Posted 05.30.2014 in News by Christopher
The Monterey Electric Car Guest Drive was held in beautiful Veterans Memorial Park a forested area which, although just a mile from town, made us feel like we were deep in the woods on a campout. Julie immediately voted it her favorite venue for the Electric Car meet-up. Shortly after we arrived, Park Ranger John, a resident of the campgrounds, stopped by to say hello and check in on us. Hat tip for being on top of things and keeping the place looking so great.
I've wanted to meet Sharon Sarris, founder of the Monterey Bay Electric Vehicle Alliance, for a couple years now and I was delighted to finally be able to meet her in person. Sharon brought her black Chevy Volt which looked like a polished bit of Apache Tear glittering in the sun. Sharon graciously provided Guest Drives to folks who were interested in the Volt, although I suspect that the long drive we took in the Tesla Model S was pretty high on her agenda too. Sharon took me around to see some of the free 240v Level 2 charging stations that her MBEVA organization had coordinated the installation of. Sharon has been a tireless champion of EVs for many years and it was nice to see the result of her efforts: reliable, cost-free charging in the area to help spur adoption of zero-emission vehicles.
Thanks to new EV Quorum member and software engineer Antonio Juarez for making the drive down from Mountain View to join us in Monterey. Antonio's enthusiasm for the Tesla Model S was evident when he took a turn behind the wheel. We all deeply appreciate that Antonio also put his shoulder to the wheel when it came time to break camp, jumping in without prompt to help to pack up and lug the gear to the cars. Thanks Antonio!
Dan Marks also made a memorable drive in the Model S that day. Dan, a fixed wing and helicopter pilot who is attending grad school in Monterey, came to the Guest Drive to do some fieldwork for a paper he's writing on Tesla's business strategy. Hopefully he's going to get extra credit for that paper. It was really nice to see Dan's family having fun, playing ball on the lawn across the street from our campsite, while dad did his homework.
Al Chan and his dad also came to the meet-up to talk about the Tesla. Al has a Model S on order and his dad got interested in getting one too. They had a lot of good questions and I'm hoping to see them on the road in a Model S soon.
It was also a pleasure to chat with new EV Quorum member Ben Kohn, who had driven the Leaf and Fiat previously, but also wanted to log some pilot-in-command time in the Tesla Model S. I still smile every time I see that photo of the youngsters who came late in the afternoon gathered under the tent, with Ben looking every part the beloved professor among his grad students.
Speaking of students, UC Santa Cruz undergrads Alex DeGroat and Chris Loghman once again made a long trek, this time down the coast to bring the Tesla Model S from the hotel to the park (tough work I know, but I really appreciate it guys!), help setup, facilitate the event all day and then roll-up the show. Alex, when that transmission finally goes on your Audi, I'm gonna pretty much insist that your next vehicle is an EV, which do not have transmissions, or transmission failures. Chris, you are a gentleman and a scholar, and I'm glad you're there at UCSC to write the occasional paper for Alex and keep him out of trouble. Just kidding Alex!
The Monterey Electric Car Guest Drive held on Sunday, June 1. EVs on display and available to guest drive including the Tesla Model S, Chevy Volt, Fiat 500e, Ford Focus Electric and Honda Fit EV. A custom-converted Plug In Prius was also on display.
If you are interested in attending an Electric Car Guest Drive in your area, please request an ECGD in your city and reserve a place at upcoming Electric Car Guest Drive events through the club's registration form.