It’s time for the big event we look forward to every year: National Drive Electric Week! This is the time for everyone in and around the Space Coast of Florida to come out and take a ride in a Tesla and every other available make and model electric vehicle. These are our personal cars we drive every day to work and school and have driven them for many years and almost a million combine miles. Every car on display or available for ride and drives will be able to plug in and drive on pure electricity. This does include plug in hybrids like the Chevy Volt and Ford CMax Energi that have built in gas generators for long trips in addition to 100% electric only cars like the Tesla and Nissan Leaf. There will be at least 14 different makes and models to see and take for a ride around the block to get the full EV experience. To show everyone just how easy and convenient it is to plug in your car every day, we’ll have some charging stations and portable chargers on site to let attendees plug and unplug our cars! We’ll have a big tent set up for water and shade for public Q&A. Since we drive these cars every day we are definitely the people to answer your burning EV questions. We’ll have food trucks, music and raffles for small prizes! There will be environmental exhibitors such as solar power installers, the Marine Resources Council, and the Turtle Coast Sierra Club. We’ll also have the new Electric Fun Rides right next door with electric bicycles, scooters, skateboards, and hoverboards ready for you to take a spin. So come on out, check out all the different makes and models of electric vehicles, take a ride around the block in some others and enter the raffle for prizes. This day is all about electric vehicles and how fun and easy they are to drive and to spread the word on all the savings on fuel and maintenance and their environmental benefits of clean air. We’ll have our members on hand that can show you how they installed solar panels on their house and now charge their electric car with pure sunlight! Make sure to register to attend right now, today! Go here for our official event page and click the Register button: https://driveelectricweek.org/event.php?eventid=917
I had solar panels installed on my house early last year. My solar panels generated 73% of my power usage and saved me over $1000. We’re now about halfway through this year and so far I’m 84% solar. Last week I had a few more panels installed, which should bring me close to generating 100% of my power usage. The price of the solar panels should break even with the amount I save in electricity in about 7 years.
Another benefit of this is my Tesla now runs primarily on free solar power. I don’t have to worry about gas prices anymore. Even if I didn’t have solar panels, the electricity to power my car costs a fraction of what it costs to fill up a gas tank. It would cost me less than $10 in electricity from FPL to fill up my ‘tank.’ To put another way, the cost of a single fill-up on a 20-gallon gas tank right now would pay for a month of driving on my electric car.
The Sierra Club is working to get cities around the world pledge to switch city operations to 100% renewable energy by 2035. It’s called the Ready for 100 pledge and there is a petition to get the City of Melbourne to join in. As part of the pledge, a board would be formed to formulate a plan for how to achieve the 100% goal. This would likely include a mix of installing solar panels and switching to electric vehicles. Switching to renewables would save the city money and save taxpayers money. It just makes financial sense.
There’s also a related petition to the mayors of all Brevard County cities. Cities contribute about 70% of all energy-related emissions. By getting cities to pledge to convert city operations to 100% renewable energy by 2035 and all city activities by 2050, that would make a big dent in lowering emissions that pollute our air & water.
Today we met at the Squid Lips bar and grill because it is right next to the charging station at the Eau Gallie Library. Al Lococo gave us an explanation of the different adapters he has collected or built himself over the years for his electric vehicles. He uses a lot of them on road trips when plugging in at the various hotels he stays at that allow him to get a nice, overnight charge while he sleeps. As more and more hotels and businesses install the standard, J1772 plug charging stations, it will be MUCH easier and become commonplace for those staying overnight at hotels to charge their EV. Remember, if you are a business owner and want to attract more business a simple investment in an EVSE (electric vehicle supply equipment) is a no-brainer. Just check our charging station info page for all the info you need for the various types, sizes, and configurations of charging stations. You can also call or email us if you have any immediate questions on all things EV related.
We also had a guest from the Brevard Environment and Sustainability Team visit our meetup and tell us all about the upcoming city council meeting at Melbourne City Hall on July 25 at 6 pm. We will be there to show support for the city to create an environmental and sustainability committee and to pledge goals for renewable energy and electric car fleets for city use. We can show how much we save and how little money we spend on maintenance on our personal vehicles that would translate to electric city vehicles.
We are still pushing to make sure everyone signs up for National Drive Electric Week in Satellite Beach on September 16 and tell everyone you know to sign up too. The newspapers and radio like to see that hundreds of people have signed up for an event to get really excited. In 2015 we had almost 200 attendees. In 2016 we had almost 300 attendees. We are hoping to get almost 400 or more this year! Make sure everyone you know signs up to attend our event to ride in a Tesla, or any other make model EV we’ll have there. From the Nissan Leaf to the Chevy Volt, the new Chevy Bolt, BMW i3 and i8, the Kia Soul EV, the Fiat 500e, and the Ford C-Max Energi. Below is a list of all of the current numbers of members and makes/models we hope will be there at the event!
Current Membership as of July 2, 2017
|RAV 4 EV||1|
|Ford Fusion Energi||1|
|Ford Focus EV||1|
|Tesla Model S||11|
|Ford CMax Energi||2|
|Plug in Prius||3|
|Tesla Model X||2|
|Zero S Motorcycle||1|
|Chevy Spark EV||2|
|Toyota Celica Conversion||1|
|Austin Healey Conversion||1|
|Kia Soul EV||1|
|Zero FXS Motorcycle||1|