Monday, September 30, 2013

National Plug-in Day, Northridge CA

What a day!  Much thanks to Eric, the very young organizer that pulled this together in two weeks! For a moment I thought it was going to be just him and me with his Model S and my Focus Electric, but fortunately the registration picked up at a progressively increasing rate and it grew into a wonderful gathering.

Here are several pictures I took at the event. I was first inclined to caption each photo, identifying the vehicles captured in each image, but I think I’d rather talk about what captured me, which were the folks behind the steering wheels of some fine automobiles.

First and foremost, there’s Eric, the young man wearing a red Tesla shirt and a digital SLR camera. A man of action. I suspect many other EV enthusiasts, particularly over-tasked mid-life folk like me, living in the valleys north of Los Angeles, were wishing that there was an event in our area. Many of us have very busy Saturdays… be it AYSO games, little league, weekly foraging at the big box store, or in my case, all three. We needed a Sunday event close to home, and Eric made it happen. Thanks again, Eric!

Then there’s the owner of a beautiful white Model S that was tagged in the rear last Friday by a cargo van. No matter – he put his car on display anyway,  showing everyone how well one of the safest cars on Earth performs in a real-world freeway mishap. He also invited me to sit in the cockpit, then walked me through the controls and displays… I was simply in awe and am now convinced that the Model S is worth every penny of its asking price.

I truly enjoyed every story that fellow early adopters and soon-to-be early adopters shared with me. I learned so much about Teslas, LEAFs, RAV4 EVs, Volts, the 500e, and the Zeroes, much more than can be gleaned from a LED-backlit screen wired to the internet.

Naturally, I also enjoyed poring over every single vehicle at the show. I loved the fact that many were in their everyday state, not all were washed and waxed to perfection. The dirt bike had dirt on it. Trunks had files, boxes, and bags in them, which made it really easy to visualize just how much the back of a Model S or LEAF can swallow (a lot!).

In total there were over 30 vehicles and 100 people registered; actual turnout seemed to be on par with that. It was a low-key event… no media coverage, no goodie bags or free t-shirts, no sensational signage. Just a whole lot of sharing and camaraderie between enthusiastic owners, curious potential owners, and one awesome dealer rep from Woodland Hills Nissan.

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