Saturday
Aug182012

Renew America Roadtrip speaks at Ecotality Public Forum Announcing the EV Project Expansion into Philadelphia

 

 

 

Public Statement

Michael L. Craner – Co-founder Renew America Roadtrip

 

Date:  August 16, 2012,  Location:  National Constitution Center, Time: 10:00 AM EST, 

 

Good morning.  My name is Michael Craner and I drive an electric vehicle.

 

However, this is not a 12-step program meeting and I am not ashamed to say my electric vehicle gets the performance of a Maserati at over twice the fuel efficiency of a Toyota Prius. The performance of your EV may vary, but the efficiency numbers are pretty consistent for all electric vehicles.  Up to 10 times less expensive to operate per mile than a traditional gasoline vehicle, quiet, efficient, zero emission – what have we been doing?  Why aren’t we all driving electric?

 

In the Spring of 2009, our country was reeling from the effects of poor choices in our energy and economic policies.  Our new president had challenged us all to take ownership of some of these problems by volunteering our time to make a difference in our local communities through an initiative he called “Renew America Together.”

 

My wife, a physician in family practice, and myself, an engineer and patent agent, took that challenge by combining our causes for charity work and energy policy reform into a high-profile, mass-media publicity event we called the “Renew America Roadtrip.”  After a tremendous number of setbacks and considerable work, the Roadtrip made history in July of 2009 when my wife and I completed America’s first volunteer, green, charity drive from Times Square in New York City to Seal Beach, California in an all-electric sports car – a Tesla Motor’s Roadster – the only production electric vehicle available at the time.

 

We held press events in each major city along the route, doing what we could to raise money for the charities we worked with, and raise awareness that there are alternatives to our addiction to dinosaur-fueled vehicles AND there are ways we can avoid fighting wars for oil in the name of freedom.

 

For in reality, energy independence is inseparable from national security, and our freedom depends more on breaking our oil addiction than it does on fooling ourselves that we can satisfy an ever increasing thirst from a dwindling supply – particularly when powerful rivals are competing for the same scarce resource. 

 

In the summer of 2009, driving an electric car across the country was indeed a challenge.  Not only were the public facilities for power limited but the lack of a standardized connector for electric vehicles made it difficult to know whether we would be able to adapt to one of the variety of non-EV-legal plugs that were available. 

 

People were also hesitant to help us, concerned that we would “set their garages” on fire by plugging in.  We found that what was standard for a power connector in one part of the country was not standard in another.  However, by bringing along multiple adapters, convincing facilities such as hotels to install standard power receptacles in advance of our arrival, utilizing the fairly consistent 240V/50A at RV parks, and plugging into a dryer hookup of a homeowner or two, we managed to get by.

 

People always ask me “where do you plug in?”  That really is a rather odd question when you think about it.  “Where can’t you plug in” should be the question or perhaps, “Why can’t I plug in?” Electricity is, after all the most ubiquitously distributed power source in the country.  It is only our “culture of oil” that blinds us to this reality.  We have laid the wires to electrify all of our homes and businesses.  Why we burn fuel for trucks to haul dangerous, flammable, and noxious chemicals into our neighborhoods when we already have electricity at every point we need it, should have been posed as a thought question to someone a long time ago.  Why we have standards for power connectors that are good enough for RV hookup but which specifically say “not for use with electric vehicles” is at least a little suspicious.

 

Nissan has a great commercial that you can see on youtube which does a good job of addressing our love affair with oil.  It is called “What if everything ran on gasoline?” (for example, our hairdryers and coffeemakers).

 

But the reality has been that while the electricity is available, forces that be have seen to it that it is not tappable for use by electric vehicles.  All that was needed was a standardized outlet accessible in the garage or exterior of the building, but that was not available, even as recently as a year ago.

 

We even failed to get support from places we most expected it.  Certain pro-EV organizations challenged the wisdom of us attempting such a drive cross-country, saying that it would potentially accentuate the limited range of EVs and heighten so-called “range anxiety.” 

 

But the good news is that with the help of other grassroots EV organizations such as the Electric Auto Association we did get across and I like to think we reached at least a few people with our “use less oil” message.

 

Now it is 2012, I drive my Roadster when the weather is nice and my Leaf is a daily commuter.  Both are powered by solar on my house.  We have a standardized and legal EV connector called EIA J1772, and a fleet of new electric vehicles from both new and incumbent players is available.

 

AND as evidenced by this forum today, through progressive programs such as the EV project, public charging facility availability continues to grow.

 

As my wife says, “Green is the new Black,” and when I drive my Leaf around town I feel like a character from the Jetson’s or Meet the Robinsons – these vehicles - clean, efficient, and quiet, truly are part of a soot-free utopian future.

 

If I may, I would like to pre-announce an opportunity for all Philadelphians to experience that future by joining us at the Franklin Institute on Sunday, September 23, for a celebration of electric vehicle technology as part of the Sierra Club’s National Plug In Day event.

 

And remember our Roadtrip mission, “Keep Driving America Green”  Thank You. 

 

Thursday
Apr192012

Renew America Roadtrip hosts "Revenge" movie parties in MidAtlantic Region 

Media Advisory

Renew America Roadtrip (RAR) is hosting and facilitating "Revenge of the Electric Car" movie parties in conjunction with their sponsors and affiliated charities throughout the MidAtlantic region this year in support of the Sierra Club and the President's "EV everywhere" initiative. See  http://renewamericaroadtrip.com/events-and-campaigns/

RAR started off this series of showings with a private party at their solar-powered eco-friendly home this past Sunday April 15th, where roughly 30 Pennsylvania residents and VIPs gathered to watch this new award-winning documentary, receive a tour of the home's 15.75 kW solar power plant & Geothermal HVAC system, and see RAR's two electric Cars - a Tesla Roadster and a Nissan Leaf (both vehicles types of which are featured in the film).  Exton Nissan, Advanced Solar Industries and Ground Source HVAC were also present, Nissan providing test drives in their Leaf, and the latter two answering guest's questions regarding solar and geothermal. RAR also raffled off rides in the RARdster to a lucky few guests. See pictures at http://renewamericaroadtrip.com/gallery/revenge-of-the-electric-car-movie-party/

This Saturday, RAR will be part of a "Revenge" movie event hosted by Exton Nissan in Exton, PA. 

Exton Nissan, Renew America Roadtrip, and Advanced Solar Industries (ASI) invite you to "SHIFT__the way you move and power your commute" with a movie party featuring a screening of the award-winning film "Revenge of the Electric Car" and test drives in the new all-electric Leaf.  In addition, learn how you can power your commute with solar energy from ASI and see RAR's Tesla RARdster and the Leaf in exhibition "acceleration" demos against Exton Nissan's fastest and most economical gasoline-engine competitors. Raffles will be held in support of charity for test rides in the Tesla RARdster and a limited number of "in-car" movie viewing seats, and food and drinks will be supplied.  Movie times are 10:30 AM to 12 PM and 12:30 PM to 2PM with rides, demos, and dicussions throughout.  More information about the Leaf and Exton-Nissan can be found at: http://www.extonnissan.com/.  More information on Advanced Solar Industries can be found at:  http://advancedsolarindustries.com/ 

Watch RAR's event page http://renewamericaroadtrip.com/events-and-campaigns/ for announement of numerous events, exhibits, and lectures coming up in the MidAtlantic region including a number of addtional free showings of "Revenge."

In "Revenge of the Electric Car," a follow-up to director Chris Paines’ 2006 film "Who Killed the Electric Car," filmmakers go behind the factory and board room doors of Nissan, GM, and Silicon Valley start-up Tesla Motors to chronicle the global resurgence of electric cars.  "Revenge" follows the race to build the electric vehicle that will win the hearts, minds, and dollars of the public.  

As part of a national Sierra Club initiative in the week leading up to Earth Day, hundreds of select national screenings of the film will be held. These events will include demonstrations of electric cars, discussions among EV owners and their neighbors about what the switch to an electric vehicle means for the driver (savings at the pump) and the nation (reduced emissions and oil dependence).

Last Sunday's screening took place at the home of Michael & Maddy Craner and their son Jose.  Michael is a technology executive and renewable-energy evangelist, Maddy is a resident in family medicine involved in charity work, and Jose is a middle school student and basketball enthusiast.  Michael and Maddy are also co-founders of the Renew America Roadtrip, a environmental advocacy initiative.  All organic hors d'oeuvres and refreshments were provided by Cucina Verde and Maysie’s farm.

The event ran from roughly noon to 3:30 PM with the film playing from 12:30 PM to 2PM.  There was social time and introductions before the film and tours and electric car fun afterwards with an expert panel discussion immediately following the film.

The film trailer can be seen at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jkRIu5a6Sb0

ABOUT THE FILM:  “An entertaining roller coaster ride…well shot and sharply paced (with) genuinely human drama. Wall Street might want to take notice of how quickly tides can change.”

 - Mindy Farbee, Los Angeles Times

 ###

 About the Sierra Club: The Sierra Club is the nation’s oldest and largest grassroots environmental organization with 1.4 million members and supporters and chapters in all 50 states.  The Sierra Club’s national electric vehicles campaign advocates for a switch to EVs as one important way to reduce emissions and cut our addiction to oil.  www.sierraclub.org/ev.

 

About Exton NissanExton Nissan is a premier Nissan dealership serving Chester Springs. They are also the regional leader in sales of Nissan’s new all-electric Leaf.  They have a strong commitment to green practices and offer four level-2 J1772 standard charging stations to the general EV public. www.extonnissan.com

About Advanced Solar IndustriesWhen you switch to clean, locally produced, solar energy you become part of the energy solution.  Leasing options make this easy.  When you lease, Advanced Solar Industries will install your system, and perform troubleshooting and maintenance as necessary over the lifetime of the lease. At the end of the lease term, you may either renew the lease, buy the equipment at fair market value, or request that the system be removed at no cost to you. http://advancedsolarindustries.com/

 

About the Renew America RoadtripThe Renew America Roadtrip™ (RAR) made history in July of 2009 when it completed America’s first volunteer, green, charity drive coast-to-coast in an all-electric sports car - a Tesla Motor's Roadster. RAR continues to raise money for charities and awareness of renewable, sustainable, and eco-friendly practices through an on-going series of educational/advocacy campaigns and appearances throughout the country. www.renewamericaroadtrip.com

About Cucina Verde: Cucina Verde offers culinary wellness, catering, and education in the art of wholistic nourishment through locally grown organic cuisine under the guidance of gourmet chef Annmarie Butera Cantrell.  Annmarie, a graduate of the Natural Gourmet Institute for Health and Culinary Arts continually studies the connection between nutrition and vitality and helps clients creat more vibrant balanced lifestyles through their food choices.  http://www.cucina-verde.com

About Ground Source HVACOur company has been helping customers reduce their dependence on gas and oil for over 27 years. Now that ground source heat pumps have become a viable alternative, Ground Source H.V.A.C. is proud to offer the most cost-effective solution to your home energy needs.  http://www.groundsourcehvac.com/

Friday
Apr062012

Renew America Roadtrip planning to Drive Congress Green in their Tesla RARdster

RAR planning to help select Congress members experience the benefits of green via white-knunckled, clean-air-in-the-face rides in their all-electric Tesla RARdster convertible, and they ain't blowing smoke.  See map and get involved -   http://renewamericaroadtrip.com/events-and-campaigns/

Wednesday
Apr042012

Steam Punk past meets Electro chic Future

Michael Thwaite - RAR team member, EV advocate, owner / founder operator of the tesla motor's club (http://www.teslamotorsclub.com/), and all around cool punk offered up his future-chic Tesla Roadster in a visual of pulling Thomas Dolby's steam punk retro time machine into the future at a recent tour event for the pop star.  See Michael's interview of Dolby here: http://www.greencarreports.com/news/1074708_time-travel-with-thomas-dolby-musician-electric-car-pioneer and Michael being interviewed by Patch News here: http://lansdale.patch.com/articles/sellersville-blinded-by-science#video-9461092

Tuesday
Apr032012

Renew America Roadtrip seeks sponsors for 2012 initiatives including Driving the Congress Green campaign

See more at http://renewamericaroadtrip.com/events-and-campaigns/