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Colorado drivers could use an EV “coach” to juice their buying habits – Colorado Springs, Colorado

Colorado Springs, Colorado 2021-05-12 05:20:00 –

One of the rarely explained tasks of electric car coaches is to ensure that people can’t see ghosts.

Julia Moravcsik likes to take EV interested people to the parking lot of the US Atmospheric Research Center in Table Mesa above Boulder to demonstrate the “smart summon” mode of her car. With the all-electric Tesla, the driver can stand on the curb and press the button on the key fob, and the parked car retreats with no one holding the steering wheel and arrives at the waiting driver. To do.

Not all other drivers are impressed or excited by the electric ghost ship docked on the curb. In fact, when the ghost Tesla slowly overtakes them in the parking lot, some people get so angry that their overly realistic blasphemous expression persuades Moraf Cheek to quietly and temporarily promote the EV. I will stop you.

Tesla enthusiast Julia Moravsik will use her mobile phone to call the 2018 Tesla Model 3 (autonomous driving) at her location in the NCAR parking lot of Boulder on May 7, 2021. (Special to Kathryn Scott and Colorado Sun)

Therefore, EV coaches only wait for the next chance to explain EV to an informed driver. “Summon mode”, which is not available on all EVs, is just one thing Moraf Cheek wants to talk about.

“I had no reason to use it, but it’s still fun to see the car just move around towards you,” Moraf Cheek said. “Some of the features are interesting, some are cool, some are useful, but it’s like a car never gets old.”

Moraf Cheek’s unpaid semi-official “coaching” position for aspiring EV owners is part of an expansion of a public-private partnership to spend taxpayers’ money promoting the benefits of electrifying Colorado cars. already exists and uses state and federal grants and donations from car dealers to answer questions and connect people to “coaches.”

The Colorado Energy Department has also signed a $ 550,000 contract with Edelman Public Relations for an “EV Education and Awareness Campaign” aimed at increasing state opportunities. 940,000 electric vehicles on the road by 2030.. Governor Jared Polis’s Greenhouse Gas Pollution Reduction Roadmap states that the number is the key to the overall emission reduction needed within a decade.

Colorado was at a pace of selling about 15,000 electric vehicles and plug-in hybrid vehicles According to the first quarter registration results from car dealers, in 2021.

Bonnie Trowbridge, Executive Director of Denver Metro Clean Cities and Drive Electric Colorado, said: “If you leave it to the market, people will soon start to understand the benefits and so on. But we are actually moving the needle from a 10-year process to a 5-year process, which benefits from air quality. And the benefits of the grid will be realized in a short period of time. ”

Transport is a very important part of stopping climate change, EV adoption is a very big part of transportation reform, consumer sentiment is a very big part of EV adoption, and of course government marketing. Needs promotion, he is the mobility director of the Boulder’s Rocky Mountain Institute, a non-profit organization for managed energy and climate analysis.

EV electrified charging station NCARFlatirons
An electric vehicle charging station in the parking lot of the National Atmospheric Research Center. Installing chargers everywhere to convince EV shoppers is a big part of the state’s marketing business. (Special to Kathryn Scott and Colorado Sun)

“Gross, who previously worked for GM and other automakers, said,” It’s very clear that anyone who has worked in the industry for a long time should have an all-hands-on-deck strategy. ” I will.

Marketers, coaches, non-profit analysts and others all mention three important areas for raising awareness about EVs and educating consumers about the current reality.

  • charging. Potential EV buyers want to see the world of gas stations in every corner and find out where there are alternatives to charging EVs. Moravcsik, Gross and others spend a lot of time reminding them that almost all of the charging they need is done in their home garage through an existing 110-volt outlet that squeezes the car all night.

Meanwhile, the state is working with utilities and the private sector to add thousands of fast charging stations along interstate highways and along major roads and traffic areas for errands and commuting. I am.

  • Availability and price.. Consumers are not yet convinced that there are many EVs in the lots they buy. Or the EV will be in the form of an SUV / pickup that Colorado buyers want. Or it could be priced comparable to a gas vehicle at a price sufficient to answer long-standing doubts. Gross admits this is a difficult task. The wide range of electric vehicles that Americans anticipate will not be available until around 2027 at prices that are currently used to paying for gas. In short, government agencies need to continue to put pressure on them. To increase tax credits for EV buyers, emphasizing what already exists.

Also, if “coaches,” websites, and dealers don’t pay $ 3 a gallon for gas, change oil every six months, and don’t handle thousands of dollars of repairs on combustion engines, consumers’ annual operation We need to emphasize how much the cost will go down.

  • Reliability and performance.. Some people interested in EVs claim that batteries spontaneously ignite, complex electronics are constantly out of order, or smaller vehicles drive like low-power sewing machines. There are also people. So the marketing and education aspects need to double the low cost of long-term maintenance of EVs, which have far fewer moving engine parts than gas cousins.

Moraf Cheek and others prefer to emphasize EV drivability as well as the sportier Tesla. Even the smallest EV sedans and hatchbacks on the market offer much faster and more responsive acceleration than comparable gas engines. Electric cars have no delay when stepping on the accelerator, and the highway entrance becomes a sport rather than a nightmare.

Moraf Cheek tells people that she usually doesn’t try new technologies first, but her EV wasn’t a risk. This was very unusual for me. Before Model 3 came out, I signed up for an invisible sight. I did it based on two things. The first is the environment I’m very concerned about, and the second is safe. ”

Drive Electric Colorado quietly tests its website, launches educational networks such as coaches, and keeps in touch with consumers seeking more answers from current EV owners. As Gross says, publicly funded websites don’t run “Super Bowl ads,” but they pay for advertising and work with dealers.

More important is the word-of-mouth network, Trowbridge said. Organizers leverage a network of EV enthusiast clubs in different parts of the state. Club representatives, for example, testified at a hearing at Colorado Parks and Wildlife as to whether Rivian would be allowed to install quick chargers in all state parks. (they are.)

“Believe it or not, there are many,” Trowbridge said of the club. “They are really evangelists. They really just want people to know about EVs and most of the time they’ve been driving them for a while. So we take advantage of those groups.”

EV Tesla Charging App Electric Charging Station
Dashboards and phone apps that show EV drivers where their next charging station is also key to educating potential buyers about the reliability of the Colorado EV network. This dashboard map is from Tesla. Maps of other popular charging stations can be found in an app called Google Maps or PlugShare. (Special to Kathryn Scott and Colorado Sun)

From time to time, coaches say getting rid of potential EV buyers is as easy as downloading an app. With Google Maps on almost everyone’s cell phone, typing “charger” in the search bar immediately pops up a grid of the nearest public chargers. Trowbridge loves the free app PlugShare because it provides consumer ratings for the workability of a particular charger as well as ease of use and provides details about the comfort of the surroundings.

If everything else fails in the coaching session, Moraf Cheek can show her “ghost” mode or mention other regular bonuses that make her laugh. Tesla likes to provide new horn sounds when sending new computer instructions.

Her car “has a few dents and doesn’t look as clean as it was when it was first obtained, but it always looks new because it’s constantly updated like a computer.”

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