Wylie, my Tesla Model Y, got a day in the South Florida sunshine yesterday as part of the Earth Day celebration at the Oxbow Eco-Center, a nature and heritage site operated by the Saint Lucie County Environmental Resources department. This was sort of a big deal, since the pandemic had interrupted this annual event for the past two years.
My wife and I are friendly with one of the people in charge of the Oxbow Eco-Center, and when she learned we drove a Tesla, she invited us to bring it to the Earth Day event. We were happy to accept her invitation. The purpose was simply to show the car and let people ask questions. How much does it cost? Where do you charge? Is it true it takes 12 hours to recharge the battery? Can you tow a trailer with one? Don’t you have to replace the battery ever two years? That is just a sampling of the questions we were asked during the course of the day.
One thing we noticed was that most of the youngsters in the crowd knew more about our Tesla than their parents did. One young fellow, about 8 years old, was dragging his parents along behind him and pointing excitedly. “Tesla! Tesla! Tesla!” he shouted. Everything you want to know about the EV revolution was in that young boy’s eyes. EVs are the future. Our children will wonder what took all the rest of us so long to see what they could see so clearly.
Not everyone was so welcoming. One woman told us emphatically the she would never own an electric car, and when we agreed, she looked puzzled. We were dissing her? Not at all. Well, maybe a little. Another woman told us pointedly she had read an article in the newspaper written by an attorney who claimed electric cars would cause insurance premiums for all condo owners to increase.
When I told her that was not our experience in our condo community, she insisted it was true because an attorney said it and he was a professional! When I informed her I was an attorney and in my experience, if you ask three attorneys a question, you will get five different answers, she got huffy and stalked off. People are so interesting.
We spent about 5 hours talking to people about electric cars and found most people were quite interested in them. They seemed to appreciate that individuals like us would take time out of our busy lives to talk to people about the electric car experience.
Our message was that electric cars are different, so they take some getting used to. But once you make the adjustment, most people very much like the EV experience. They like that when the light turns green, they can be halfway down the next block before the other cars get up to speed. They like the “one-pedal driving” that regenerative braking makes possible. They like the convenience of plugging in at home and never having to visit a gas station. And, of course, they like that electricity costs so much less than gasoline. All in all, we had a very pleasant day being ambassadors for the EV lifestyle, and showing people that electric cars exist and real people actually drive them.
One side note: Our friends at the Oxbow Eco-Center reached out to all the local car dealers to invite them to participate in Earth Day. None had the slightest interest in doing so. What a shame. One of the speed bumps on the road to the electric car future is car dealers, who are still pumping the brakes on the transition to driving on electrons. Perhaps they sense they will become irrelevant once the EV revolution is complete.
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