Wrap Up: National Drive Electric Week, 2014

Kathy and the Kilowatts

Kathy and the Kilowatts playing after the rain. Photo by Mark Witt.

This year’s National Drive Electric Week “Picnic in the Park” ended up being “rain AND shine”

The first car to roll in was Ed F.’s Tesla Model S, with 10,310 oil-free miles, soon to be joined by 23 other electric vehicles for a combined (recorded) total of 275,841 oil-free miles on the road!

This year had the most models we’ve seen, including a BMW i3 that drew almost as much attention as the Zero motorcycles joining the event for the first time this year. The wheel-to-wheel row of Teslas were a beauty to behold, and the Volts and Leafs were driven in with wide EV grins as well as MiEVs, a Ford Fusion, Toyota Rav4, and conversions from long-time AustinEV members Brian and Jennifer L., and Ben J. There were more two wheeled vehicles this year, including a first time conversion motorcycle, as well as Mark W., Mark S., and Audrey S. from Electric Avenue Scooters on a trio of lithium powered scooters.

Larry S. sharing donuts and his Volt-inspired oil free (s)miles! (photo from Larry S.)

Larry S. sharing donuts and his Volt-inspired oil free (s)miles! (photo from Larry S.)

We had a (greatly appreciated) representation of local dealerships, including BMW of Austin, Capitol Chevrolet, Covert Cadillac, Leif Johnson Ford, and representing the national sponsor of National Drive Electric Week, Town North Nissan.

Special thanks go to our local sponsors BMW of Austin, SunPower, Capitol Chevrolet, Smart Charge Residential (event organizer Joseph Barletta), Covert Cadillac, and REVOLT (event organizer Aaron Choate). Also special thanks to event organizers Stacy Neef and Diego Lopez of Lone Star Clean Fuels Alliance, and the Lone Star Chapter of the Sierra Club.

Other exhibitors represented at the event included Austin Energy Plug in Partners, Circular Energy,  the EVLove Club, Capital Area Metropolitan Planning Organization (CAMPO), Eco Network, and Electric Car Insider Magazine

Many attendees were seen sporting beautiful face (and arm) paintings thanks to Tami of Paradise Face Painting, and Kathy and the Kilowatts played both amped (pre-rain) and acoustic (post rain), proving once again that Austin is used to all kinds of weather.

If you have photos of the event that you’d like to share, we’d love to post them!  We will add a few here, but you can see the complete 2014 National Drive Electric gallery on our Facebook page.

Joseph Barletta on Shades of Green podcast

AustinEV operating partner and owner of Smart Charge Residential Joseph Barletta, was a guest on KOOP radio’s Shades of Green talk show sharing information regarding the National Drive Electric Week event.

Aren’t you listening to the show anyway? But in case you missed it, the podcast is available for your listening pleasure.

Picnic in the Park Schedule

EVENT SCHEDULE (RAIN OR SHINE!) for the National Drive Electric Week Picnic in the Park Electric Vehicle Gathering http://bit.ly/evpicnic

September 20th at the Northwest Recreation Center

10:30-noon:
Speakers (inside Recreation Center)

noon-2:
Ride & Drive (depending on the rain)
Live music from Kathy and the Kilowatts

2pm
Group photo with owners and vehicles showing their “EV-love”

All day:
Talk with exhibitors and local EV dealerships
Car show; learn about EV ownership
Face painting by Paradise Face Painting

Free and open to the public.
Limited non-participant parking; please consider car-pooling.

It has a name! Austin Picnic in the Park, September 20, 2014

National Drive Electric Week's Austin Party will be held September 20, 2014. Details to come!

National Drive Electric Week’s Austin Party will be held September 20, 2014. Details to come!

We’re finalizing the details! It’s going to be a party with a photograph! Bring your park-safe picnic for some socializing and entertainment, then take part in an aerial-view heart showing how much you love your EV!

We have hopes that a special invitation can get their vehicle out of California in time, and another can show us some old-school EV luxury.  And you!  You’ll be there too, right?

Confirm your attendance on the National Drive Electric Week Website.

If you have your own celebration planned for the week, let us know and we’ll add it to our event page!

[update 8/8: We asked Kathy and the Kilowatts to play for all you lovers of Austin Blues (and because of the name. We won’t lie). They said yes!]

[update 8/8 v2: We also have an online donations form to help offset the cost of the event and promote the Austin Area EAA chapter of the Electric Auto Association. We were informed that donors of amounts in excess of $1000 can request the ID of the EAA for tax purposes, otherwise a print out of the page should be adequate.]

2014 Renewable Energy Roundup passes

The 2014 Renewable Energy Roundup has been announced for September 26-28 this year.  The event is moving to Belton, TX at the Bell County Expo Center.  If you would like to support AustinEV, and register for tickets online, please use the code AEVARPC14 when you register at their site.  AustinEV will earn $5 when you do so.  Thanks.

National Drive Electric Week

National Drive Electric Week logo

National Drive Electric Week
September 15-21, 2014

This year’s National Plug in Day has been extended to a full week for celebration. Mark your calendars for September 15-21 and register at the National Drive Electric Week Event.

We are still planning the details, but if you haven’t finished your conversion or are still debating which electric vehicle to buy or lease, you still have time!

3rd Annual National Plug in Day Austin 2013 Wrap-up

The first EV to appear during set up was a Fisker Karma, and its driver, Alan, kindly agreed to check in the rest of the vehicles that silently rolled into the parking lot for the next hour, representing over 199,000 oil-free miles in celebration of Austin’s contribution to the Third Annual National Plug in Day.

Ben J. and Jennifer L. seated in front of a Jeep and Saturn conversion electric vehicle

We recognize those two! And they’re wearing that AustinEV gear well!

We were enthused to see many dual-EV families, and the number of Teslas and Volts represented was only eclipsed by the number of Leafs. Despite the rain (which we were strangely excited to see), all eleven types of vehicles signed up for the event were represented, including the Nissan LEAF, Chevrolet Volt, Tesla Model S, Ford’s C-Max Energi, Fusion Energi, and Focus Electric, Toyota RAV4 EV (2012 and later), Think City, Fisker Karma, a Vetrix scooter, and several conversions.

Alan and his Karma (photo by Larry Schuler)

Alan and his Karma (photo by Larry Schuler). Warning: if you’re the first to arrive, you’ll often be the first to be drafted to help out, too! Thanks, Alan!

The talks were well-attended. Dale Bulla of Interfaith Environmental Network demonstrated the ease of vehicle charging from solar panels and resulted in several owners who do charge their plug-in vehicles from solar pointing out that we should have had “coal-free miles” as well as “oil-free miles” numbers being tallied. Actacell‘s Director of Product Management (and longtime Austin EV member) Marc Kohler presented useful and interesting information unique to plug-in vehicles, and Austin Leaf Owner’s Group and event sponsor Tim Ziegner’s panel talk extended well beyond the end time, proving the passion owners have for their electric vehicles and, we’re fairly certain, influencing several non-EV owners to make the commitment to purchasing or leasing an EV as their next vehicle. Because of time restrictions, Chris Robison of REVOLT Electric Vehicles (and longtime Austin EV member) wasn’t able to give his presentation on the future of home-brew, but he did speak one-on-one with several individuals before we wrapped up and the cars drove away from the lot as silently as they arrived.

Tesla Owners of Texas were strongly represented

Tesla Owners of Texas had a strong representation (uncredited image from their Facebook page)

We want to extend our appreciation to everyone who attended, presented, helped, participated in the Ride & Drive, and/or exhibited, including Town North Nissan, SunPower Corporation Texas, the Lone Star Chapter of the Sierra Club, Austin Energy, and REVOLT Electric Vehicles. Also thanks to Tesla Owners of Texas, the Austin Leaf Owners Group and other vehicle clubs who we may not have mentioned, Larry S (for also decorating his Volt with donuts and taking photographs – linked from the Austin EV event page for the day and from where we borrowed the picture of the Karma), Brian L (for also bringing banana bread and substantially helping with cleanup), Heidi and Ken (for also helping reorganize the food and drinks), as well as Austera (Tim Ziegner) and REVOLT (Aaron Choate & Cara Fealy) for organizing and offsetting the cost of the event by providing local sponsorship.

Please direct us to any omissions or errors in our wrap-up and links to photos of the event in the comments below. and any additional comments or feedback you may have are greatly appreciated. We had fun, and we hope you did as well!

National Plug-in Day 2013

AustinEV and several Central Texas vehicle groups will be hosting the 2013 National Plug-in Event for Austin, TX.

It will be on September 29th (Sunday) and we want you to show your cars!

If you would like to register to attend, show a car or to volunteer, please add yourself and your vehicle details here:

http://www.pluginday.org/event.php?eventid=61

(updated 9/13/2013)

Join Austin, TX area electric vehicle enthusiasts for an electric vehicle display and  presentations on Sunday, September 29 from 10am to 3pm at the Northwest Recreation Center.  We will have all kinds of electric vehicles on display and their owners will be there to talk about how their electric vehicles fit into their lives.

(updated 9/23/2013)

2013_PressAdvisory_NationalPlugInDay

(updated 9/25/2013)

Schedule of Talks:
11:00 – 11:45 AM
Driving on Sunshine: charging your vehicle from solar panels on your home – Dale Bulla, Interfaith Environmental Network
noon – 12:45 PM
Testing the Cells: cycle testing on cells for electric vehicles – Marc Kohler, Director of Product Management, Actacell
1:00pm – 1:45
EV’s Today – experiences from actual EV owners — a panel discussion led by Tim Ziegner – president of the Nissan Leaf Owners group
2:00pm – 2:45
The Future of Homebrew and Small-Shop EV Conversions – Chris Robison, Product Lead, REVOLT Electric Vehicles
(And we love the Austin Sierra Club!

(updated 9/26/2013)

Mark W. is coordinating an electric scooter/motorcycle ride that will depart from the Plug-in venue Sunday about 3:30 pm (weather permitting)..

AustinEV list is moving – action required

We are moving the AustinEV discussion list to Google
Groups and shutting the old list down. If you would like to subscribe
to the new list, please go to http://groups.google.com/group/austinev
and subscribe by tomorrow, August 6.

While Google Groups has a web interface for those who prefer to
interact with the list as a forum, the new list is set to reproduce
the function of the old list as a discussion list and should default
to email delivery in the settings.

AustinEV at the Austin Mini Maker Faire

AustinEV setup

AustinEV members get set up for the Austin Mini Maker Faire

We had a great day out at the Faire.  Thanks to Aaron, Ben, Fred, Brian and Chris for showing the cars and to all the great people who stopped by to chat!

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