Working Hard for EVs

EV sales are on the rise, no small feat in a market dominated by gas-guzzlers. Here’s a roundup of green groups (large and small) dedicated to spreading the word about the benefits of EVs— and making a difference.

Sierra Club

The Sierra Club may have been founded in 1892 by iconic conservationist John Muir, but nothing about this classic green group is old fashioned. While they are well known for protecting millions of acres of wilderness and fighting for endangered species, they have expanded their programmatic reach to include moving America away from its dependence on fossil fuels. The Sierra Club has a focused team that promotes EVs. They even have a dedicated EV Blog. Lately, the organization has focused their attention on transforming the nations bus fleets to all electric and you can read about their efforts in LA and elsewhere.

One of the coolest features on their website is the Pick-A-Plugin Quiz designed to steer anyone interested in EVs in the right direction. After you take the quiz you can check out the handy EV Guide with the latest EV models.

Last but not least, Sierra Club’s Go Electric campaign allows users to find local EV information and get a lesson in EV myths (a.k.a., alt facts) and the reality checks that set the record straight.

Plug In America

If you’ve never seen the 2005 documentary Who Killed the Electric Car, watch it this weekend. It’s a wild ride of a story that helped lead to the founding of Plug In America in 2008. Today it’s the nation’s largest not-for-profit organization that is solely dedicated to educating automakers, policymakers and the public on the myriad benefits of electric vehicles. The organization is on a mission to increase the number of electric vehicles on the road—and wants to see them powered by domestically generated, clean power.

One of the best ways to see this goal become a reality is to get people to test drive electric cars. Plug In America has teamed up with the Sierra Club and the Electric Auto Association to create National Drive Electric Week (FYI: This years event will be September 9-17, 2017). The group also has a website that is loaded with webinars and podcasts covering all kids of topics relating to EVs.

“We expect the momentum for the EV market to keep growing as more consumers discover that these cars are simply better. They’re more fun to drive, cheaper to fuel, and take very little maintenance,” said Joel Levin Plug In America’s Executive Director.

Oregon Electric Vehicle Association

One of the biggest challenges for growth in the EV marketplace is winning over people all around the country—urban and rural, and every place in between. The Oregon Electric Vehicle Association (OEVA) offers a variety of places both online and offline to engage potential EV buyers. You can even buy one of their trendy t-shirts. Every small step for EVs is a big step for the industry and the OEVA president Gary Graunke, from Tigard, Oregon seems to understand that as much as anyone. Recently he penned an op-ed for Ruralite Magazine about how EVs are both affordable and convenient for “Ruralites.”

“For rural drivers, the fuel and maintenance savings quickly make up for higher up-front cost. Electricity prices increase slowly—usually only once a year—so there are no wild price swings. Many electric cars are made in the U.S., supporting American jobs,” wrote Graunke.

Hopefully more and more “Ruralites” will take Graunke’s advice to heart and embrace EVs.

NRDC

The Natural Resources Defense Council, based in New York City, has been around since 1970 and has grown to be one of the nation’s largest environmental organizations. They have fought for decades to protect our air, water, wildlife and wild places. They are also big proponents of electric vehicles and are spending a lot of effort to help get more EVs on the road across the country.

In California, NRDC was part of the team that helped launch the Charge Ahead California project, which aims to bring one million electric cars, trucks, and buses to the streets by 2025. They have also worked hard to implement similar types of programs in other states including Connecticut, Maryland, Massachusetts, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island, and Vermont. When you combine these seven states with California, they represent 25 percent of the new car market. The goal is to put drivers behind the wheel of 3.3 million electric cars in the next decade.

New England Auto Association

Believe it or not, this pro-EV group has been around since 1965, and as they point out on their website that was back when if anyone wanted an EV they either had to build it or convert a conventional car all on their own. So it’s safe to say that these folks are serious about their love of EVs! Aside from the monthly meetings, they participate in regional events, which you can learn more about on their Facebook page. Compared to progressive California, New England is largely considered an underserved region for EVs. This largely has to do with the way certain government programs that promote EV sales are structured. But the good news is this dilemma is suppose to change in 2018: “…when the law will begin to require automakers to sell their EVs in New England,” according to an article by the Boston-based, Conservation Law Foundation. This should give the folks at the NEAA reason to cheer.

And that’s just a few of the many organizations working on the behalf of EVs and the future of transportation!