This month we met at the old Moon Hut in Cape Canaveral, now La Fiesta Mexican restaurant. We had 20 people including the new Sustainability Manager for Cape Canaveral, Zach Eichholz. He gave us a quick list of the things on his to-do list for the city:
The city has four, dual ClipperCreek chargers. They are spread out over several locations like city hall, the library, and Manatee Park. There will be six more coming this year! More will be added to city hall. Some will be added to the wastewater treatment plant for city fleet Ford Focus EV and future fleet plug in vehicles. We reminded him instead of waiting for Rivian and Tesla to come out with their 100% electric pick up trucks they can already get plug in hybrid work trucks from VIA Motors and Workhorse. He wants to see it go to 20 chargers all over the city.
Zach mentioned the chargers have not added any noticeable amount to the city’s power bill. This is important to know that it is OK to give the power away for free because it will pay for itself many times over with all the extra business it will bring from EV owners spending money in the local restaurants and shops.
Saturday, April 27, 2019 was the first Drive Electric Earth Day event in Satellite Beach at the Schechter Center. This was similar to our event we do every year in September where we give ride and drives in our cars around the block as well as answer all of the questions we can about driving electric. This time we were able to be a part of the Earth Day event the City of Satellite Beach was already planning. Since we are the ones that drive the cars every day to work, school, shopping, and visiting friends and family we are the ones to best answer real world questions about driving electric cars. We had 22 cars show up from many different makes: Tesla, Nissan, Chevy, Honda, Toyota, and BMW. One of the highlights of the event was a 21 foot center console boat that was on a trailer being towed by a Tesla Model X, the all electric SUV with a 5,000 pound towing capacity. You can find a video showing it being towed away in the album link below.
We talked to nearly 200 people and gave 21 test rides around the block. Everyone was surprised to find out how much power and acceleration every one of the cars we brought had. Even the low end models had faster off-the-line takeoff power than most normal gasoline powered cars. Most of the people we talked to agreed that their next car would be electric or a plug in hybrid.
We were invited to bring our tent and electric vehicles to the Enchanted Forest Sanctuary natural park in Titusville for their Earth Day event again this year. We brought 3 cars this time: Chevy Volt, Tesla Model 3, and 2nd generation Nissan Leaf. We were able to talk to over 100 people as they came through to see the other vendors and exhibitors with eco-friendly goods and services. The native plants were a big hit with lots of people interested in getting their landscaping more drought tolerant and requiring less watering. The bee and butterfly friendly flowers were getting the most visitors to learn how to help the bee colonies grow as they are truly needed for our food crops.
Our cars were parked well into the traffic circle with the food trucks so grabbing a bite to eat around lunch time was very convenient. This also meant we couldn’t give any test rides since we were so close to the walking activity for visitors. We let everyone know about our upcoming event on the next Saturday for Drive Electric Earth Day in Satellite Beach. That event was the one with the test ride and drives. It is also a nation wide event put on by grass roots EV enthusiasts and owners like us with some help from Plug in America, the Electric Auto Association, and the Sierra Club. Look for the recap from that event next!
We had our monthly meetup on the 2nd Sunday of the month instead of the first so we could have our visitors from Norway meet with us. They found out about us from the EV News Daily podcast. If you haven’t subscribed to it yet we highly recommend it! They just got their new Tesla Model 3 and their child is a student at FIT. Since they were visiting FIT anyway we thought it would be the perfect time to meet up and talk about electric cars and charging stations. They introduced us to a company in Norway called Zaptec that builds smart charging stations that can split up the power as more cars plug in. This is different from running a dedicated circuit from the breaker box to each individual charger. This way with Zaptec chargers you only need the one, big circuit and as each car plugs in it will slow down the charge to the other cars so you can have many more cars charging that would normally be allowed. This makes the most sense for apartment and condo complexes. Thai Thai House at Hammock Landing was a great spot to have our meetup and we’ll be back there again in the future. We agreed that next month we should meet at Ginger & Garlic in Rockledge.
We were invited for a 5th year in a row to bring some of our personal electric cars to the Earth Day event held at the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex. We got to park our cars and set up our tent and table in the grass right next to the rocket park. Hundreds of visitors got a chance to sit inside, look around, and ask us all of their questions about our cars. As a bonus, the Space X Falcon Heavy launch was scrubbed from a previous day to today so we were able to watch it from inside the complex. The sonic booms could be heard as the two side boosters came back to land at the cape. Showing the benefits of driving on sunshine with solar panels on our roofs and more renewable energy getting added to the grid every day is one of the main points we like to talk about for Earth Day. Here’s some photos taken during the event:
Today we set up our personal EVs at the BPS Varsity Car Show that was held at the American Muscle Car Museum benefiting the schools’ automotive programs around Brevard County Florida. The trophies were all made by the students and looked VERY COOL. We were surprised to find out they even created some trophies specifically for the ELECTRIC CAR category! First place went to a Chevy Bolt and second place went to a Chevy Volt. There were a lot of attendees as well as classic and muscle car owners that came over to ask us all the usual questions about driving electric. After explaining everything the usual sentiment was that their next car was definitely going to be electric. One classic car owner even apologized to us for his car only getting 8 MPG! Lots of fun was had by all and many people learned a lot about electric cars. Here’s a link to the full photo album: https://photos.app.goo.gl/su3ruTBYRrWwUgx56
Today was the first Sunday of the month, January 6, 2019. Also the first Sunday of the new year!
We met at the Cottage Irish Pub in the Eau Gallie section of Melbourne. We went over a few things for the club, talked about how to submit your photo and blurb for the member bios page, delivered another blue polo shirt to a new member and shared some EV news. Most importantly we all got to meet the our newest member with their brand new Tesla Model 3.
We have an upcoming event on January 24 for our local Sierra Club chapter in Rockledge. We’ll bring as many different makes and models as possible to show everyone all the differences and what to look for when shopping for an EV. We’ll also give a presentation about the club and how we’ve grown to over 100 members and over 100 electric vehicles.
We are planning to do another large EV car show in Satellite Beach for Earth Day. Here’s some of the preliminary information about that event: https://driveelectricearthday.org
We were invited to bring some EVs again to the Family Christmas Extravaganza in Palm Bay held at the Fred Poppe Regional Park. Here’s a good description of the event from their website:
“This is a 100% FREE community event featuring live entertainment, free popcorn, cotton candy, snow cones, hot dogs, and drinks. Free activities include bounce houses, rock climbing, train rides, horse rides, face painting, giveaways, and SO much more!”
We only had two vehicles this time compared to the eight we had last year. It was a 2018 Nissan Leaf with the 150 mile range and a Chevy Bolt with 238 mile range. As always we had a great time answering all of the questions everyone had as they walked by to get to the petting zoo and pony rides set up just behind us.
There were well over 1000 or 2000 attendees so we must have talked to more than 200 people about the benefits of driving electric. If we can help at least one person think better about or even consider an electric car for their next vehicle that is a big win. We explained how the cost of batteries has come down 85% in the past 8 years so it won’t be very long until electric vehicles will cost as much or even less than gasoline cars. We also explained how to find used EVs to get into a daily electric car without spending very much money.
It’s that time again. Time for the annual, nationwide, grassroots event known as National Drive Electric Week. Electric Vehicle (EV) owners all over the USA are organizing events at shopping centers, civic centers, city halls, and public parks where real owners bring their personal cars, motorcycles, bicycles, and even electric skateboards to show to the public. The events are free and open to everyone curious about electric transportation to come out and ask every question they can and get answers from actual EV owners that drive electric to work and school every day. Not only can you ask questions but there will be many different makes and models ready for anyone to take a ride or sometimes drive (if the owner is comfortable allowing others to drive their car) around the block so everyone can see just how great the experience of quiet, smooth, and fun to drive can be in an electric vehicle. We should have several of the brand new Tesla Model 3 for everyone to see as well.
Our event hosted in partnership with the City of Satellite Beach will be Saturday, September 15 from 10 am – 5 pm. We will have food trucks and free raffle prizes drawn every 15 minutes – you must be present to win. Please register to attend at our official event page here: https://driveelectricweek.org/event.php?eventid=1235
We met this month at the Crafty Crab at Hammock Landing and went over everything needed to get ready for National Drive Electric Week. The main idea is we are in SERIOUS PUSH MODE for getting the word out. Tell everyone you know to sign up to attend at our official event page here: https://driveelectricweek.org/event.php?eventid=1235
We also printed some flyers for everyone to hand out at every place you visit and also ask if you can hang them up. You can download and print the flyer from here if you want to print a few of them yourself to help get the word out:
Next, two of our members will record the radio spot at WFIT to play the two weeks before the event. So look for a post about that in our September monthly meetup post.
We also talked about setting up a weekly meeting every Thursday for the planning of NDEW. This will be a meeting to make sure tasks are getting taken care of and we are all on the same page.
We had a visitor join us with questions about getting their very first car – and to get the best deal on an electric one! The advice was to go to cars.com or carvana and search for used EVs with the search terms to get the newest car within your budget to get the most bells and whistles. The battery tech is evolving with every update such as the 2016 Chevy Volt and 2018 Nissan Leaf so that’s important to research. It’s also good to measure your daily drive to see how much range you need to cover your driving habits. A plug in hybrid is always a good choice since it can use gasoline if the battery ever runs out for those that just can’t get over their range anxiety. We can tell you that range anxiety isn’t a real thing since everyone in our club that drives a pure electric car never worries about their range except in very rare cases.
One of our members finally remembered to take a picture of the Tesla Supercharger voltage/electric info label for the actual voltage/amps rating. It’s 410 volts and 270 amps. That’s a lot of juice! No wonder the Superchargers are the fastest chargers out there today.