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Growing Need for EV Advocates
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There is an increasing need for local groups to provide encouragement and direction for EV development in most areas. The situation here in Ventura may be reasonably typical. The charging infrastructure is going in with all sorts of problems including poor locations, poor regulations, high prices and nearly hostile code enforcement. It takes EV driver knowledge to straighten out these problems. The local government is also dropping the ball on putting EVs into their fleets as well as on the planning and support activities it takes to do this well.
This sort of activity is actually how the Sustainable Transport Network got started. Our people started to work together to support EVs and a full range of other solutions. We connected with all sorts of folks with what started as a club that grew to become a network. That early group of people included people with two levels of focus. One was the people with the state and national level interest that included many of the Plug in America founders.
The other group was the people focused on local action with the first place being in Santa Monica and the Westside of LA. Pretty soon we were connected to other local groups out to Pasadena, down to Palos Verdes and up to Santa Barbara. It is no coincidence that those areas are some of the most EV and bicycle friendly in California. Local advocacy works and helps accelerate the EV adoption and development of sustainable transportation.
The AltCar Expo coming up this month is a good example of local action working. Rick Sikes has done a great job of creating that with the support and participation of our network. He had the support of both Councilmembers Kevin McKeown and Richard Bloom (now Assemblymember) to help that to happen. He brought Christine Dzilvelis to our group and together the two of them have made a bit of history. Be sure to make this year’s gathering of the faithful at the Expo.
There are at least three national networks of EV related interests that can help spur local advocacy groups. You can find some of them by looking for your local National Plug in Day or Nation Electric Drive Week activity. The related article in this month’s newsletter will provide more details about that.
The two main groups that actually have local meetings are the Electric Auto Association (local EAA or EVA groups) and the Sierra Club. Plug in America (PIA) actually started as one of the EAA groups at a national level. PIA has not taken the plunge to actively pursue local groups with monthly meetings but that is starting to happen spontaneously and as a result of the National Electric Drive Week.
Both the EAA and the Sierra Club are taking steps toward local advocacy. The lead article in this newsletter shows how that is working for the Club but it has not spread too far or wide. Please jump in to help make that happen. The EAA groups are also a mixed bag. Some of them focus specifically on converting and building electric vehicles. They include some really great DIY people as well as some of the earliest advocates for EVs who were often focused on conversions.
Here in Ventura the local EVA group has helped to move advocacy forward but it became clear that advocacy and DIY do not mix well in one meeting. Advocacy calls for a more structured meeting approach than tech talk about batteries, controllers and motors. Effective advocacy is best done by people who have experience actually using EVs. All of this has led to creating a separate advocacy group.
You are invited to get on board with local advocacy and outreach and to create local groups through whatever organization best fits your local area. These start out like a local club so no real structure is actually needed. The information about the EV Advocates of Ventura County might help. If you are anywhere near that group, you are welcome to come and check things out.
Copyright 2014 Russell Sydney, All rights reserved.
The Ventura group is meeting once a month for a meal, a visit and a short business meeting about what we can do for EVs. The group is open to all Ventura County EV drivers and riders from Full Speed EVs to E-bikes and NEVs. It also has a google discussion group which will focus on EV issues in the Ventura County area.
Next meeting Tuesday August 19th 6:30 pm
Camarillo Marie Callender's, 185 E. Daily Drive, Camarillo, CA 93010
Exit 101 at Las Posas go to North side of freeway. 805-987-5580
The stated purpose of this group is to support EV development in Ventura County through - Advocacy, Education and Outreach. This will include lots of fun events like ride and drives, group drives, and car shows as well as encouraging and supporting Government Participation and creating the best possible EV charging infrastructure.
This is sponsored by the Sustainable Transport Network.
Call 805-652-1482 or get in in touch either through the google site or by email to Main@sustainableclub.org.
EV Advocates of Ventura County
Links to help others find this information