After my first test drive of a Nissan Leaf in 2014, I became a believer. The car had me at hello! Total silence at slow speeds, rocket-like smooth-as-silk acceleration, and the feeling that I had just entered the twenty-first century had me hooked. Knowing that I had just kissed smelly gasoline and noxious deadly emissions from my tailpipe goodbye clinched the deal.
Now, what could I do to convince the rest of the world that this superior technology would soon make gas cars as obsolete as horses and sailing ships?
Test drives, test drives, test drives! The best way to convert the non-believers are test drives. From the day I brought my first EV home, I gave every willing family member, friend, and, maybe I’m crazy, even interested strangers a test drive.
If I heard “I like your car, is it electric?” I would launch into my proselytizing routine.
With the Model 3, I’ve fine-tuned my approach: “It’s smooth as silk. It accelerates like a rocket. For local driving, it’s more convenient that a gas car: no twice weekly visits to a smelly gas pump, no oil changes, no emission inspections. How long does it take to charge? Five seconds to plug in when you drive into the garage and five seconds to unplug when you leave in the morning. For long-distance driving there are Superchargers every hundred miles along all the Interstate highway. We’ve driven our long-range Model 3 from Utah to the East Coat and back. We drive the same 500 miles per day on cross country trips that we did with our gas cars. And with no worries, mate!”
I’ve gone to every Drive Electric EV promotion event that I’ve heard about in Salt Lake City, Utah; Madison, Wisconsin; Marshfield, Wisconsin; etc. And I staged numerous promotion events of my own at car shows and in parades.
When I leased my first electric car, a 2014 Nissan Leaf, on February 21, 2014, I immediately commissioned silver 100% Electric stickers for the front and back of my car (see Figure 1). The Nissan Leaf was widely known to be electric by most anyone who keeps track of car makes and models. However, for the less knowledgeable, I wanted everyone to know that they were seeing an electric car doing things that any car would be expected to do.
I leased my 2nd electric car, a 2016 Nissan Leaf SV, on March 16, 2016 (see Figure 2), and it also got 100% Electric stickers, front and rear. Maybe it wasn’t necessary since the 2012–2017 Nissan Leaf models had a very distinctive style and were known by almost everyone to be electric, but I wasn’t taking any chances.
On May 2, 2018, I purchased a 2018 Nissan Leaf SV. This was a new body style that no one recognized, so the 100% Electric stickers, front and rear, were imperative.
On October 22, 2019, I purchased a 2019 Tesla Model 3. Of course, Tesla’s are iconic electric cars, but I decided to go one step further. I put two stickers on the back of my Model 3 — one of course said 100% Electric and the other said Range 310 Miles. I was trying to make the point that not only was this an electric car, but it also had plenty of range. I couldn’t bear to put stickers on the front because the car was too beautiful.
Unfortunately, I had an issue driving at quite high speed into flash flood water in North Carolina in 2020. Bottom line: I had to replace the bumper and did not replace my stickers. My thinking is that Tesla cars are so well known and known to be electric that the stickers are no longer necessary.
See below the photographic record of the EV promotional events I attended and organized.
Electric Vehicle Promotion Event I Organized: 2018 4th of July Parade at Three Lakes, WI
Electric Vehicle Promotion Event I Organized at Three Lakes, WI, Car Show — August 4, 2018
Drive Electric Event: Madison, Wisconsin — September 15, 2018
Very Comprehensive Drive Electric Event in Marshfield, Wisconsin — September 18, 2019
Randall Kruger, owner of two Teslas, sponsored a very comprehensive Drive Electric event in Marshfield, Wisconsin, on September 18, 2019. As the owner of a 2018 Nissan Leaf with range of 150 miles, making the 200 mile round trip from Three Lakes was complicated. I would be able to get to Marshfield 100 miles away but would need 5 or 6 hours of charging to get home. Randall was very kind to let me use his L2 charger in his garage. So, I drove down early and started my car charging. I brought my road bike along, so I toured the town while waiting for the event to start. Then I drove my Leaf to the street where all the others were parked and the owners were there to talk about their cars. Then I drove the car back to Randall’s garage and came back for the EV round table discussion. A few hours later, I rode my bike back to Randall’s garage and drove home in my Leaf.
Electric Vehicle Promotion I Organized: 2018 4th of July Parade at Three Lakes, WI
It was the 4th of July 2021 and this would be the biggest EV promotion event yet. I had lined up four Tesla Model S, one Model X, my Model 3, our electric golf cart, and an 1899, 122-year-old restored wooden boat, originally powered by steam but now a BEV. The Model X would pull the wooden boat so there would be no gas propulsion at all (Figure 20). In addition, I had two e-bikes on the back of my Model 3. Therefore, we had 8 EVs, 10 if you count the e-bikes. Most of the participants were hesitant before, but had a great time during the parade.