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 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
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.
NDEW 2018 was a great success! We kicked off the event at 10 am with City Councilwoman Mindy Gibson reading the proclamation signed by the Mayor Frank Cantino. Over 50 EVs of 14 unique models were on display, including electric conversions, plug-in hybrids, and all-electric vehicles. We had the NASA Lunar Rover on display to remind everyone that it was also an electric vehicle. Everyone appreciated the food trucks and the raffle prizes donated by the exhibitors. The weather was perfect if not a tad hot. We had plenty of pop up tents for everyone to hide from the sun while talking about EVs.
Special thanks to the City of Satellite Beach for hosting the event with us at the Schechter Center and of course the national sponsors Plug In America, Sierra Club, Electric Auto Association, and Nissan.
We would like to recognize and thank Boy Scouts Troop 772 who helped with the set-up and also our student volunteers who ran the registration tent.
This year’s exhibitors included: (in alphabetical order)
BMW of Melbourne
Citizens Climate Lobby
Dusty Joe’s Smokin Eats
League of Women Voters
Nissan of Melbourne
Porsche of Melbourne
Satellite Beach Sustainability Department
Solar Energy Systems
The City of Satellite Beach invited us back to the Schechter Center to display our EVs along with the other earth friendly exhibitors. Most of the stuff was inside but we braved the rain and set up our tent and table with our cars just outside the front door with our cars. Every time we set up at an event it’s always random which cars will be there depending on our schedules. This time we laughed because we had 5 Chevy Volts all lined up on one side and they were all white! We hoped no one would ask us if white was the only color they came in. The other side had a Nissan Leaf and two Tesla Model S sedans. As the event opened it was very cloudy and raining on a off so everyone was worried that no one would show up. But right around lunch time the clouds opened up and the sun came out – and so did the people! There were plenty of questions asked by the public and we were there to answer them all. There was a couple of people that said they were thinking about getting an electric car as their next one and said they would contact us with more questions. If you have questions about electric cars we are the ones to ask. We drive them every day and there’s almost every make and model represented in our club. From 100% electric to plug in hybrids with gasoline range extenders, we are happy to clear up the confusion and tell you all the differences from our daily driving collective wisdom.
We were invited back for the fourth time this year to the big earth day event at the Enchanted Forest Sanctuary in Titusville. Instead of just two EVs this year we had six! Again, all the visitors that passed by our tent had lots of good questions and really liked the fact that they were our personal cars instead of show cars. It sprinkled rain on and off between bouts of sunshine. A heavy downpour came later after noon but everyone agreed it wasn’t enough to scare us away and stayed to the end.
We had another great meetup for our first Sunday of the month in February. We not only went over our newest members, we added a new one right then during the meeting! He found us by our event posted on Facebook. So we think we’ll be posting our events on Facebook as often as possible from now on. We talked about ways to celebrate our 100th member even though we are now at 104 members and 90 electric vehicles. Perhaps waiting until we hit 100 EVs would be a better milestone? We loved eating at Tely’s Chinese Restaurant as the food was great and right across the street from the Medical City Complex with charging stations for the cars that came from further away. Here’s our new numbers as of Feb 5, 2018:
We had a great time talking to hundreds of people about electric vehicles at the Satellite Beach Founders Day event. There were vendors, crafts and food all inside the Schechter Center and in the whole parking lot. We had four EVs on display today (out of 86 total cars in our club). We didn’t have enough to roll quietly in the parade around town like we did last time, but it was still a successful event.