09 May 2012

The Electric Car Factor

(The following is a guest post by Lanny who bought his Think on April 19, 2012.)

EV gathering in Marlyland
The area around Washington, DC has a thriving community of EV enthusiasts. We have the Electric Vehicle Association of DC which has been around for over 30 years and pulls a good crowd to the monthly meetings. New groups are forming, such as the Capital Leafs and the Maryland Volt Meetup Group, around the affinity for those cars.

On the first Saturday of each month, members of all of these groups have an informal gathering in a small business development called Maple Lawn that has six charging stations and a nice little coffee shop. The gathering on Saturday was particularly exciting because we had a surprise guest. Jim McL and his wife happened to be driving through the area and stopped by for a bit. This blog is a great resource for those of us who are smitten with these fun little electric cars and it was great to meet Jim in person and introduce him to the group.
We had a good variety of vehicles on Saturday. Besides my new Think City, there were a number of Leafs and Volts, a 2002 Toyota RAV4 EV, an electric Ford Transit Connect van, one of the new Mitsubishi iMiEVs, a Vectrix electric scooter and an electric bicycle that Jim took for an EV grin-inducing ride.

One of the best parts of these get togethers is the chance to see other EVs, talk with the owners and compare notes. There was a lot of interest in the Think. Many were surprised how solid the construction is and how roomy it is inside.

Ford/Azure Dynamics Transit Connect EV

My wife and I are starting to get used to the attention the Think attracts in parking lots and at charging stations. We recently met a couple who own a Tesla Roadster and they spoke of "the electric car factor" whenever they plan a trip to the store. They figure in extra time for answering the inevitable questions about the car to curious and interested folks in the parking lot.

Unsuspecting Plug In Prius Owner

Many of our group had unplugged and left for home when the remaining few of us spotted a brand new Plugin Prius circling the charging station at the far end of the lot. None of us had seen one before and we all started walking. The gentleman was struggling with the charging station and suddenly looked up to see all of us converging on him. Our questions began, one after another. Then he told us that this was his first attempt to use a public charging station. He didn't have a card so Jeffrey in our group lent him his. His wife spotted our "cute" Think and asked if it was electric. My wife gave her the tour.

We apologized for taking so much of his time and delaying his shopping excursion. After all, we were just interested in his electric car! This new plugin owner just got his first lesson in "the electric car factor."


  1. Nice meeting you Jim and always happy to lend a card when in need even when not free, be it Sema, Chargepoint, Blink, CarCharging Chargepoint, ChargIT (and that's expensive but sure as my pleasure since you drive a LEAF or iMiev!), Beam Chargepoint, OpConnect or just wave this "The EV Connector" card around and see what happens.

    BTW, I also write about electric cars at http://aecn.timehorse.com/

    1. Hey Jeffrey, my good friend from Virginia.

      You seem to have Jim confused with someone else. He proudly drives a Th!nk not a LEAF. Not that there is anything wrong with a LEAF. It's just that some of us prefer plastic. ;-)

      I glad you came to the Maple Lawn Gathering. I'll see you at an upcoming EVADC meeting.


  2. EV gatherings can be a big factor in spreading the word! The line-up of cars that went there looks really good! You can exchange ideas about maintenance and other useful information with different owners, which is a big plus to everyone who went there. Truly, no man is an island because knowledge grows when you're with other people. :)