A funny thing happens when someone gets a plug-in car for the first time. It’s more than the EV grin that shows up the first time someone drives a plug-in car. Owning (or leasing) an electric vehicle or a plug-in hybrid brings that thrill every single day. It builds up inside, until finally it spills over and the driver just has to find ways to express what they’re experiencing, so that others can share in the satisfaction and the joy of driving on electricity.
We become EVangelists. We proselytize. We make ourselves available as a resource to the public, the press, and our peers in ways that we’ve never done before with other cars.
Think I’m exaggerating? There are so many examples in many formats print, film, video, blogs, etc. The fact is, happy drivers have served an invaluable role in spreading the truth about plug-in cars while we wait for the auto companies and especially car dealers to catch up with our enthusiasm.
Darell Dickey was one of the first with his EVnut.com blog, where he shares detailed information about his experience with the GM EV-1, Toyota RAV4-EV, Ford Ranger EV truck, and now a Nissan Leaf. Especially during the last generation of EVs, Darell was an invaluable resource to many of us who were EV newbies.
Chris Paine’s 2006 film, “Who Killed the Electric Car?” arose from his own experience with an EV-1. He followed that entertaining and moving documentary with a sequel that warmed all of our hearts in 2011, “Revenge of the Electric Car”, about the dawn of the current generation of EVs.
My own unexpectedly intense delight from leasing a Ford Th!nkCity EV prompted me to write my first book in 2007, “Plug-in Hybrids: The Cars That Will Recharge America.” It remains a good historical narrative leading up to the current generation of EVs. Beyond that, it’s out of date and now out of print, but watch this space for a possible updated e-book version within the next year.
Tom Moloughney became one of the first East Coast drivers in the new era of production EVs when he leased a BMW Mini-E, and he quickly began sharing his experience online. He has moved on to a BMW Active-E, which he chronicles on his blog.
Just this year, Floridian Chris Sharek turned his enthusiasm for his Chevy Volt into a 58-page e-book, “The Electric Vehicle Revolution,” which he sells on his website (Kindle edition only) for $5. Much of the information he shares can be found online, but his Florida-specific examples may be of interest to drivers in that state.
As soon as we had a YouTube, plug-in car drivers started posting brief videos of our cars and our EV grins. But some took it to a higher level, producing slick, professional-looking videos. Chevy Volt owner Jeff U-Ren is a good example. Check out his YouTube channel “PlugIn Car Fun.” Two of my personal favorites are “If You Can’t Plug Your Car In” and “Chevy Volt Noise.”
And as plug-in car drivers found each other, we made it easier for us all to tell our stories and to share what we know with each other and with a wider and wider audience. Your support our support of Plug In America is a prime example. If you haven’t been to Plug In America’s YouTube channel lately, treat yourself. Our “Drive Electric PSAs” are some of the best videos you’ll find anywhere on the topic, and they’ve now been seen by millions on Hulu again, because your support made it possible. If you’re not yet a member of Plug In America, please join us.
Today, social media make it even easier to connect. On Facebook alone, pages for Plug In America, Chevy Volt Owners, and multiple Nissan Leaf owners pages (such as SF Bay Area Leaf Owners) attract hundreds of pictures and posts from new, happy drivers. Online discussion forums such as MyNissanLeaf.com facilitate questions and answers from drivers and wannabe drivers.
If you’ve got a resource that we should know about, leave a Comment, and maybe we can add it to Plug In America’s annual “Definitive Guide to Plug-in Vehicles.”
We, the drivers, remain the best resources for getting good information to future EV drivers, and getting them behind the wheel.
Posted by Sherry