It’s been a whirlwind two weeks for the Granite State Clean Cities Coalition (GSCCC) with participation in six National Drive Electric Week events, the Charge Forward Electric Vehicle (EV) Relay and co-hosting the Bi-State EV Connector with Vermont Clean Cities. The common thread through all of these events is the celebration of advanced vehicle technology.
Our Coalition is a forum for sharing experiences and opportunities to get hands-on with the fuels and vehicles that propel us forward. Since Governor Sununu dedicated the full 15% of the Volkswagen Settlement to EV charging stations infrastructure, there has been growing interest in how to prepare for EVs.
In New Hampshire (NH), electric vehicle sales increased more than 55% from 2017 to 2018. That trend is expected to continue in 2019 and 2020 as new models are made available. Major automakers such as Volvo, Ford and General Motors continue to press forward with EV commitments and earlier this year Shell, a major petroleum investor, acquired the EV charging network Greenlots.
In response to stakeholder’s requests for guidance and education, the Coalition jumped into the EV conversation. It began with National Drive Electric Week (NDEW), September 14-22. Governor Sununu dedicated this week as “New Hampshire Drive Electric Week,” and we made every effort to carry the torch.
Through collaboration with Drive Electric NH, NH Sierra Club and NH Auto Dealers Association, the Coordinator captained the 9th NDEW Concord Event in front of the State House. Thanks to support from our stakeholders, we had a diverse display of EVs for our showcase, as well as solar/charging options for interested attendees.
Jay MacFarland of Hampton Ford Hyundai drove over from the Seacoast in a battery electric Hyundai Kona, the ever-reliable Mike Mercer of Banks Autos showed up (in spite of a cold) with the battery electric Chevy Bolt, and ReVision Energy generously sponsored our event (thanks Ron Leland and Eric Zulaski for exhibiting EVs and solar-powered EV charging solutions).
Special thanks to Eileen Sleeper of Heritage Harley-Davidson, even though they weren’t able to showcase HD’s new electric motorcycle, the LiveWire, they provided valuable support in the form of a child’s Iron E electric bicycle for our raffle. Congratulations to our prize winner, Jeff Manning.
Additionally, we presented at and/or staffed the NH Department of Environmental Services and Clean Cities table at events in the Upper Valley (thanks, Tim), Exeter (thanks, Liz), Plymouth, Nashua and Portsmouth. It was great to chat with EV owners and enthusiasts. Attendees were particularly impressed with the decreasing prices and increasing range of the new models.
On Monday, September 16th, the GSCCC Coordinator shared in the thrill of a first-of-its-kind Charge Forward EV Relay across NH. Spearheaded by Brianna Brand of Clean Energy NH, our Drive Electric NH coalition supported this unique event featuring favorite NH celebrities, like Greg Kretschmar of Greg & The Morning Buzz Radio Show, driving different EV models, like the Audi E-Tron and Mitsubishi Outlander, to favorite NH destinations equipped with charging stations.
The day began at LaPerle’s IGA in Colebrook, our northernmost charging station location, and ended with a Press Stop in Portsmouth. There were several Press Stops along the route including the NH Motor Speedway (NHMS) where David McGrath, the Speedway’s General Manager, and a caravan of EV owners drove laps around the track. At each Press Stop, the baton was passed to the next driver who zoomed off to the next destination in a different EV.
The GSCCC Coordinator spoke at the Concord Press Stop and shared about the good work of Clean Cities and the Coalition in the petroleum reduction space. The Relay ended with a celebratory afterparty at one of NH’s Destination Electric participating businesses, The Portsmouth Brewery. You’ll be dreaming about their cheesy pita dip with tomato and bacon!
The excitement carried through to the Bi-State EV Connector event on Friday, September 27th at Hypertherm in Lebanon, NH. GSCCC collaborated with Vermont Clean Cities to plan a full day agenda, targeting fleets, businesses and municipalities in the Upper Valley of NH/VT, and showcasing the electrification of transportation, technology and equipment.
The weather was mild, as vendors showcasing electric vehicles, utility vehicles and lawn equipment, charging stations and solar technology, including a BYD battery electric bus, lined the sidewalk and parking spaces along the front of the building. About a hundred participants shared in the opportunity to connect and reflect on EV efforts and advancements. Special thanks to the Sponsors and Vendors, Presenters and Moderators, without whom this event would not have been possible!
From propane powered school buses and compressed natural gas transit buses to electric vehicles and charging stations, if you are considering an alternative fuel project, or have one that you implemented, please reach out to Granite State Clean Cities Coalition – they are your New Hampshire Clean Cities Coalition!
Visit their website: GSCCC Website Link. The coalition is a wealth of information and resources and they are happy to assist with technical, promotional or administrative support. Drop them an email at: Jessica.Wilcox@des.nh.gov.
Read more news from Granite State Clean Cities Coalition here!