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Invitation: Become Model S "Ambassadors" in Your Community

REMEMBER YOUR JAW-DROPPING FIRST TESLA DRIVE? What if high-profile influencers across the country could experience that? For a way to make that happen, read on! DrivingElectric, co-sponsored by the main U.S. plug-in advocacy groups, wants your ideas and help in launching the Tesla Model S Ambassadors Project. And we're looking for four Model S owners inspired to pitch in a few hours a week to launch this quickly.

NOW'S A GREAT TIME to introduce to opinion-shapers everywhere the best electric car ever made. A sea-change in public awareness can begin as a core team of volunteers identifies 50 influencers in each of a few pilot locations. We'll offer Model S test rides and test drives to these community leaders, c-level executives, clerics, mayors, state-house members, and journalists. And as we duplicate the model in locations all over, imagine how that will change public awareness and support for EVs!

WE'VE SEEN HOW DRIVING THE MODEL S IS EYE-OPENING.
Nothing demolishes pre-conceptions about power, range, and luxury better than riding and driving the Model S. Awards and articles praising the S as a futuristic car that's here now are opportunities. We can show it beats out high-end gas-guzzlers in performance, looks, features, thrills, and fun. In unpressured demos by owners with real everyday stories, influencers and car-shoppers can discover the electric option requires no sacrifices.

LET'S GET STRATEGIC AND SYSTEMATIC. People everywhere are intrigued by the Model S. But "official" opportunities to see and drive it are limited. That's where enthusiastic S drivers come in: Show off your car, hear the "wows," and watch people get the EV-grin. The more we reach out and get butts in seats, the more we'll build the demand pipeline for the Tesla Models S and X, and other EVs. As Tesla revs up its production volume, we want to be sure there's always a backlog of orders!

GREAT MINDS THINK ALIKE. Last fall, a version of this idea floated around at Model S Ambassadors . Now, motivated by the satisfaction of spreading the word, let's do it!

WHO'S INVOLVED? http://DrivingElectric.org offers a platform for the Tesla S Ambassador Project. The national advocacy non-profits Plug In America, Electric Auto Association, and California Cars Initiative have co-sponsored this new "utility" to make it easier for EV-curious people to find nearby EV owners and drivers. DrivingElectric.org launched last September at National Plug In Day. It will continue to get technology upgrades. Already it offers a searchable directory of hundreds of drivers, including some Tesla owners, and ways to connect to them.

WHO'S INVITING? I started CalCars.org to put plug-in hybrids on the map. It took 10 years until we declared victory as they went into mass production. Two years ago, my family became the first household anywhere with both a Chevy Volt PHEV and a Nissan LEAF EV. Then I founded DrivingElectric to get more people to experience all EVs. Now I'm awaiting 2015, when we can replace one plug-in car with a Tesla Model X -- we're #429 on the list.

WHEN THE TESLA S AMBASSADOR PROJECT GETS BIGGER, members of EAA in over 60 chapters, and tens of thousands of supporters of PIA, will be available to help expand the effort. They'll screen test driving requests, making sure strangers are qualified, so S drivers aren't inconvenienced. They'll organize local ride-and-drives and other events, partner with companies and civic organizations, and showcase high-visibility EVs from other carmakers.

EXCITED ABOUT THIS CONCEPT? Please post your comments here and spread the word, pointing other S drivers to this TMC thread. One topic: where to start? The first demo projects could be in two or three areas where S ownership is concentrated -- for instance, the Pacific Northwest, California, Florida, Chicago, NY Metro.

WANT TO HELP? We invite you to start by signing up as an owner at DrivingElectric.org. And we think four pioneers from among over 4,000 Model S owners, located anywhere, each giving a few hours a week, can get this going. Might you be one? Consider that -- and let's talk!
 

efusco

Moderator - Model S & X forums
Moderator
Been a member for a while, just updated my photo. Still haven't gotten any calls though.

I should add, for those of you who don't know Felix, he's been an avid alternative energy advocate for a long time and is a real leader in the industry. This is not some kid with an idea, this site will have a lot of involvement for major players in the EV world.
 

Al Sherman

It's about THIS car.
Nov 29, 2012
1,687
5
Batesville, IN
Been a member for a while, just updated my photo. Still haven't gotten any calls though.

I should add, for those of you who don't know Felix, he's been an avid alternative energy advocate for a long time and is a real leader in the industry. This is not some kid with an idea, this site will have a lot of involvement for major players in the EV world.

If Evan endorses it's good enough for me. I'll sign up.

Might even motivate me to keep the darn thing cleaner than the Prius!
 

ChadS

Last tank of gas: March 2009
Jul 16, 2009
3,471
2,923
Redmond, WA
Felix has been at this for many years, and has done as much or more to advance the cause as anybody I can think of. And he's still working hard at it.

He's right on as to what it takes to sell more cars. Which is important, because the automakers are starting to work together to oppose the ZEV mandate. If that goes away, most of the cars on the market will go away too. I'm not a big fan of mandates; but consumers can't prove a market if there is no product to buy. Tesla won't voluntarily switch to gas cars, obviously, but with the market imploding around them it would be much harder for a new company to sell a new technology on their own. And tax credits and such would be much harder to defend if it's just 1%-er Tesla owners using the credit for their "toys". Worse yet, the ZEV credit market would disappear with it, and Tesla is counting on that for their profit margins. Tesla's success very much depends upon the health of the complete plug-in market.

And Teslas are by far the best tool to get more people interested in plug-in vehicles. We (Tesla) owners would be the best people to make a difference, even if we (plug-in owners in general) weren't about the only ones trying.
 
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Helping change the public perception is something that we MS owners can impact directly. This approach is reasoned and very civil as a one-on-one. Let's face it - the car is a blast to drive, and will demonstrate to people very concretely that EVs are real, here and now. What better ambassador than someone who plunked down for one?

Automakers (with the exception of Tesla) have a weak link in their distribution channel: reluctant and undereducated dealers. Our efforts and our willingness to show others will go a long way to help this entire cause. We'll soon hear more noises from these entrenched and inertia-laden companies about credits, and needing to support the 'ever-over-the-horizon' fool cell technology too, not just plug-ins. And a mandate is strong medicine.

Personally, I believe it's important for every MS driver to carry a small pack of TMC brochures for the curious, which will inevitably stop you every day with their questions and comments. People like to walk away from a short engagement with something. They are probably available at the various stores. Check with them. We can access more than a half-dozen one page flyers (2-sided, and tri-folds) of additional background information on EVs to anyone who wants them.

I encourage everyone to step up to help spread the excitement!
 
I've been doing this sort of outreach work since we got our RAV4-EV in 2008, about a year before our Roadster. There's a lot of on-the-job training, learning how to answer the common questions well. Getting involved with other people who had experience was incredibly helpful. The Driving Electric program is a great way for Model S owners to get up to speed at being effective EV ambassadors.

Here are a couple of examples of lessons learned over the years:

- To start the conversation talk about the totally selfish reasons to want to drive an EV: they are more fun to drive, more convenient to fuel, and less expensive to operate. Everyone across the political spectrum can relate to those compelling reasons to drive electric.

- Don't bring up the environment. People who care about the environment already know that EVs are good. You can waste an infinite amount of time arguing with people who don't care about the environment, or have been brainwashed into thinking tailpipes are good. That said, it helps to be prepared to answer questions about power plant emissions, battery disposal, and lithium mining.

- When someone asks "how long does it take to charge" I used to say "about 3 hours" but later realized that's not a great answer. There are a number of better answers like "Since I charge at home while I'm sleeping, I never have to wait for a charge" or "Like my cell phone, it charges overnight while I'm sleeping" followed by "it usually takes less than an hour", then "I get about 60 miles of range per hour of charging" for someone who is really interested. Of course, once you get hooked on driving electric, you may choose to go to great lengths to make trips beyond the car's single charge range work, but that's a choice, not a requirement, of EV ownership.

- When someone asks about driving really long distances, instead of trying to explain how to find charging stations and all that stuff, I just say that I take another car for trips that are too long to be convenient in an electric car. No car is perfect for every use and most US households have more than one. You can't haul lumber in a Miata, but that doesn't stop people from being very happy Miata owners.

All of these conversations are more complex than what I describe, but there's a lot you'll learn as you go. I've found it incredibly helpful to work with other owners and hear how they approach talking about EVs and answering questions.
 
You can't haul lumber in a Miata, but that doesn't stop people from being very happy Miata owners
MiataLumber.jpg


Actually, it seems you can haul all sorts of stuff in a Miata . :tongue: But seriously, it's a good analogy, I just couldn't resist. Besides, TEG would have done it if I hadn't
 
Actually, it seems you can haul all sorts of stuff in a Miata.
That's not lumber. That's just a few boards. :smile: A couple of friends and I managed to haul several 4x8 sheets of wallboard on an RX-7. But that sort of thing is like taking an EV on a serious road trip: while it may work on occasion, it doesn't make sense if you need to do it frequently.

The point is that shouldn't be a barrier to enjoying an EV for daily driving for most people. The idea is get people out of the false mindset that EVs are useless because they are only convenient for the vast majority of most people's driving needs. They understand this idea with lots of issues with gas cars: number of passengers, cargo capacity, gas mileage, towing capacity, etc. We can leverage that to get them to think about EVs the same way.
 

DrTaras

R254->R725->S->X->M3->M3P-->R2020?
Dec 2, 2007
1,318
107
Woodland Hills, CA
Been a member for a while, just updated my photo. Still haven't gotten any calls though.
Ditto for me: DrTaras | DrivingElectric
Of course, at least one weekend a month I'm doing some such EVangelising at length, though every day I drive, I'm an EVangelist!

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I've been doing this sort of outreach work since we got our RAV4-EV in 2008, about a year before our Roadster.
Talk about a dedicated EVangelist, TomSax is da man!
Not sure why he doesn't yet have his own Wikipedia page?
Tommy Saxton - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Don't bring up the environment. People who care about the environment already know that EVs are good. You can waste an infinite amount of time arguing with people who don't care about the environment, or have been brainwashed into thinking tailpipes are good. That said, it helps to be prepared to answer questions about power plant emissions, battery disposal, and lithium mining.
Two Thumbs up to that remark!
When someone asks "how long does it take to charge" I used to say "about 3 hours" but later realized that's not a great answer. There are a number of better answers like "Since I charge at home while I'm sleeping, I never have to wait for a charge" or "Like my cell phone, it charges overnight while I'm sleeping" followed by "it usually takes less than an hour", then "I get about 60 miles of range per hour of charging"
I usually ask how long it takes to charge your cell phone. They look at me funny, pause to which I say, "like 2 seconds, right? Just plug it in and you're done... same thing for an EV!" Now if 'pushed' to get a charge time, I say "in under an hour I CAN have nearly 300 miles of range, and a meal while I wait." They don't need to know the details of superchargers until deeper into the conversation.

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Is that another Miata parked back to back? Man that guy likes Miatas!
Besides, TEG would have done it if I hadn't
I dunno... seems like TEG's posting percentage has fallen off in recent months! :tongue:
 
It's been great to hear from recognized and indefatigable plug-in advocates like Chad, Tom, Ron, and TEG.
We're starting to get some positive private feedback. It would be inspiring if a few people in one region, state, county or town who have a Model S in their driveway -- or one on order -- step up and start to form an Ambassadors group, and among themselves start to develop lists of people they want to invite for drives.
And events to attend. A few years ago, I talked at a bunch of Rotary lunches, followed by driveway demos.
 
Anyone have some recommended text I could use to email a private drive invitation to influencers in Indianapolis? For example, Indianapolis Power & Light -- thought I could offer the senior execs a drive in my car since they have been influential in building charging infrastructure in Indianapolis. Not really sure how to best make the offer in a way that will get my email read.

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Joined here: http://drivingelectric.org/users/kenneth
 

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