For years, Felix Kramer has been driving around in a converted plug-in Toyota Prius with "100+ MPG" plastered on the side. Going about his daily errands, on road trips and in general just using a plug-in vehicle well before most people knew what they were, Kramer learned that when you engage people about electric vehicles, they respond. This is the entire concept behind his new venture, Driving Electric.
As you can see in the photo above, Kramer's current fleet contains both a Chevrolet Volt and a Nissan Leaf, both adorned with pro-plug-in stickers and license plates. Kramer isn't shy. And he also knows the "EV grin" (the look that comes across someone's face the first time they drive an electric vehicle) is the best way to further his mission of getting more EVs on the road. Thus, Driving Electric's method is to spread the word "from driver to driver." Kramer told AutoblogGreen he knows drivers are the best salespeople:
So, starting this weekend at National Plug In Day and with the help of the Electric Auto Association, Plug In America and PlugShare, the Driving Electric website will go live. From there, the "EV curious" will be able to find a local plug-in vehicle driver who is willing to take them out for a personal test ride or drive. During the pre-launch ramp up, Driving Electric has found hundreds of drivers in over 40 states and four Canadian provinces. The EV curious can't find exact addresses, just pictures of the cars and contact information for the owners. As Kramer said "There's no substitute to someone having a drive. It's the action of closing the door and feeling the solidity. There's still the idea that these are golf carts. When they hear that 'thunk,' they realize it's a real car, and that changes peoples' minds."
The idea came to me because I discovered I was selling cars. The success of plug-in vehicles is not a sure thing. We could lose the tax credit, and if we do, it's a questionable thing. But even if we keep it, the automakers haven't been doing the best job promoting their cars.