International Drive Electric Week
From the National Drive Electric Week website:
“National Drive Electric Week, September 8-16, 2018, is a nationwide (USA) celebration to heighten awareness of today's widespread availability of plug-in vehicles and highlight the benefits of all-electric and plug-in hybrid-electric cars, trucks, motorcycles, and more. They are fun to drive, are less expensive and more convenient to fuel than gasoline vehicles, are better for the environment, promote local jobs, and reduce our dependence on foreign oil. Are you considering going electric? Come talk to owners who have successfully done so.”
This is the introduction to NDEW in the States, and despite NZ having celebrated this event for the past two or three years we have not been able to persuade the organisers of NDEW in the US to add the prefix INTERNATIONAL! But we do here—and brand it as IDEW—International Drive Electric Week!
Nevertheless, we celebrate this event in NZ and report our involvement back to the US, if only to show that we know how to run such events on our small Pacific Island!
From that introduction you can see that the emphasis is on getting non EV drivers to come along. Volunteer EV owners are on hand to answer questions posed. They share their EV experiences and discuss the pros and cons of moving from petrol/diesel to electricity as an automotive fuel.
As an adjunct, getting those interested parties to experience sitting in the driving seat and doing a short loop drive is also very beneficial to the cause.
Our dedicated band of EV champions, flung far and wide across NZ, have good experience in organising an EV event. We rely on them to get local involvement, attract people to the event, and hopefully get media attention to expand the reach of the EV message.
We, as the BNT, wish to invite local champions and EV drivers to create a local IDEW event in the window of 8th Sept to 16th September 2018.
Running an IDEW event in NZ
Any EV event needs:
- Volunteers to run the event
- Sponsorship hopefully
This is the largest hurdle to scale. The location needs:
- good access and visibility for the attendees,
- good parking for attendees
- easy ingress and exit routes for the drive route(s).
- preferably a charging point for your volunteer drivers within easy reach
Supermarket carparks have proved a winning location, especially if there is one of the ChargeNet chargers nearby! Such a location provides an everlasting supply of potential attendees as they come and go to do their shopping!
Be sure to seek permission from the land owner/Council before you begin advertising/settling on a day. Check also that you will be allowed a coffee cart/food caravan, if having one, and any power requirements. Don’t forget to thank and acknowledge the location owner, if appropriate.
We reckon the route(s) only need be a couple of kilometres in length, but preferably with easy turns and wide roads so new drivers are not too challenged or stuck in traffic.
Generate a Google map of the route—just on an A4 sheet to give to the accompanying passenger so that no-one gets lost! The same route is fine for both rides and drives:
Rides – ie: an EV owner takes passengers around the route.
Drives – a member of the public drives the EV with an accompanying person—be that from the dealer whose car it is, or a qualified volunteer. These drivers MUST fill in a form and their driving licence must be sighted and confirmed as valid.
Health and Safety
Download the “EV Test Drives & Rides Health & Safety Management Plan” template from the LTC Dropbox or request this from the Trust. This is a guideline for your event and should be filled in, printed out and brought along to the event. Ensure the volunteers are aware of their responsibilities.
As well as your EV owners and/or local EV dealers you will need bodies to help with safety/traffic direction and consent forms. Often the adult/teen family members of the EV owners are keen to help out. So ask!
Remember to thank your volunteers and provide them with a coffee or similar, and t-shirt/cap to wear on the day (supplied from BNT.)
The Trust can send out a copy of the form to each event organiser and then let that organiser arrange to photocopy sufficient forms. It is by far the easiest if you:
- have a dedicated form filler-outer stationed at a table under the gazebo/umbrella,
- This person is responsible for getting the proposed driver to fill out the form
- Then the BNT person takes a photo on their cell phone of the form with the driving licence placed on the bottom of the form in the indicated area. These images are then sent to Amy Roper (amy at betternz.org) along with the event report at the end of the event.
The Trust recommends that all valuables are left at home or kept on your person. EVs need to be cleaned out and personal objects removed from boot and seats.
The trust is able to help with expenses, but it is great if you are able to source sponsorship for advertising, gazebo, coffee cart or ice cream truck, incidentals, etc. Such sponsorship helps the Trust to make the EECA funding go further!
As major sponsors of IDEW, the BNT will provide collateral in the form of brochures, flags, t-shirts and caps, and we also have a limited number of 3mx3m EECA branded gazebos. These are situated in Dunedin, Christchurch, Wellington, Palmerston North, Taupo, Hamilton, Auckland and Whangarei. Be sure to request collateral in plenty of time to allow for delivery.
EV car dealers usually jump at the chance to get direct exposure to potential customers. Therefore getting dealers to supply cars for drives is very useful indeed, especially as few EV owners want to let the public drive their car. The Trust views the exposure a dealer gets as having value, and therefore would ask that dealer to offer a small sponsorship. Any Trustee would happily advise what a suitable dollar amount would be. The dealers involvement is then recognised in all the event marketing and publicity.
You may be able to piggy back another existing event and thereby reduce the need for food stalls, etc. The Trust has had events at Farmers markets for instance. Similarly, an adjacent café may be sufficient.
The Trust has funding available to cover event costs that are appropriate. There is a funding request form that must be submitted to Sean as Treasurer before the event can be sanctioned. Again, any Trustee would happily discuss issues with you before you commit to an event..
Any funding agreed to will only be paid once your event report, which should include the numbers of public rides and drives are sent in to Amy as the BNT liaison with EECA.
Advertising can be in the form of: shop window flyers with a catchy picture, community radio announcements, local papers, local Council event notices & timetables, etc. Check deadlines as most of these will have long lead times—especially Council printed media.
Social media: Facebook, EV Owners groups, Neighbourly, Meetup, etc.
Please advise either Amy or Rachelle at the BNT of your event so that it can be promoted on the LTC website calendar and Facebook page.
Current BNT Trustees
Sean Dick – Treasurer – firstname.lastname@example.org
Kathryn Trounson – Chair – email@example.com
Sigurd Magnusson – firstname.lastname@example.org
Carl Barlev – email@example.com
Steve West – firstname.lastname@example.org
Amy Roper – email@example.com
Rachelle Tilsley – firstname.lastname@example.org
Forms found in Dropbox at LTC 2018 RoadTrip-Champions/Source Forms
- Driver Indemnity Form
- EV Test Drives & Rides Health & Safety Management Plan
- Vehicle Safety Checklist
- Hazard/Risk Register
- Funding Request Form
- Event Report Form
- New Zealand Electric Car Guide by Sigurd Magnusson at electricheaven.nz
- EECA brochures