Saturday 27th June 2015
It has been another busy Event season for us and our Electric Cars, and as it is coming to an end, I have that feeling of ‘What will I do with my weekends now?’
During the summer months it all goes quiet for events, except for the odd car show and then in September we will see more events appearing especially around National Drive Electric Week.
Since April we have spent many weekends taking our Electric Cars to various events, whether they have been Green Fairs, Eco Fairs or Car Shows. This has meant that I have spent a lot of time washing the cars so they are always lovely and clean. Then I have spent an equal amount of time washing them again afterwards to remove all the fingerprints as people seem to think that touching them is important. I always think they are touching them to see if they are real – because you know, Electric Cars aren’t!! We do always keep our cars locked and don’t allow people to sit in them anymore. After six years of doing these events our cars would be in a terrible state by now if people were getting in and out of them all the time, as the majority of people don’t care very much. We’ve seen the way they climb all over the cars that dealers have bought to events – it’s scary! We, do however, let the occasional person sit in them, as long as we have determined that they will be kind to our cars!
Even after 6 years we still feel it’s important to do these events and to keep spreading the Electric Car word as much as possible. I would have thought that after all these years our job would be nearly complete, but we still have a long way to go as one woman proved at a recent event. She came up to us and said that she almost bought an Electric Car but that she did too many miles to be able to have one. When asked how many miles she did per day, her answer was, “20 miles per day”. We all had to bite our tongues and wait a moment or two before replying. But, this does show that we still have a bit more work to do.
One thing that we feel is rather important, is getting people into Electric Cars so they can experience them for themselves. We have done a few ride and drive events and had car manufacturers attend with their Electric Cars for people to test out. These events have proven to be very successful with maybe 1 or 2 people going out and buying an Electric Car afterwards. That doesn’t sound like many but it is 1 or 2 people that are now in an Electric rather than a petrol vehicle. The ride and drive events have also increased the number of people talking about Electric Cars which is what we need – the more people talking about them the better.
Max Halkenhauser driving the Roadster
One thing that is always a given at any event we attend is making sure we take the Tesla Roadster. The Roadster is often the main attraction and definitely draws in the crowds but the BMW i3 is quietly getting some attention too. I think that it is down to the way it looks and the fact that it doesn’t look like any other BMW. Oh, and the stickers we put on ours, definitely draw attention. It’s always amusing listening to people when at events – “That’s that new BMW“. “Wow – come look at this Tesla” “Can I buy one?” “Can I buy this one?” “Do they actually work?” “This is yours?!!” “Did you drive them here?”
Here’s what I’ve been up to this Spring of 2015.
Sunday 19th April 2015 – Our first event of the year was ‘What is the Electric Car Book Tour’. This was a really important one for me – mainly because I wrote a chapter in the book ‘What is the Electric Car – 79 Reasons to Drive Electric’. I’m reason number 14.We had a Q&A session about Electric Cars as well as an opportunity for the public to check out the Electric Cars that were there.
Saturday 25th April – Rutgers Day – Rutgers Day is a change from going along to Green Fairs. At Green Fairs everyone is already ‘green’ minded but at Rutgers Day you never know who you are going to meet. We are part of the CAIT (Centre for Advanced Infrastructure and Transportation) building’s Alternative Fuel Vehicle Display. In 2012 when we were at Rutgers Day we were joined by 2 Volts, a Natural Gas powered Honda Civic and our friend Ian in his Black Tesla. Jump forward to 2015 and we had 21 Electric Vehicles this year – our biggest turn out to date. We had Tesla Roadsters, Tesla Model S’s, BMW i3’s, Honda Fit EV’s, Nissan LEAF’s, Zero S Motorcycle, Ford Focus EV. We like taking the cars to Rutgers Day as we get to meet all sorts of people, from those who are already thinking about Electric Cars to those that never knew they even existed. We also get to meet the students who are thinking that Electric Car design is their career path – all very exciting. Each year we do this we are still coming across people that don’t know about Electrics but they always leave considering that their next purchase could be Electric. It’s always a busy but fun day although what is always interesting (and every year it’s the same) is that I spend a lot of the day telling children to stop swinging on the Tesla’s door mirrors, I don’t know what draws them to them and really don’t get why they think it’s okay. Would they do that to their parents cars? I don’t think so. Last year we had a parent try to feed their child into the car through the window – Goodness me!!
Saturday 2nd May 2015 – Bridgewater Eco Blast Fair – This was a good event this year with a decent amount of people stopping by to check out the Electric Cars. We do tend to find that at eco events and green fairs that most people attending are aware of Electric Cars and some just need that little extra push to make them go out and buy one.
Cruise Night at the Galloping Hill Inn – This is a different event for us. This is all about cars of any type – it’s more of a car show. We are sneakily bringing in Electric Vehicles to these types of events and the Electrics are being well received.
Sunday 17th May 2015 – Morristown Festival Earth – Similar to the green and eco fairs that we go to. It was a good day with a reasonable amount of people. Well, it was a good day until someone broke into the Roadster – Yes they did! The doors were locked so they just reached in and opened it from the inside and then were surprised when the alarm went off. But did that stop them? No, it did not, they still got in and then were surprised when we said, “You just broke into my car!” Goodness, gracious me, there is just no understanding some people.
Sunday 24th May 2015 – Car Meet at Rockin Joes – Another car show type event, where Electric Vehicles definitely have a place. This was a first meet and was a little quiet, but my sidekick did get to see some interesting cars.
13th and 14th May 2015 – Electric Vehicles at the Solar Car Races – This was a different event for us that we were invited to bring along our Electric Cars to show to the children who were racing their Solar Cars. The children were very excited to see the cars and most said they would want an Electric Car when they can drive.
Saturday 30th May 2015 – Verona Green Fair – This turned out to be a really good event. We met lots of people that were very interested in Electric Vehicles. We were joined by a converted VW Golf, that had been converted by a group at a High School. Very interesting.
Wednesday 3rd June 2015 – Bridgewater Electric Automobile Workshop – As well as being a show and tell, we also had test drives available from Tesla with a Models S P85 D and BMW with an i3. It was a good evening and the test drives were a big hit. We know of at least one person that went out and bought an Electric Car after this event. Welcome to our group Branhder Espinal!
Sunday 14th June 2015 – Burlington County Earth Fair – This was our furthest event we have been to recently. We just took the Tesla Roadster as that is the only car we have with the range to go there and back without needing to charge somewhere. This was a good event with a lot of people. The downside was it was way too hot that day and we were all melting in the heat. Thank goodness for our tent that we can hide from the sun under.
Is it time for a cup of tea yet?