated 563 copies of the book Plug-in Hybrids: The Cars That Will Recharge America to students and teachers in the past two months as part of our educational and outreach efforts. If you are a student or teacher who would like copies too, send us your name, mailing address, and school name, and tell us how many you’d like. We’ll send them as long as our supplies last. Here are the schools and educational groups or events that requested books and have received them so far:

Organization of Young Environmental Activists, Greenhill School, Addison, Tex.
City College of San Francisco, Calif. (3 teachers)
Columbia College, Sonora, Calif.
Chaffey Community College, Rancho Cucamonga, Calif.
Cuyamaca College, El Cajon, Calif.
Saddleback College, Mission Viejo, Calif.
Santa Barbara (Calif.) City College
California Film Institute Environmental Youth Forum, San Rafael, Calif.
EVS26

Two of Plug In America’s Board Members will present at EVS26 starting this Sunday, May 6th in Los Angeles, CA.
Jay Friedland, Plug In America’s Legislative Director, will be presenting “Leveraging EV/PHEV Consumer Advocacy to Influence Public Policy.”
Tom Saxton, Plug In America’s Vice President, will be presenting “Are Taxpayer and Private Dollars Being Spent Creating Effective Electric Vehicle Infrastructure?”
Find out more about the event here.
New Website Page for Educators
Plug In America is proud to introduce “For Educators,” a page on our website offering classroom materials, links to lesson plans, and other features for EVangelical teachers. Look for it in early May on the Plug In America website.
Source Plugin America

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