How do you do informal electric vehicle advocacy? Like, when approached in parking lot with the "is that electric" questions?

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reikiman's picture
Joined: 11/19/2006
Points: 8444

It's been happening to me for so long that I'm used to it. The person approaching in the parking lot asking "is that electric?" It's even happened while driving or riding down the street - including one time when someone from three lanes over at a stop light was yelling "is that electric" -- "yes" -- "where did you buy it"? (that was a custom electric motorcycle conversion) -- "I built it" -- "can you build me one??!?" And, yes, that conversation was from three lanes away.

Anyway.. this has surely happened to everyone else here.

How do y'all handle this situation?

I think there are five typical questions but it seems the typical encounter only covers three of them. And I can't always remember what all five of the typical questions are:-

  1. How fast does it go?
  2. How far does it go?
  3. How long does it take to recharge?
  4. How much does it cost?
  5. ...? others?

What questions do you typically get? What are your answers?

Do you have information cards you hand out? If so, what's on it?


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- Electrified Electra Townie, 1971 Karmann Ghia (since sold), Kia Soul EV

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pcarlson1979's picture
Joined: 02/20/2011
Points: 465
Re: How do you do informal electric vehicle advocacy? Like, ...

With 6 EV's I've always had one or more of the following thrown at me:

* How fast
* How far
* How much to buy
* How much to charge
* How long to charge
* Where did you buy it

I am always expecting "why did you buy it" but oddly enough, no one has asked that...yet.

Each and every time, the ending comment is always, "cool, ok seeya"


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Re: How do you do informal electric vehicle advocacy? Like, ...

America, outside of California, is a little different. The only question I've ever gotten was a couple of casual questions about the ZEV - from people who thought it was a gas scooter. I don't remember any others in the 10+ years I've had EVs.

MEroller's picture
Joined: 09/26/2011
Points: 847
Re: How do you do informal electric vehicle advocacy? Like, ...

The two typical questions I get asked here in southern Germany are, in this order

  1. How far does it go?
  2. How long does it take to recharge?
  3. and occasionally

  4. How fast does it go?

Apart from colleagues at work I have had one complete stranger in front of a big hardware store ask far more and in-depth questions than I would have bargained for, and it turned out he was an old-time EV-enthusiast who had been on an EV-"sabatical" for some time and wanted to be updated a little on the state of EV-affairs :-)


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Re: How do you do informal electric vehicle advocacy? Like, ...

The folks in Colorado seem to have the same questions:
How far does it go?
How long does it take to recharge?
and occasionally
How fast does it go?

I keep some business-card sized cards on me with the e-moto's specs, pricing, and an email address that I can hand out to people. Those cards have come in handy for giving to people that ask me questions at traffic intersections while we are waiting for the light to change; or, when I'm in a hurry.

Everyone asks how far it will go; but instead of giving a quick mileage answer, I let them know the range handles 90% of my transportation needs, then I give them two distant points that I can easily reach. Then I ask them how often their travels are between those points. That seems to do a better job of conveying the usability of EVs better than just giving some number like 40 miles of range.


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