New York’s Hudson Valley Revs Up for Electric Vehicles with New Campaign

Reader Contribution by Seth Leitman
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The first electric vehicle (EV) consumer education program in the Hudson Valley goes live this fall. For the growing population of consumers who are curious about EVs and want to learn more, Drive Electric Hudson Valley will provide consumer workshops, informational materials, and test drive opportunities throughout the fall.

A project of Sustainable Hudson Valley (SHV), Drive Electric HV is supported in part by the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA). It’s led by Seth Leitman, author and consumer advocate who reaches tens of thousands on social media and at special events as the Green Living Guy.

Leitman has worked for the New York Power Authority (NYPA) and NYSERDA on developing and implementing major marketing and infrastructure programs for electric vehicles. In addition, he test drives the greenest cars for reviews for other major publications regularly (including Mother Earth New).

Seth will partner with mechanical engineer and clean technology-bilingual outreach expert Hugo Jule to inform and inspire green living and technology enthusiasts throughout the Hudson Valley.

New York State Electric Vehicle Goal

SHV’s Executive Director Melissa Everett notes that “New York has made a commitment to getting 750,000 electric cars on the road by 2025. This program has been designed to close the gap between consumer curiosity and confidence, and create an opportunity for entire communities to climb the learning curve.”

Drive Electric Hudson Valley will offer a full schedule of workshops in community centers and at car dealerships, an informative website and experts available at outreach tables at commuter hubs such as train stations and Park & Rides.

In exchange for completing a simple survey on their knowledge and attitudes about electric vehicles, consumers will have an opportunity to test drive the cars and attend free workshops. Program Associate Hugo Jule, a bilingual energy educator with automotive, electrical and mechanical engineering background, will be raising the program’s profile by driving a demonstration VW e-Golf around the region.

 ‘Reforming the Energy Vision’ with Electric Vehicles

Drive Electric Hudson Valley supports Governor Cuomo’s Reforming the Energy Vision (REV) strategy to build a cleaner, more resilient and affordable energy system and helps New York State meet its goal to reduce greenhouse gas emissions 40 percent by 2030. The transportation sector is the State’s largest contributor to greenhouse gas emissions.

“Local community actions like Drive Electric Hudson Valley are vital to Governor Cuomo’s energy vision for New York,” said John B. Rhodes, President and CEO, NYSERDA. “We congratulate Sustainable Hudson Valley and all its partners on this effort to educate consumers about electric vehicles, which reduce greenhouse gas emissions and help address the challenges of climate change.”

Drive Electric Hudson Valley is modeled on the successful three year Solarize Hudson Valley program, rolled out by Sustainable Hudson Valley in partnership with Catskill Mountainkeeper. Research shows that many of the same people who use solar panels, also purchase or lease electric vehicles.

According to Leitman, “When you combine solar and an EV at home, the economics become really compelling, and so do the environmental benefits. That’s because the car’s operating costs are so low and you can charge from your solar panels.”

“At our forums, we will tell the whole truth about EVs — the learning curve for the consumer, the economics, and their huge contribution to cleaner air which consumers may not recognize”, said Leitman. “Even factoring in the electricity it takes to charge it, the EV is still cleaner than any other gas car on the road. As the NY grid gets cleaner, expect those benefits to increase.”

EV Sales Growth and the Future of Electric Vehicles

Electric vehicle (including plug-in hybrid electric vehicle) sales are growing exponentially, from around 10,000 in 2010 to over 800,000 today. The U.S. is the world’s largest market, and trends point to sharpening growth.

For example, battery prices fell 35% last year alone. Bloomberg projects that by 2040, long-range electric cars will cost on average less than $22,000, and 35% of new cars worldwide will have a plug.

Still, consumers need education and confidence-building, said Everett. Drive Electric Hudson Valley will address that need. Find out more at Sustainable Hudson Valley, or contact Melissa Everett at 845-514-8567 or Seth Leitman at 914-703-0311.

The Green Living Guy, Seth Leitman is a green living expert, celebrity and Editor of the McGraw-Hill, TAB Green Guru Guides. Seth is also an author, radio host, reporter, writer and an environmental consultant on green living. The Green Living Guy writes about green living, green lighting, the green guru guides, and more. Find Seth onhis website, and read all of his MOTHER EARTH NEWS posts here.

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