Yesterday I was able to participate with 42 other Electric vehicles and other enthusiasts at the combination Southern CA GM Volt meetup and EV Rally. Friends on the GM Volt Consumer Advisory Board extended an invitation to all of the EV enthusiast community to join them. The rally start point was at the ironic location where the EV1s were originally put on trucks to be taken to their doom. More than a dozen Chevy Volts, 10 Teslas, RAV4-EVs, Mini-Es and others hit the highways to Irwindale where Edison has a consumer education center.
Since we had morning plans, we decided to go direct to Irwindale to meet the group there. We though we would arrive early, plug in, then grab some breakfast. But that was not to be. As soon as we rolled into the parking lot, we were greeted by a very enthusiastic team Edison. Ours was their first Leaf to use the beautiful solar powered charging station canopy. They have 8 Chargepoint stations with J-1772 connectors (as well as 120v standard outlets). They also had 4 SPI charge points with two Edison RAV4-EVs parked (which needed to be moved later to make room for all to come). I pulled out the Chargepoint card I had never used, waved it at the station and it said all was ready. Plugged in and started talking to people.
Pretty quickly one of the other Mini-E former drivers pulled up in his converted Volkswagon Pickup and others started to arrive. Next up was Jerry in his GM Volt, then pretty soon they really started to roll in. I saw via Twitter that there were 40 EVs leaving Burbank and let everyone know they are on the way. The Edison folks looked a bit nervous at that. But they told us all was ready and they were going to have lunch and tours for us all.
Then of course the Teslas arrived first. It was an amazing sight to see all these electrics cruise in.
Quickly followed by some of the original RAV4-EV drivers.
That was followed by a large group of Volts and a several of the Mini-Es driven by friends still in the lease program such as Todd and his lovely daughter in Mini #140 (who will really grow up knowing nothing but EVs).
We all chatted a long while, had lunch, took a really interesting tour where Edison showed us how we can use the smart meters with our chargers in the coming years to really manage our usage. Then we went out and everyone started doing test drives in each others cars. I gave rides to some Volt drivers, future Leaf owners, and other enthusiasts. Stefano Paris had the gas version of the Monotracer there as well and gave Bill Nye and others a ride in it.
Overall, a really great day out in sunny Southern California. Great to meet members from the MyNissanLeaf.com forum and see many of my Mini-E friends. Everyone was really hopeful, enthusiastic, and eager to see everyone enjoy their electric driving experience. We all realized how much we have in common and how far we want to go still.