We had another great meetup on our first Sunday of the month meetup for March. This time it was at the Big Mansion restaurant in Melbourne. We had a record number of members show up causing us to run out of seats for our table and bring in more tables and chairs to hold us all. I think our final count was 22 people. And what a fun group to have lunch with! We talked about everything EV including: the upcoming Formula E electric car race in Miami, the National Drive Electric Week event coming up in September, introduced ourselves to the new members (there were four!), and handed out business cards, buttons, and the new club member window decals to everyone. By putting these decals in our windows we’ll know not to put a business card on each other’s EVs when we see them parked around town. One of the ways we find other EV drivers is by putting our business card in the driver door window of EVs we see parked as we do our normal shopping and visiting all over Brevard County. We hope to see even more members at the next monthly meetup on the first Sunday of April.
It’s here! After a long wait from the announcement that formula e was going to be coming to Miami, FL the weekend is upon us!
Months ago when we first heard that the race was going to be in two U.S. locations we were very excited to find out Miami was one of them. Being in central Florida, Miami is only a 3 hour drive south down 95. The Formula e race series brings racing back to Miami, something that depending on who you talk to has been missed for a few years. When the tickets were finally released for the Miami formula e race Josh and I were trying to figure out which seats we should get. Because it is an all day event, and the fact that despite living in Florida Josh and I rarely go out in the sun for more than an hour or two at a time we decided to go with the sky-box seats. I convinced him using the argument that there would be shade and “free” food. Well 3 days ago we received an e-mail from formula e hospitality that the tickets we booked have been changed and are now going to be American Airlines Arena Suites tickets. Technically it said “upgraded” but from the new map it looks like they did away with the original plan for the sky box and have really just switched the location. Either way it is an indoor/outdoor space that is catered and will have good views and shade. Hopefully it will be worth it because I had to trade in my yearly vacation for a 3 day 2 night trip to Miami to include these fancy tickets and an outrageously expensive hotel. Bye Bye dream summer in some foreign country! Plus gates open at 7 am so its not like I will be sleeping in either. For those of you who are going to make it down make sure to look for us! I will be the dork with the go-pro on a selfie stick trying to capture every moment in the sky box with all the fancy people! See you there!
We were invited out to bring some electric cars to showcase at the end of the Res Life Sustainability event at the Florida Tech campus. We brought a Chevy Volt, Nissan Leaf, Toyota RAV 4 EV, Toyota Plug in Prius, and the hit of the night was the Tesla Roadster. The students were encouraged to take selfies and pictures with the EVs and use the event’s hashtag to mark them on their social media network of choice. The bright yellow, super sporty Tesla Roadster was by far the number one car picked for their photo ops. It also helped that it was placed directly under the one outdoor floodlight as well…
We set up our tent and table with the usual information and handouts right by the door where the students would exit the building at the end of the tour. Almost every one of them had questions about driving electric and we were able to answer them all. Normally we would give test rides to those that wanted to but the small space in the parking lot didn’t allow easy driving in and out. We made sure to give out our business cards so they could follow us on our website for the next event so they could catch a test ride then. Some of us reminded the students that they could always drop by their local dealership for a test drive and that the Space Coast EV Drivers is only an email away for any questions they come up with that stumps the salespeople!
Lots of fun was had in our sometimes deep discussions with some very good questions from the students and the free Chipotle tacos were crazy delicious to boot. We are looking forward to many more events like this in the future. If you have an event that could benefit from a Q&A session with actual EV owners and enthusiasts feel free to email us today!
-posted by Josh Pritt
Now that our group’s name is getting out from all of the various events we’ve done and thanks to Florida Today’s coverage of the National Drive Electric Week event we had at Melbourne City Hall back in September we were invited to bring some electric vehicles to two events on the same day! Luckily our group has grown big enough to be able to easily split the effort and bring enough EVs to each event to show to the public. Both of these events were on Saturday November 15, 2014 – America Recycles Day. There were lots of events going on all over the country that day to show all the environmental groups, clubs, and businesses that are helping to make the world a little better in that “every little bit adds up” way. The first event was the Enchanted Forest Sanctuary event in Titusville from 10 am to 3 pm. This one only had room for two cars so we brought a Chevy Volt and Nissan Leaf to show the two different types of plug in car. The 100% electric Leaf was there to show people they can completely get rid of their gas bill and add very little to their power bill (especially if you have solar panels on your roof!). The plug in hybrid EV (PHEV) Volt was there so the public could see that there is an option for those with longer commutes or one car households they could go “mostly electric” then have the backup “range extender” gasoline generator to take the car 320 more miles after the 40 mile battery is spent. They can then just get another 9 gallons of gas and continue on their journey like a normal car. There were plenty of people that were interested in both and we were there to answer all of their questions from our owner experience of driving these cars every day for years.
The second event was the Ecoliving Jubilee at Kiwanis Island at Merritt Island from 3 to 6 pm. We had a large quarter circle area of the parking lot so we were able to bring 12 cars! There was a great variety to show a large selection of the options to everyone to fit their various needs and commute distances. We had at least one of the following cars there: Chevy Volt, Nissan Leaf, Tesla Model S, Mitsubishi iMiEV, Toyota Plug in Prius, and a Ford Focus EV. Even though this was a larger event area there were fewer people that showed up overall. We were still able to answer lots of questions from the several people that did stop by. There are a few people that might be looking to buy a new EV soon. When they do, we hope they’ll join our group and help us all spread the word on the savings and great driving performance we all enjoy in our cars too!
We had another great meet up for the first Sunday of the month in November. This month we met at the charging station at Kohl’s in Palm Bay then grabbed a table (and another table) at the nearby Panera Bread to talk and eat. We added three new members to the list that drive two Nissan Leafs and a Ford Focus EV. Josh showed the swag that GM sent him for the good reviews and comments left on the survey from the new 2015 Volt, then went over the details for the upcoming two events in one day! The first event was the morning event at the Enchanted Forest Sanctuary then the EcoLiving Jubilee at the Kiwanis Island in Merritt Island for the afternoon, with a one hour overlap. They only had room for two cars at the first event, then plenty of room for several cars at the second one. We determined who would bring the tent, banner, chairs, and table to each event then talked about how we’d be skipping the first Sunday of the month meet ups in December, January, and February because of the holidays and the hectic schedules these cause with travel to family and friends, etc. At the end of the meeting we got one of the workers at Panera Bread to take our picture. We’ll see you at the upcoming events!
On Saturday Oct 26th we had six electric vehicles in the FIT homecoming parade. We had a great spot up near the front and after a special request we were put in front of the MG club so we didn’t have to “breathe their fumes”! We realized about two minutes into it that it was going slow enough where two people could have walked in front of our line of cars with our banner. It’s too bad we had already hung up the banner at our tent in the tailgating area at the end of the parade first thing that morning. But now we know!
After the parade we parked our cars next to each other in a line near our tent and table as usual. We had about 20-30 people come up to ask questions, sit in, and look at our cars. As usual most of the people learned the facts and challenged what they thought they knew about EVs. Some of the attendees let us know they would now consider buying one! Education and proliferation of EVs are two of the main reasons why we do these events so we call this one a success.
Here’s some pictures from the event and we are looking forward to the next events in November so we can show our EVs to even more people in the community and answer their questions with our real-world experience from driving these electric cars every day.
This past Sunday we had 12 people attend our EV driver monthly meet up hosted at Meg O’Malley’s. As usual we parked our electric vehicles by the quick charger in front of Melbourne City Hall for a photo op.
During our meeting Brenna discussed some things we learned from the National Drive Electric Week event we had on September 20. While we had a few great suggestions for improvement such as better weather next year we did decide to use a clipboard in every EV that gives ride and drives to better count the amount of people participating in the ride and drive portion of the event.
This month we had a new member join the group that had converted a normal Toyota Prius to a plug in version by adding an extra battery pack and some electronics in the trunk area. It is always cool to see the different types of EVs people choose to buy or create. While he liked his DIY plug in Prius he is now in the market for a Chevy Volt. He came with plenty of questions about the Volt and we were happy to answer.
It’s really great to see more and more people join the group and watch the EV family grow. This month we started at a table for 10 and quickly had to relocate to a larger table when we got the call that two more were going to be attending.
If you have an EV, watch out for one of our members placing one of our business cards on your car so you can join too. It’s free to join since we’re currently just a club but we are looking into non-profit status in the future .
Thanks for coming out and we’ll see you at the next event on the first Sunday in November. Remember that November is the last meet up of the year and we will start back in March! Keep an eye on our event page to see where we’ll be meeting up next. We have a Forest Festival in Titusville, FIT Homecoming parade and November’s monthly meet up which is scheduled for Panera Bread in Hammock Landing. Parking at the charger at Kohl’s and walk over to Panera Bread.
Here’s some photos from the event including some of our favorite vanity license tags:
National Drive Electric Week – Melbourne, FL 2014 was a great success!
This past Sunday we held August’s EV Event at The Mansion in downtown Melbourne. The Mansion is walking distance to the city hall CHAdeMO Level 3 fast charger, there are no L2 chargers in the area yet. We were able to park almost all of our EVs right out front which was convenient for a nice photo opp.
Overall we had another great turnout of EV drivers for the first Sunday meet up. When we arrived we saw a blue Ford C-MAX Energi in the parking lot and wondered who’s it was and if they were there for the meeting. It was later determined that they were not attending the meet up so we left them one of our cards in their driver window. Hopefully they’ll email us back and join the group! In a fun coincidence we found out our waiter also drives a Ford C-MAX Energi so of course we gave him one of our cards to join the group.
During the meeting we showed the new group logo to everyone. To see both styles check out the Facebook page.
Brenna helped design the logo and we had positive feedback on it. Almost everyone agreed they would pay for a polo shirt with our logo and possibly a t-shirt for National Drive Electric Week with logos and the event date on it. We are looking into tee and polo shirt pricing so get ready to answer the “what size shirt do you wear” question we’ll be sending out soon.
We saw a lot of familiar faces this time around and we finally met Jordan T., one of the newest members and had fun checking his Tesla Roadster. Very sharp! While we didn’t know what he looked like he made it easy for us by sporting his Tesla gear.
During the event we went over all the National Drive Electric Week Melbourne details we have so far. Brenna continues to work hard on the event plan and coordination aspects. Once everyone was caught up on how far along we are with the planning Brenna received a round of applause for all her hard work. We only have one more first Sunday of the month meet up before the event which will take place Sunday September 7th from 2-4 PM, location TBD.
We will also have another volunteer meeting just before the event so we can go over the final “battle plan” so everyone knows exactly how the event should go before we set up bright and early on the 20th at 830 am at Melbourne City Hall. Remember, if you haven’t signed up to Attend and to Volunteer for Melbourne’s event you should do so here.
We hope to see you in September!
July’s EV Event Recap
Each month the Space Coast Electric Vehicle drivers host an informal Electric Vehicle drivers meet up at Brevard County area establishments located within walking distance of a public charging station. These events usually take place the first Sunday of each month, with the exception of months with holidays falling on or close to the date (such as July 4th). For those who couldn’t make it we post an event recap for each month to keep you all up to date!
This past Sunday we held our July EV Event at the Panera Bread in Palm Bay, FL’s Hammock Landing shopping area.
The Kohl’s, which is walking distance to Panera has two designated EV parking spaces with a single J1772 Level 2 charger and a 110V outlet. Unfortunately the charger was giving some of our members a hard time and it took quite a while to switch it from one car to another. Luckily one of our members who frequents this charger gave it a little tough love and solved the problem.
We welcomed one new local member with a Chevy Volt and had the pleasure of meeting Al Lococo and his wife, of the Central Florida and Sun Coast EAA who drove their Toyota RAV 4 EV all the way from Winter Haven, FL to attend July’s EV event.
If you are counting rare EVs in central Florida this is the second 2nd generation RAV 4 EV to attend a Space Coast Electric Vehicle Drivers meet up. Pretty impressive when you consider they were never sold in the state of Florida, Toyota has only sold 1,594 of the 2,600 2nd generation RAV4 EVs produced and Toyota has announced they will not be producing any more of these SUVs in favor of other technologies.
At the meet up we discussed efforts to place more local charging stations in and around Brevard, Melbourne BMW’s new dual level 2 dealership charger as well as handy, printable window displays for your EV. Brenna discussed the early development stages of an official SCEV Drivers logo for the use on future signage, business cards, t-shirts and more. Brenna and Josh gave an overview of progress for Melbourne’s National Drive Electric Week (NDEW) event which will take place September 20th 2014. Please make sure to register to attend or volunteer at the NDEW event! But one of the highlights of the afternoon was that event attendees were able to take home copies of Al’s book Turning Point in History an “exploration into the subject of Energy and Transportation and how they affect our lives, our economy, our politics and our future.”
Overall it was a great meet up and we are looking forward to next month! The next meet up will take place on Sunday August 3rd from 2-4 PM in Downtown Melbourne. We will be meeting and parking at The Mansion located at 1218 E New Haven Ave Melbourne, FL 32901. Those with a L3 compatible car that need a charge are welcome to park at the charger at City Hall which is just a short 7 minute walk (.3 miles)
We look forward to seeing you there and thanks for supporting the Space Coast EV Drivers!