Early EV adopters and advocates, Bob Erdman and Scott Wilson have become point people for all things EV in the Maryland legislature.
In the first year of its production, Erdman put his order in for a Tesla Model S, and a few months after delivery his family loved it so much his wife bought a Chevy Volt. Wilson also leased an EV in its first year of production, a 2011 Nissan Leaf, and has since owned a Kia Soul EV, a Chevy Bolt, and a Think City. They are both active members of the Electric Vehicle Association of DC (EVA DC), with which they organize EV events, educate the public about EVs, and advocate for EV-supportive policy.
Erdman first got involved with EV policy when he ran across the government affairs point person for Tesla on a ski slope back in 2014. The Tesla staffer was seeking EV drivers to testify for a direct sales bill in Maryland, and Bob jumped right in to help. He has since worked alongside Wilson on many EV-supportive policies including anti-ICEing legislation, right-to-charge policies for multi-unit dwellings, and the $3,000 Maryland excise tax credit incentive.
As a member of EVA DC, Wilson is representative of the voice of the EV driver on the Maryland Zero Emission Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Council (ZEEVIC). Established by legislation in 2011, the ZEEVIC is a forum composed of a broad group of stakeholders aimed at coordinating efforts on EV adoption, from charging infrastructure to policies and regulations.
Recognizing the need to have an ally in the statehouse, Erdman and Wilson have developed a profound relationship with a delegate, an EV supporter who brings their ideas and concerns to the table, and someone who can be the go-to EV educator for other legislators. In addition to sharing their personal experience with driving EVs for nearly a decade, the Maryland EV advocate duo even takes on projects for the legislator, preparing research and arguments to help the legislator convince his coworkers of the need for urgent action on EV policy.
In conversation, Erdman and Wilson discuss their introduction to EV policy, insights into how they achieve meaningful EV-supportive policy by working directly with legislators, and strategies from their own experiences on how to be more effective in this advocacy space.