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Topics of Interest to Non EV Driving Community

Discussion in 'Northwest' started by JackA, Nov 23, 2013.

  1. JackA

    JackA Member

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    I am going to start writing a short monthly column for the Wenatchee World concerning EVs in north central Washington. I am planning six months ahead and am interested in hearing your thoughts about topics that would be of interest to the NON-EV driving community in your neighborhood.
     
  2. PhilBa

    PhilBa Active Member

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    That's a great idea, Jack. I talk to people about EVs almost every day and get mostly the same questions:
    - how far does it go on a charge?
    - how long does it take to charge up?
    - a variation of the range question - can you take it on trips?
    - where can you charge it? (mostly at home, I say and that begets the next question)
    - how do you charge it at home?

    Some other things that are less technical but probably of interest:
    - freedom from gas stations! In the 5 months I've had my Tesla, I've been to a gas station twice - for lawnmower gas. It's pretty liberating
    - smoothness of the power. people don't get that until they've been in one.
    - make your own power with solar. there are a number of EV owners with PV arrays. driving on sunshine!

    I'm sure you have EV tourism in mind. Definitely worth writing about.
     
  3. ChadS

    ChadS Petroleum is for sissies

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    #3 ChadS, Nov 23, 2013
    Last edited: Nov 23, 2013
    From what I can make out, non-EV drivers seem to like to read about celebrities and new weight-loss plans. And they really like cat GIFs. Try to work some of those in.

    But assuming your goal is to convince them to consider switching to electric, I try to line up my approach with buying behavior. The first step to any purchase is that you have to WANT it. Even with Tesla's example out there, most people still think of EVs as slow, ugly, unsafe, and no fun to drive. You have to convince them they want one. This can be hard, because anything you write about how great they are can be written off as the ravings of one of those "fanatical liberal eco-weenies that will do anything in a mistaken belief that they are saving the earth". That's why test drives are so effective - long-held misperceptions are shattered as soon as they close the door and hear that it doesn't sound like a toy car. That's also why appeals to the environmental benefits work so poorly. Not only do they not help (for a general audience; Sierra Club members may like it); they are actually counter-productive. Even greenies think EVs are no fun to drive, just like "green" gas cars. If you want to sell EVs, don't talk about environmental benefits. (Economic and national security benefits are better; but still not nearly as good as personal benefits).

    Once you've got them to think they are cool and want one, there is still work to do. Most people think Ferraris are cool, but they don't buy one because they are expensive and impractical. They mistakenly think the same thing about EVs. The cost savings are easier to convince people on, so I try to do that next. Just show a chart laying out lifetime costs - purchase, taxes, incentives, fuel, etc. You will have to address resale costs because they don't plan to keep the car for its lifetime. You will have to address future battery costs; of course we don't know them, but you can point out we don't know future gas costs either - most people forget that part. Most people are shocked to see the EV is cheaper; they simply assume it is more expensive without doing the math.

    The last major issue is convenience. They think EVs will be inconvenient, because they will be waiting hours for a recharge and not be able to get where they need to go. They are afraid the electricity will suddenly drain out without warning and they will be stuck on the highway. The best way to address this fear is to start by talking about PHEVs. A PHEV with a big enough battery (like the Volt) can give you the nice electric drive experience, and not cost more than a comparable gas car (though it's not a way to save money), without ANY change to driving behavior. It's still a gas car. Once they realize how easy that is (you have to spell it out! Many people don't understand it. Many don't even realize the Volt has a gas engine) then you can suggest that if they are a two-car family, they can do the same thing with the gas engine in a second car. It's like owning a Miata and an Explorer - you may like to take the Miata to work and on a weekend trip with your spouse, but you'll take the Explorer to pick up family at the airport. You won't convince them EVs are more convenient, but you may convince them they are convenient enough to try.

    You can of course also talk about how to take trips, find chargers, how long it takes to charge, etc but I only find discussing charging details to be effective with gas drivers once they are already pretty much ready to buy and just want to make sure they understand the final bits. Gas drivers are very resistant to the idea of waiting for a charge, and certainly don't want to have to learn a bunch of new stuff in order to be able to drive a car. It's their last defense against having to think about making a change; the main reason they use to keep from making what they fear might be an expensive mistake. The extra time an EV takes on a trip is the only real downside to EVs, and people fearing change aren't considering the upsides. I try to avoid this topic unless asked. (Though if they are looking at a Tesla, a very simple "Superchargers are free, and you stop every 2 hours for 30 minutes" usually works if they are already inclined towards the vehicle and ask about trips).

    However, while details about charging tend to make gas drivers fearful, the simple fact that chargers are available comforts them. Something like a map showing where charging stations are can be helpful.
     
  4. Puyallup Bill

    Puyallup Bill Member

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    Once you have eased the readers into the EV scene, then perhaps a few trip reports would be appropriate. You have your own, and there are many posted in this forum.
     
  5. PhilBa

    PhilBa Active Member

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    I drive route 2 fairly often and would gladly stop at the 59er for lunch/dinner and a charge.
     
  6. goneskiian

    goneskiian Active Member

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    Haha! How'd that post get in here Phil? Or did Jack post in the wrong thread then delete it after you responded?
     
  7. PhilBa

    PhilBa Active Member

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    Hmmm, I'm sure that was my mistake....
     

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