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June e-News from Plug In America

In this issue:
Plug In America’s Two Donated RAV4 EVs Find New Homes
Volunteer Appreciation: Jeff U’ren
Celebrate Independence from Oil on July 4!
Kirk Brown Joins the Team
He’s Our Hero: Dency Nelson
Grassroots Expansion of the Electric Highway
Save The Date! National Plug In Day, Sept 23, 2012
Dear David,
The electric cars that my wife and I drive are the best cars that we have ever owned. They are a joy to drive; and simple and inexpensive to operate.

The fact that we own a couple of cars is great for us. But that’s not why I volunteer for Plug In America. There are enormous benefits to our country’s economy and energy security, and to the planet’s environment—but only if many people buy plug-in vehicles. This will not happen by itself, because most people assume that EVs are expensive, inconvenient, and unpleasant to drive. But most of all, they don’t know any owners that can show them otherwise. We have a difficult job: educating a populace that doesn’t think they have anything to learn.

The stories in this month’s newsletter are heartening, because they make clear that there are many dedicated individuals giving their time, money, and careers to the cause. Thank you Dency, Scott and Debbie, Jeff, Kitty, and Kirk!

As you can see from their stories, there are many ways to get involved. The very fact that you are reading this newsletter shows that you understand the benefits and you are likely already helping. We really appreciate your efforts. Want to do more? Buying a plug-in vehicle, and relentlessly showing it off is the best thing you can do. We are also happy to accept donations and volunteers.

Chad Schwitters
Board President
Plug In America’s Two Donated RAV4 EVs Find New Homes

If it’s true that what goes ’round comes ’round, then Scott Cronce and Deborah Maxwell must have two places awaiting them in EV heaven. In the past year, this generous couple has donated not one, but TWO, 2002 RAV4 EVs to Plug In America. The first donated RAV sold for $15,000 last August to Matthew Fassberg. Scott and Deborah then decided to duplicate their altruism with the donation of their remaining RAV4 EV to PIA which sold in April to Joe Sidore for $16,000.

Asked what inspired such major and apropos donations to Plug In America, Scott said, “Deborah and I are big supporters of worthy nonprofit organizations. Plug In America is a great organization, and we thought, ‘What better way to support PIA than to donate our extra EVs?'”

But what led to the couple’s inspired EV advocacy in the first place? Scott: “EVs are clearly a more efficient mode of transportation. Whether you want to get rid of US dependency on foreign oil or want to drive greener or simply want to save money, an EV could be right for you. Last May we took delivery of a 2011 Nissan Leaf. It was simply time to let someone else have our RAV4 EVs.”

Plug In America is grateful, too, to RAV buyers Matthew Fassberg and Joe Sidore for their purchases of Plug In America’s two RAVs. Says Joe, “I haven’t met anyone yet who wouldn’t mind not paying for gas. I still own some gas-burners. I’m so glad that I have that RAV4 EV to help minimize their use.” Matthew simply declares: “I love that car.”
Volunteer Appreciation: Jeff U’Ren
Jeff U’Ren is one of Plug In America’s most effective volunteers. Jeff is a veteran of the EV1 days when he leased one of the rare GM electric sports cars so coveted by those in the know. After GM ripped that car from his hands and destroyed it, Jeff kept up his fight to get another EV through his valuable work with Plug In America. Being a six-time Emmy Award-winning editor, Jeff’s skills were put to the test with Plug In America’s Public Service Announcements (PSAs) touting the benefits of electric vehicles and dispelling some of the persistent myths of these cars. The idea came from founding Plug In America board member and actress Alexandra Paul. Jeff joined fellow volunteer extraordinaire Eric Swenson to produce and write the spots and edited them all into the suite still running on HULU.

Since then, Jeff has become the Chevy Volt’s biggest fan. After purchasing one of the first Volts off the production line, Jeff began extolling its virtues every day in blogs and responding to major media stories on the car. Noticing that the marketing team at GM was not promoting some of the more attractive and meaningful aspects of the Volt, Jeff decided to do that himself by writing and producing his own short video called “If You Can’t Plug Your Car In.” The video took off immediately striking nerves throughout the EV community as one of the first and only videos touting the true benefits of EV driving. It’s captured at least 10,000 views.

Recently, Jeff and Adopt A Charger executive director Kitty Adams, traveled to San Francisco to interview Bob Lutz on the issues surrounding the Volt’s first year in the market. Jeff’s questions probed for answers from the legendary auto executive, and the resulting videos, displayed on the Plug In America front page, have garnered great reviews and well over 3,000 views.

Celebrate Independence from Oil on July 4!
If you have a plug-in electric vehicle, you know how good it feels to be liberated from the pump. But what about your friends and neighbors? They are probably still chained to the pump, and don’t realize there’s a convenient alternative that can save them money while being nicer to drive . They won’t know unless you show them. If you’re having a party anyway, why not park the plug-in in the driveway and make it an Electric Driveway party too? If you’re not already planning on having a party…well, what better day to have one?
There is a kit, materials and instructions prepared for your use on our site.
Kirk Brown Joins the Team
We are pleased to announce that Plug In America has a brand-new Managing Director: Kirk Brown.
In the words of PIA President Chad Schwitters, “…Kirk will work with us to create and implement the roadmap for using Plug In America’s substantial expertise to create a more robust market that best serves EV customers.” (read Chad’s words of welcome here. )
In an exclusive PIA podcast, Kirk declares that America’s “infant EV market requires care and feeding, just like any other infant,” and predicts an “EV explosion” over the next 5 to 10 years as people “finally understand that the [electric] cars are just simply better. Hear more of Kirk’s ideas – and find out why he compares his new job to “drinking from a fire hose” – here.

Kirk can be reached at kirk@pluginamerica.org. Please join us in welcoming him to our team!
He’s Our Hero: Dency Nelson

Plug In America co-founder Dency Nelson has been declared a grand prize winner by the 2012 Earth Month Heroes, a Southern California program created to honor the work of 30 “exemplary citizens” whose environmental actions promote a healthy planet. This honor carries with it a $1,000 donation to a “deserving organization,” and Dency has generously presented that donation to Plug In America.
Thanks, Dency!
Hear Dency tell the story – and reveal his own Earth Heroes – in this Plug In America podcast here.
Grassroots Expansion of the Electric Highway
by: Kitty Adams

On May 30th, 2012, I had the privilege of attending the ribbon cutting of the Washington State segment of the West Coast Green Highway. Adopt a Charger, the non-profit organization that I represent, was approached by the Washington State Department of Transportation to find a sponsor to “adopt” the Level 2 EV chargers at two safety rest areas along I-5. Adopt a Charger recruited the Seattle Electric Vehicle Association (SEVA) to sponsor free EV charging at the Custer Rest Area at the Canadian border, and the Gee Creek Rest Area on the Oregon border. This is the first project in SEVA’s Charge for Change initiative to enable free EV charging around Washington State.

The “West Coast Electric Highway” is an extensive, tri-state network of electric vehicle (EV) DC fast charging stations along Interstate 5. When complete, the Electric Highway will span the 1,300 miles from the Canadian border to the California border with public fast charging locations every 25-60 miles.
The fast charge technology along the Electric Highway allows drivers to re-charge mass-produced electric vehicles such as the Nissan Leaf and Mitsubishi “i MiEV” in 30 minutes or less. Each location also includes Level 2 equipment to re-charge other plug in electric vehicles such as the Ford Focus and Chevrolet Volt. There are now 17 operational DC Fast Chargers along 1-5 in Washington and Oregon for public use, with 4 more expected by the end of the summer.

Tonia Buell, Project Development Manager for the Washington segment of the West Coast Electric Highway, was successful at bringing together all the stakeholders for an outstanding project. The West Coast Green Highway is the perfect example of collaboration between government, businesses, non-profits, and industry advocates. The WSDOT, elected officials, commercial property owners, Aerovironment, Nissan, Mitsubishi, Plug In America, Adopt a Charger, and the Seattle Electric Vehicle Association all played a key role in the success of this project. When people come together for the greatest good for all concerned, it is impressive how much can happen.

Save the Date!
National Plug in Day has been set for September 23, 2012 this year! Watch for more details soon.
Source pluginamerica.org

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