This month we met at the cafe in the lobby of the Courtyard by Marriott in Cocoa Beach. We came back here because of the free EV chargers right outside in the parking lot. We make sure to let the manager and staff know that all of this business was brought in because of those chargers and that they are paying for themselves. If you want to know more about the different kinds of charging stations, how they work, and how to get them installed at your business to bring in more customers, visit our charging station info page here.
We went over the last event that was just held at FIT, Camp Epic. Children ages 11-14 got to see a few EVs up close, ask questions about them, and learn about them with Mars and space themed activities.
Everyone requested another order of window decals that stick inside the glass for our members. This is because we keep sticking business cards on cars that are already in the club. If we had a window decal we would know they were already in the club. These stickers have been ordered using club funds and ready to give out. to members.
We also said hello to our newest member, Adam. He already has been driving a Chevy Volt for some time and found our group. That brings up our total membership to 120 EVs and 131 members.
The main focus of the meetup was to make sure everyone had tasks for getting ready for National Drive Electric Week (NDEW). This is the last full month we have for planning it and getting the word out. Our flyer is ready and we are contacting newspapers, radio stations, and news outlets to really get the word out. We’ll be recording a Coastal Connections with WFIT a few weeks before the event as well. If you haven’t signed up to attend the Satellite Beach NDEW for Saturday Sept 14 please go to our official event page and do so here. The Space Coast EV Drivers will be doing the work for setting up and planning that event. There will be a second NDEW event the following Saturday Sept 21 in Cape Canaveral at the Manatee Sanctuary Park. The city will be planning and preparing that event so the Space Coast EV Drivers will only need to bring our cars for the Q&A and ride and drives. Sign up for that event on the Cape Canaveral NDEW official event page here. We hope to break more than 70 EVs in one place this year so if you want to see many different makes and models of EVs in one place at one time this is the event you’ve been waiting for. We’ll see you in September!
For our first Sunday of the month electric vehicle meetup we met at the Pizza Gallery at the Avenue in Viera. We had a full room with 22 people at the table including a few new members. We added some more EVs to the club including more Tesla Model 3 cars. We’ve noticed over the years no other make/model has grown this fast as the Tesla Model 3. We talked to the manager and let them know that all of this business was brought in because of the new charging station the Avenue recently installed.
We talked about the next upcoming event for our club to bring our personal vehicles to for answering questions. It will be the Camp EPIC at Florida Tech on July 19 from 1-3 pm. If you want to see any of our events and get more details please visit our upcoming events page.
The main event that needs the most attention and planning and help with tasks is the National Drive Electric Week coming up in September. We have it planned for Saturday September 14 from 10 am to 4 pm at the Schechter Center in Satellite Beach. We are going to try to have more than 60 EVs all in the one parking lot from all different makes and models for the public to see and take ride and drives around the block. It’s also the best time to ask questions because they are our personal cars that we drive every day so we’ll have all the best answers from experience of living with them.
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.