Telling your neighbors about your electric car helps them over the hump

Here in Silicon Valley there are so many electric cars driving around that it’s easy to forget what it was like in 2011 or before. Back in the 2000’s owning an electric vehicle was outright weird, but today the San Francisco Bay Area and Silicon Valley has one of the highest concentrations of electric vehicles of all kinds. In part this is because of the high concentration of high tech workers here, but also in part it’s because of outreach efforts to make sure our neighbors knew we are driving electric vehicles.

A video by electric vehicle fans in Romania has me remembering what it was like back in the day:

Since you probably do not understand Romanian, let me describe what this video says.

On 11 May 2019 a group of electric car drivers — 40 cars in total are expected — will converge near Bran, Romania. They’ll have a get-together, a small parade, drive around the mountains, have lunch together, and all-in-all create some visibility around electric car ownership in Romania.

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I wish I could have been there.

In the video the guy says there was no funding, they’re just organizing this event on their own. Folks, on their own, raising awareness of electric vehicles, hoping their neighbors will pay attention.

That’s what we used to do, and still do, here in Silicon Valley. But I think the newer electric vehicle owners in Silicon Valley may not be aware of what happened in previous years.

For almost 20 years I’ve attended meetings of the Electric Auto Association chapters for Silicon Valley as well as the Golden Gate Electric Vehicle Association (another EAA chapter). Both groups regularly hold events for the public to show off electric vehicles. In recent years, Plug in America has organized a yearly event called National Drive Electric Week which coordinates public electric vehicle showings at grass-roots events around the country, and even outside the USA.

At such events we typically rent a public location such as the parking lot of the local community college. We put up banners, and before-hand put out flyers to publicize the event. At the event people come, talk with us about electric vehicle ownership, and even get test rides in electric cars.

Other kinds of events are more like this ECO Drive, where it is a group of electric vehicle owners gathering for group activities.

In this case the location is Bran, Romania, which is a major touristy destination containing Bran Castle. If you don’t know, Bran Castle has almost 1000 years of history and very little of the actual history has to do with Vlad Tsepes, a.k.a. Vlad the Impaler, because he only spent a couple months there, but for some reason Bran Castle is popularly associated with Dracula (a.k.a. Vlad Tsepes). The important thing is the location is well into the Carpathian Mountains, and would have made for some fun driving experiences.

In my area the folks tend to gather at Morro Bay, a scenic location along the California coast. Being halfway between the SFBAY and Los Angeles regions, an event at Morro Bay can draw folks from both areas. The result is a lot of camaraderie and stunning pictures that can be shared with friends and family.

About David Herron

David Herron is a writer and software engineer living in Silicon Valley. He primarily writes about electric vehicles, clean energy systems, climate change, peak oil and related issues. When not writing he indulges in software projects and is sometimes employed as a software engineer. David has written for sites like PlugInCars and TorqueNews, and worked for companies like Sun Microsystems and Yahoo.

About David Herron

David Herron is a writer and software engineer living in Silicon Valley. He primarily writes about electric vehicles, clean energy systems, climate change, peak oil and related issues. When not writing he indulges in software projects and is sometimes employed as a software engineer. David has written for sites like PlugInCars and TorqueNews, and worked for companies like Sun Microsystems and Yahoo.

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