Monday, October 17, 2011

Plug In Day: NYC 2011

On Sunday October 16th I  headed out to Pier 54 in Manhattan for the first annual National Plug In Day. From Hawaii to New Hampshire, in 26 cities across the country, electric vehicle owners, city representatives and the inquisitive public came together to learn and share. It was interesting to hear how far along NYC is in the push to clean up its vehicle fleets. Agencies such as the Department of Sanitation, the NYPD and the Parks Department had vehicles on site to showcase the city's commitment. I was also impressed that the Department of Long Term Planning and Sustainability is being so proactive in its outreach to help educate consumers, even if their website ( is a bit difficult to find (try searching for the Office of Long Term Planning and Sustainability...)

Next time, I'll center the pic,
and leave Mike in the shot!
While it was good to see all of the positive energy and interest, I'll admit, the highlights were mostly geeking out with some EV enthusiasts. I first chatted with Mike from . He showed off his converted Miata and shared how he'd help someone convert a Mitsubishi Eclipse a while back. I started wondering if that was the best way to venture into EV ownership - to convert my 2000 Eclipse (affectionately known as Grimmy XP...don't ask), but then I noticed Mark from EnerTrac and his bikes.

If you can live without the roar of ICE motorcycles and instead want to focus on the freedom and speed, Mark can probably help you. The bikes he builds at EnerTrac are sleek, fast, and have variable regen braking! As always, range varies with your credit card limit, but they are still pretty compelling. Even with the more modest lead-acid battery packs, the range is still more than I could get for the same money on a conversion of the Eclipse. No surprises there- the Eclipse is a surprisingly large car - though you can't tell from inside. I thought I had it all figured out. I'd get a bike to weave in and out of NYC traffic, head up to Bear Mountain, it would be glorious...but I'd be alone. No passengers... On to the Mini E and Tesla Roadster...

I've already started planning
for my witty vanity plate

If you follow any EV blogs, Tom's Mini E #250 blog should be on your radar. It was great to be one of the many people who caused Tom's voice to go hoarse (see his coverage of the event here). While his Mini E could definitely hold at least one passenger, my girlfriend seems none-too-fond of the Mini (or Smart Car, or Fiat. See a trend?). So Michael Thwaite's Roadster seems like the likely winner for me- at least for now, while I am still in the dreaming stages of EV ownership.Nevermind the price tag or the fact that they've gone out of production. This is a day-dream blog entry. Leave real life for the next post.

It was great seeing so much interest from the public and chatting with so many great members of the EV community. Here's to a great kickoff event for National Plug In Day in NYC!

Oh, and thank you weather-gods. It was, indeed, beautiful out.

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