Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Back From The Bay Area Green Drive Expo

Picture of me and #250 on the Jumbotron at The Green Drive Expo

About two months ago I was asked by Brad Berman of PluginCars.com if I would like to sit on a panel of experienced electric car drivers to talk about living with an electric car and answer questions about the MINI-E and BMW's electric future. Brad was putting together the Bay Area Green Drive Expo and wanted one of the event programs to be three experienced EV owners for a Q & A session. I agreed to participate and the event was last Saturday, October 8th at the Craneway pavilion in Richmond, CA.

The event went really well. There were about 3,000 visitors and I got a chance to talk to some long time EV advocates like Chelsea Sexton (Who Killed The Electric Car) and Marc Geller, one of the founders of Plug In America. The two other panelists with me were Darell Dicky and Earl Cox. Darell has a RAV 4 EV and Earl has a Tesla Roadster. Both of them leased an EV-1 when they were available(Before GM took them all back and crushed them) and are fountains of information about electric cars. Darell, Earl and I are all frequent posters on Plugincars.com so I have communicated with them online, but had never met them before the event. It was nice to finally meet some of the people that I have been messaging online for a while now. Being on the East Coast I don't always get to meet many of the hard core EV advocates since many of them live in California where electric cars like the EV-1, the RAV 4 were available for a while. 

I really had a good time. I talked with so many people about the MINI-E, the BMW ActiveE and also the 2013 BMW Megacity vehicle. BMW was not present so I felt like the defacto representative. There were people there that were really interested in BMW's plans for electric mobility. I handed out printed cards that had ActiveE information on them and directed them to BMW's website and Project i Facebook page for information. There was a Nissan LEAF there, as well as two Tesla Roadsters, a Ford Focus EV, a Think City, a plug in Prius, a Mitsubishi iMiev, a Smart car, about a dozen professional conversions, electric motorcycles and electric assist bicycles. Chelsea Sexton was the keynote speaker, Toyota national manager of advanced technology Ed LaRocque gave a speech as did Gil Portalatin of Ford hybrid systems. There were test drives in the parking lot and all of the sponsors and speakers got together for a nice dinner after the event. 

It was really a great expo. Marc Geller even drove me back to my hotel from dinner in his RAV 4 EV. I had never driven in one before so that was a pretty cool experience. For me the best part was getting to personally meet all the people that I have only communicated with by email for the past few years. Thank you Brad for extending the offer to me to be a part of it all.

UPDATE: Someone posted a video of Marc, Darell, Earl and me on Youtube. This was recorded right after we were on stage for our Q & A session. Below is the link to the video.

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