Insistence by the California Air Resources Board that electric vehicles (EVs) could be the solution to California’s air-pollution problems and the development of the ZEV (zero emissions vehicle) mandate in 1990 resulted in the development of General Motor’s EV1 and similar electric vehicles.
EVs suffered a setback by the elimination of this mandate in 2003 and the crushing of many of these cars, but the electric car has not been killed—far from it. Its fate may best be left for us to bring to the forefront as an integral part of our renewable energy future. The electric car lives in our driveway and in the driveways of many today, and its time has come.
I work with a small group of EV enthusiasts—the Humboldt Electric Vehicle Association—to encourage and aid people in our community who are interested in purchasing or converting a car to electricity. Our goal is to replace gasoline-engine cars on the road with electric vehicles.
One of the best things that EV activists can do is to connect with other EV activists in their communities and develop support networks. It helps to meet on a regular basis with this group of folks to share information and build upon ideas for community outreach. Among the ideas we’ve worked with are:
- Bringing vehicles to fairs, car shows, parades, schools, and other events to showcase electric vehicles.
- Organizing workshops or conversion projects, and inviting the public.
- Working with local and regional governments to establish electric vehicle charging stations.
- Writing articles and letters to the editor about EVs.
- Sending out press releases when opportunities arise.
- Establishing a Web site for our local EV group.
- Encouraging local governments to incorporate EVs into their fleets.
In the end, driving your vehicle is absolutely the best way to let others know that EVs are viable, affordable, and user friendly.