Thursday, December 23, 2010

EV News Roundup Week of 12/20

This Week's Top 3 EV New Stories in Order of Sexiness:

 #1 BRANDON HOLLINGER and SAAB 96 on REVENGE OF THE ELECTRIC CAR "Revengers" List

Everybody knows how I feel about this car.  Also loved Brandon's radical truth-speaking: "... this disruptive technology promises to de-centralize power." Please check out our local boy gone national.
A puff piece, but nice e-bike porn.  Who doesn't like looking at electric motorcycles?

#3 Tesla Motors Will Make $60 Million From Toyota's 2012 Electric RAV4

A puffy economic forecast (illustrated by the fact that though the headline says "make" they really mean "earn revenues").   And no, I do not think the new RAV-4 is sexy (though it was cute back before it blew up like a balloon -- and those original RAV-4 EV's are still going strong, so they were adorable AND had staying power).   No, what's sexy about this news is the fact that Tesla and Toyota have hooked up.  I love it when two of my friends, much to my surprise, get together and become a couple.  The unlikelier the match the better! Also liked the fact that this article emphasizes Tesla's capitalization strategy, which I continue to find strategically imaginative and worthwhile in pursuit of their goal to bring out the White Star. 

 #4 Top EV Story, in a nod to the season -- this one is just for fun, and well-worth checking out:


 The rest of the news round-up for this week:







In the video Fabio is the "face" for gas cars, but irl he seems to be being positioned as the face for EV's (or how else to explain his appearance on Fox News plugging them)?  Oy, can we have more Chelsea Sexton please!

and in more wide-ranging transportation & clean energy news 



Local Calendar Notes:

The next EEVC meeting will be on Wednesday, January 12th
7 PM in Room 49
Plymouth Whitemarsh High School
201 East Germantown Pike
Plymouth Meeting, PA 19462

Saturday, April 30, 2011 (Rain date May 1)
10 - 4 p.m.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

100th Blog Post! Brandon Hollinger Is My Hero - and Weekly EV News Roundup

I've been saving up my Brandon Hollinger story for too long.  Now that he's officially come out as an EVAmerica conversion shop I have to devote my triple-digit-blogpost to promoting his work. 


I'm gonna confess right now that I think this car is sexier than the Tesla by far!  You've seen this lovingly-restored Saab 96 on this blog before (it debuted at the EV-ent in Macungie back in 2009, was displayed at the PA Energy Fest in September 09 and 10, and won an award at the 21st Century Automotive Challenge in May of this year).  But you may not know that Brandon turned up at our Energy Fest workshop back in September 2008 without any cash on hand and talked his way into the class saying, "I didn't know there was a $15 fee, I promise I'll send it in -- I already know I'm going to convert my car."  Of course I let him in, and I was pleased a couple of weeks later to receive the promised check in the mail.  I wasn't expecting to see him rolling his finished conversion into Macungie the following May!  He's not just an honest guy, he follows through on what he says he's gonna do. 

Brandon says if he  can convert a vehicle anyone can.  A musician by trade, he had never done more than change his own oil before he saw Who Killed The Electric Car and became an EV convert.  He researched online and used resources like (ahem, self-plug) our one-day workshop to transform this classic and beautiful vehicle into battery-electric operation and keep it on the road as a daily driver.  Brandon is well into his 2nd conversion -- a Mazda Miata which will sport a lithium-ion pack -- and has gotten some terrific press coverage of his efforts, which you can admire on his brand-new website www.amprevolt.com.   Although he believes anyone can convert their own vehicle with a little self-education, he has officially opened up shop as BH Electrics to perform conversions for those who just don't want to do the work themselves, and I am delighted to endorse his new initiative.  

The big EV news this week was the release of the trailer for the Who Killed the Electric Car sequel.  Go Chris Paine and Chelsea Sexton -- they said they'd go for it when their Facebook page reached 10,000 fans and hit the magic number last Friday!









Sunday, December 12, 2010

Tesla Revisited -- And 2011 EV Conversion Workshops Confirmed


So here are those promised photos of Jenny in the Tesla -- one very nice look at the car (with representative Michael Sexton dancing out of the shot), and one featuring my great big EV grin (which is what it's all about)!  

Thank you to Melissa, the lovely event coordinator at the Centre Bridge Inn in Stockton NJ, for documenting the moment -- and now I can finally catch you up on the other BCR news from last week.  

 2011 EV CONVERSION WORKSHOP DATES CONFIRMED

March 26, 2011
One Day Mini-Workshop 
at the Green Jobs Academy in Bristol, PA
9 a.m. - 1 p.m. 

Registration Open Now through Bucks County Community College



 July 25-30, 2011
Six-Day Hands-on EV Conversion Workshop
co-sponsored by the Green Jobs Academy
to be held at Middle Bucks Institute of Technology
Jamison, PA


Oh man -- what an exciting visit I had to MBIT.  Back in 2006 when I was first calling around looking for a space to host the 2007 workshop, I spoke to the then-Administrative Director of this very facility.  He was very interested in the project, but at the very end of our phone conversation he confessed that their auto bays were scheduled for renovation during the summer of 2007 and would not be available.

The fully-renovated auto labs are very impressive.  There is a welding booth right in the shop, a fully-wired classroom, and state-of-the-art automotive tools.  Both Rich Hansen, their Facilities Manager, and Nancy Messick, the Director of Adult Education,  are very enthusiastic about hosting our workshop, and I was thrilled to learn that MBIT is in the process of building a solar farm on its property. Rich seemed pleased that I was excited about this, and justifiably proud of their efforts so far.  

This week he will attend the final zoning meeting to sign off on the new solar zoning ordinance which was required.  The township initially resisted the plan on the grounds that solar panels would constitute '"impervious surface" (as if the school were proposing building a parking lot).   This made me laugh pretty hard, especially when Rich said that he had to explain to them that it was more like a few thousand people holding umbrellas on a football field.  Yes, the rain will still hit the ground, yeesh!  

MBIT is the only high school in the country that is a member of the Green Building Council.  You can bet that I talked up the electric-cars-and-solar-power-go-great-together concept pretty fervently.  I'm a little excited, can you tell?


Thursday, December 9, 2010

EV News Roundup Week of 12/6


This is a great interview -- wonderful background info on WKTEC, plus Chelsea on Tesla, GM's Volt initiative, and the Revenge of the Electric Car movie due out next spring

 Major auto rental company enters the car-share business -- and commits to electric!

Southern Oregon University finds it's cheaper to convert existing vehicles than to buy new. And their goal is to convert their entire fleet to alternative fuels by 2016! 
 





Video: 2011 Nissan Leaf assembly process detailed
Delivery to begin in Japan and select U.S. states this month!

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Yes I DID Drive a Tesla Roadster!

Oh boy oh boy yes I did, thanks to the kindness of Tesla rep Michael Sexton, who squeezed me on Friday afternoon when it turned out all the Saturday drive slots were taken, answered all my questions knowledgeably, laughed at my humorous EV riffs and said he was going to steal some of them, and was incredibly tolerant of my initial nervousness about being behind the wheel of a $110,000 sportscar for the first time in my life. 

So, meet the Tesla Sport Roadster model 2.5.  I quizzed Michael all about the differences in this version, and he pointed first to the new nose.  Vents have been added on the front and sides to increase the aerodynamics of the vehicle; the gill-like side vents are clearly visible here in front of the wheel.  In this photo you can also see the somewhat makeshift extension-cord-through-the-window arrangement he's using to top off -- turned out the Center Bridge Inn didn't have an accessible 240v plug, so he was just using ordinary household current, but while I was there the electrician arrived to remedy matters in time for tomorrow night's charging.  Now that is an accommodating host facility! 

This is the 2nd time the Center Bridge Inn has hosted a Tesla test drive event, and Melissa -- the friendly, helpful manager who saved me from despair when my camera batteries gave out in mid-session by taking the all-important Jenny-behind-the-wheel shot -- tells me that she's so sold on EV's that she's working on installing a charging station for their customers.  For her the "aha!" moment came when she calculated how much it was going to cost the hotel cost to charge the visiting Tesla overnight.  It came out to $4.00 -- and that's for 200+ miles of range!  She was amazed at the miles-per-dollar value of an EV.  Even when our electricity prices zoom up in PA next year, fuel-free driving will still be a bargain!

Although the Tesla is no bargain, the price of the 2.5 hasn't gone up -- just the range.   The major interior improvement was to the touchscreen video controls; the screen has doubled in size (to 7").  It was very visible which -- as you'll hear -- was helpful to me on the drive itself. They've also added HD radio and a couple of other electronic bells and whistles; upgraded the steering wheel and made minor changes to the seats.  Michael said the nice thing about Tesla's flexible, software-based production approach is that they don't have to wait for a whole new model year to put in improvements -- as soon as they innovate, they can start implementing improvements on the vehicles as they're rolling out, and this will scale up even as their manufacturing volume increases. 

That exemplifies what I think of as Tesla's corporate intelligence, as illustrated by their business plan from the get-go: to begin by targeting the high-end market in order to generate the capital to bring a more affordable sedan into production.  If you ask me, this gutsy start-up succeeded in embarrassing the major car companies into bringing mass-market EV's to the public sooner rather than later -- and that makes me a fan.   

Here's a close-up of the charging set-up.  The Tesla does not use the new J1772 connector that was approved as a standard last fall by the Society of Automotive Engineers -- Michael rather ruefully confessed the company had hoped their connector would become the standard (after all they brought the first production EV to market way ahead of GM & Nissan!), but they'll soon be bringing out an adapter so that Tesla owners will be able to use the new standard public EV chargers.  Not seen in this picture are the flashing lights that surround the coupler as it's charging -- a handy "I'm fueling up now" signal, though Michael said that feature turns off when you lock the car, in case you want to charge without drawing any special attention to the vehicle. 

Hard to imagine how the Tesla could fail to attract attention whether the charging outlet is blinking or not.  Outside and in, it's pretty sleek and sexy.  Also, very very littleI was amused to discover I didn't even have a place to put my bag -- I had to stow it in my own car before I finally got behind the wheel, nervously adjusted the driver's seat and mirrors (both fully manual), and pulled out of the Centre Bridge Inn to go for our cruise.  I was too cowardly even to attempt a left turn out of the inn's driveway, and took the easy right instead, over the bridge to Stockton, NJ and then down Route 29 towards Lambertville.  After having driven the mini-E I was accustomed to the fact that every time you lift off the gas, the electric motor stops (also true on the e-Van, but since that doesn't have regen you still keep rolling -- in the mini-E and Tesla, you slow down almost to a stop). 

Frankly, I was so nervous at first I could barely make it up to the speed limit.  Initially I had trouble even seeing my mph (I kept accidentally looking at the indicator telling me how many amps I was pulling instead, which was hilariously misleading since it varied from 9 to 50), but with a few taps Michael pulled up a larger display on the video screen and I firmly dedicated myself to not being too hideously wimpy.  By the time I turned around in Lambertville I had mustered up the nerve to deploy some of the Tesla's famed power in order to make my left turn ahead of oncoming traffic and then get up to speed.  It felt like this: ZOOOOOOOOOM.  (Imagine a very quiet zoom.)  I didn't quite achieve what Car and Driver once wrote about the Tesla's acceleration ("Slings you forward like a rubber band off the finger of God") but I certainly outdid anything I've ever experienced in a Volkswagen Vanagon or even in my ridiculously overpowered Highlander Hybrid.  Wheeeeeeeeee! 

Some days it is really, really fun to be an EV activist, and this was one of them.  Oddly, however, this was not the highlight of the week here at Bucks County Renewables!  I will post the Really Big News later this weekend --  along with the all-important Jenny-behind-the-wheel-of-Tesla shot, which is still in transit.  Stay tuned!


Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Test Drive a Tesla in New Hope This Weekend! & EV News Roundup

This just in -- what an opportunity, and right in my neck of the woods!  I have a major schedule squeeze on Saturday but if they can fit me in early I'll be there ...

Go Electric Roadster Tour
Saturday, December 4, 2010  
10am - 4pm
The Centre Bridge Inn
2998 North River Rd
New Hope, PA 18938
Test Drives Available by Appointment Only
To RSVP to this event, contact Michael Sexton at 646.996.3316 or msexton@teslamotors.com   

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Dan Monroe did not let Thanksgiving distract him from rounding up the latest EV news last week, but I failed to post it.  Whoops!   I'm sure nobody reading this missed the big story that the Chevy Volt was named Car of the Year by both Motor Trend and Automobile Magazine, though ... 

Here is this week's news (along with a sprinkling from last week):

Amping Up the Drive to Reduce Gasoline Consumption, GHG Emissions


Who Are The EV Charging Station Players?


London's Comprehensive Electric Vehicle Plan Takes Shape


Essex Credit Corporation to Finance CODA Sedan Purchases


Students Drive Electric Car From From Alaska to Argentina


Nissan LEAF Gets 99 MPG-e Rating from EPA


Volt Now Bests Prius in Overall Fuel Economy


German Firm Introduces All-electric Fiat 500


Honda Unveils the Fit EV Concept and a Plug-In Hybrid Platform 


Carlos Ghosn: Electric vehicle profitability may come "within next 3 years"


Coalition Issues Fleet Electrification Roadmap


Graphene supercapacitor breaks storage record


Bonus blast from the past: Before Who Killed the Electric Car?
The BBC's Samira Ahmed's 1996 report on the new all-electric EV1 reminds us that simply converting to EV's will not take care of automobile congestion on our highways; we also need to invest in public transportation.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Weekly EV News Round-up and More!

A few links I collected this week overlapped with the usual fine collection from Dan:


Folks should know that Alexandra Paul was inspired to make this set of videos by none other than our own Doug Stansfield, President of the NJEAA -- it's true, he badgered her with phone calls and is credited in the last line of the "making of" video!


Coverage of the local ev-ent supported by members of the EEVC.

In case anybody reading this blog doesn't know it, I am dying to get a chance to drive a Nissan Leaf.  

From Close the Loop, LLC:  Their most recent newsletter.  This is a reliably excellent and comprehensive resource for the reduce, reuse, recycle fans among us.  The woman who puts it out once nicely lent me her paper cutter while I was struggling to produce Bucks County Renewables magnets for distribution at Energy Fest, so obviously she is one of the good people of the universe.  Despite my obsession with the prospect of  owning a production EV (with heat! and working range gauges, please!) one of my favorite aspects of EV conversion is that it involves repurposing a conventional automobile instead of consuming the raw resources needed to make one new.  In particular I appreciate the folks who keep alive such beautiful, classic vehicles as Brandon Hollinger's Saab 96 or, well, the weirdly-beloved-by-some-fetishists and classic-if-that-implies-squarishly-massive Volkswagen Vanagon .  But you knew that already.

From NJEAA list member Peter Crisitello:  http://www.befrugal.com/tools/electric-car-calculator/   (Peter notes: "If they don’t list your EV just click on Electric and it goes to other and you key in your own stats.")

Strictly speaking the piece I have opted to put at the top of this week's round-up from Dan is sheer car porn.  If like me you just can't get enough of that stuff be sure to check out  A Battery Beats at the Heart of These Muscle Cars from back in October before you get back to more respectable news consumption.  Let's face it, while I carry a flag for the squarish massiveness of the Volkswagen Vanagon I also dig me my sexy sports cars.  I will take issue with the remark in the above review that the car company Lotus is mainly known for the Esprit featured in Pretty Woman.   Excuse me, not among the folks I like to hang around with.

On to the news!






And in wider-ranging alternative energy news:








Monday, November 15, 2010

Yes! 4 Chevy Volts in Montclair

I don't quite know how Tom Moloughney got away with putting this license plate on his mini-E, but he did ... and the bumper sticker on the rear windshield says, "Starve a Terrorist - Drive Electric."  His opinionated little mini-E #250 is often parked in front of his Montclair NJ restaurant, Casa Bella Nauna, but on Saturday morning it was joined by an wondrous sight to behold -- 4 Chevy Volts all parked in a row, plus a Tesla thrown in!
The Volts were just released last Tuesday to members of GM's "Consumer Advisory Board" -- only 17 of them in the entire country -- who have been asked by GM to drive the car for 90 days and provide feedback in advance of the vehicle's roll-out into retail showrooms.

The 4 New York-area CAB members all eagerly agreed to bring the vehicles to Montclair to share and the morning featured a constant flow of enthusiasts, among them me.



Mike, Lyle, Robert and Dennis, the 4 lucky Volt drivers standing to the right of the camera man in this photo, graciously chatted with visitors and gave interviews to the press and video bloggers.  They also seemed to enjoy comparing their own initial experiences with the Volt.  Reports were overwhelmingly positive.  Everyone raved about the futuristic-goodie-laden electronics (my favorite line: "My daughter says it's like driving an iPod") and the feedback the vehicle gives the driver about efficiency.  They also seemed to enjoy the opportunity to puzzle out what some of the interior bells and whistles were together.  The soundtrack to the above photo went something like "Does anyone know what that little black box mounted on the windshield is?  I thought it was for my EZ-Pass."  "Nah, I think that's the XM antenna."

 
 Speaking of EZ-Pass, check out this Green Pass!  Yes, hybrid and EV-driving EZ-Pass users can qualify for a 10% discount on tolls on the New York State Thruway  and a whopping 50% discount on off-peak rates on all Port Authority bridges into NYC

 
Event organizer Tom Moloughney got to take one of the Volts for a spin (that's him grinning below), and you can read his review and a report on the meet-up on his always-entertaining blog,  Mini-E #250.

Also be sure to visit gm-volt.com, CAB member Lyle Dennis' creation and the online gathering spot for Volt fans and followers.    (There's even a shot of me chatting with Mike in his 4 photos at the end.)

Thanks to the 4 CAB members who so generously shared their time and cars.  I approached each and every one to invite them to the April 30, 2011 EV-ent in Macungie (by which time they should be driving their own personal Volts).  Our goal is to have both a Volt and a Leaf on display at the Macungie EV-ent, showing how dramatically the EV world has changed in the three years since our inaugural show! 

In May 2009 we had only converted EV's to show.  Not a single Tesla had yet been delivered to PA (that would happen later in the month), and the leaseholders on the mini-E had yet to take possession of their vehicles.  In 2010 we had a mini-E and two Teslas at our show!  In 2011 we're anticipated showcasing another historic shift by displaying, in addition to the two-seater, sporty, high-end production EV's, the 4-door, family-size, mid-price-range sedans that will be rolling into showrooms and people's garages by the end of the year.  That's a pretty dramatic change in 3 years -- so you can see why for me, seeing 4 Volts parked in a row at a restaurant in Montclair NJ was an event worth traveling some distance for.  It was a historic day!






Thursday, November 11, 2010

Seriously, Breaking EV Local News - Volts (yes, plural) in NJ!


Tom Moloughney, a regular on the NJEAA list and one of the lucky few to extend his mini-E lease to two years, reports that he will have four Chevy Volts at his Montclair, NJ restaurant on Saturday, Nov 13.  The owners are New York members of the Chevrolet Advisory Board who have just received their Volts from GM a few months ahead of showroom release for evaluation and early feedback purposes. 

Tom writes, "It's the first time ever that Chevy Volts will be on display without GM engineers or reps there. The CAB members will answer questions about the cars and probably let people sit in them and maybe even take some people for a spin, but they are still discussing that. So for anyone interested, it's this Saturday from 11am to 2pm. Please park on the street so the parking lot doesn't fill up and we don't have room to walk around and take pictures of the cars. My MINI-E will be there as well as a Tesla owned by NJEAA member Michael T."

Details for "anyone interested"  at http://minie250.blogspot.com/ 

Interested?  Good grief!  I'm tragically freaking depressed that I have to be at my daughter's choir concert at 2 and am scheduled to drive a further 120 hybrid miles after the concert is over, which I am afraid rules out an additional 60-mile jaunt to Montclair, though I can't say I'm not tempted.  After all, I can always fall back on my rationale that the only way to wean the US off this crazy addiction to fossil fuels is to contribute to using them all up.  (I trot this justification out when sneaking up the thermostat a few degrees or having one of those drove-150 miles-and-ended-up-back-where-I-started days.)

Okay, I'm over my tragic depression, having left the possibility of attending ever-so-slightly open, and am just pleased with myself that I managed to post the above announcement as soon as I received it, so as to maximize the number of people who might find this, as I do, just the tiniest bit thrilling.   Oh boy!  Volts, plural!  (She bounces up and down with excitement.)  This announcement is worth sending to the entire BCR mailing list and encouraging people to pass on.  Folks, it's really happening -- The Return of the Electric Car!


Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Weekly EV News Round-up


Best U.S. Cities For Electric Cars, Says GE, Are The Ones Where Everyone Already Drives












And in wider-ranging alt energy news:

 








Tuesday, November 9, 2010

It's All Happening Tomorrow, Wed Nov 10th

Philadelphia's first public EV charging station will be dedicated in the morning.  The ribbon cutting ceremony will take place at 10 an at South Port Plaza’s Liberty’s Service Station, located at 1600 S Christopher Columbus Blvd. Philadelphia, PA 19148. Of course there will be EV’s on display, and the charging station will be a ChargePoint supplied by Coulomb. One of the new standard J1772 chargers was passed around the charging station discussion I was moderating at the Energy Fest in Sept, and everybody who held it, including me, just grinned at the feel of the future in our hands.  Now's the chance to see one of those babies hooked up and charging!  For more information please call organizer Tony Bandiero at 215-990-8200.

EV charging station dedication
When: Wednesday, Nov. 10th, 10am
Where: South Port Plaza Liberty Service Station
             1600 S Christopher Columbus Blvd Philadelphia PA

In the afternoon, Smith Vehicles invites you to a Ride & Drive and information session.  These are manufacturers of the world's largest all-electric commercial trucks. Early adopters of these zero-emission Class 4-6 trucks include corporations such as Coca-Cola, Staples, Frito-Lay, AT&T, Pacific Gas & Electric, and Kansas City Power & Light.

Smith Ride & Drive
When: Wednesday, Nov. 10th, 3-5pm
Where: City of Phila. Water Pollution Control Plant
            3900 Richmond St., Phila., PA 19134

But wait, there's more!


Over in Piscataway, NJEAA President and EAA Board Member Doug Stansfield will be giving a lecture to graduate students


"What Causes Recessions and Why is the Electric Car the Answer?"
When:   5:00 p.m. (NJEAA meeting to follow presentation to grad students)  
Where: Auditorium --Center for Advanced Infrastructure and Transportation http://rumaps.rutgers.edu/?id=C71112
            Rutgers University - Busch campus
           100 Brett Road, Piscataway, NJ, 08854-8058

and back in PA, the closer event of the day:

Monthly meeting of the EEVC, held the second Wednesday of each month except for July and August: 

When:  7 PM in Room 49

Where:  Plymouth Whitemarsh High School
            201 East Germantown Pike, Plymouth Meeting, Pa 19462
Notes: Park in the back of the high school. We usually post a big EEVC sign at the entrance. Enter and turn right. The room is the first on the left.

Man, when the local EV scene gets hopping it really gets hopping.  Web round-up of this week's EV news will go up tomorrow, but I can't document a single one of tomorrow's activities!  Hope to have news & photos to share from attendees! 


Wednesday, November 3, 2010

As Promised -- Finally -- Weekly EV News Round-up Commences!


A million thanks to Dan Monroe of the EEVC, who's been posting this wonderful collection of news items from a variety of sources weekly to the EEVC mailing list, and hasn't bugged me once about the fact that I publicly announced that I'd start putting them up on the blog back in September!






Upcoming Events: 

The next EEVC meeting will be on Wednesday, November 10th

7 PM in Room 49
Plymouth Whitemarsh High School
201 East Germantown Pike
Plymouth Meeting, PA 19462 

For those on the other side of the Delaware,  the NJEAA will be holding its November meeting at Rutgers University on Wednesday, November 10.  It will follow a 5 p.m. presentation by chapter President (and National Electric Auto Association Board Member) Doug Stansfield to a graduate class at Rutgers' Center for Advanced Infrastructure and Transportation.  Doug will be presenting research he has done on the correlation between oil prices and recessionary impacts to our national GDP.  He says, "The results are quite 'shocking'!  Come and find out what I have learned and why now more than ever before, electric cars are needed!'

NJEAA members and all EV drivers are welcome to attend the presentation, display their vehicles, and participate in the NJEAA meeting afterwards. 

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Bucks County Renewables Goes Political

RE-ELECT PATRICK MURPHY TO CONGRESS

I don't usually do this, but with Election Day just a couple of days away I wanted to take this opportunity to share with you Bucks County Renewables' enthusiastic support for Democrat Patrick Murphy, the congressional Representative for all of Bucks County, parts of Montgomery County and Northeast Philadelphia.  Those of you who know me know that I'm a registered Green and don't automatically vote for Democrats, but this is one Dem I support wholeheartedly.  

 After serving in Baghdad 2003-4, Murphy was the first Iraq war veteran elected to Congress, He took on a leadership role in the debate on Iraq and Afghanistan and has been one of the sole representatives to consistently question our country's vast expense and waste of human resources in the Middle East.   In his first month in Congress, Murphy introduced the Iraq War De-Escalation Act of 2007.   

An advocate for clean energy and environmental jobs, Murphy has put money where his mouth is by founding and finding funding for the Green Jobs Academy in Bucks County PA.   A coalition of the 5 Bucks County technical high schools with Bucks County Community College and a variety of private industry partners, the Green Jobs Academy provides both long and shorter term training programs geared toward workers looking for new skill sets in the green and sustainability industries.  If you click on the "Coming Soon" link at their website you'll see that electric vehicle conversion is one of the topics on the horizon -- look for an official announcement soon of upcoming lectures and workshops offered by yours truly & Saint Bill! 

This is a phenomenal opportunity to extend the outreach of our program and I have been very pleased with the support from Green Jobs Academy and their superb administrative assistant, Clorece Kulp, as we work towards putting this initiative into place. 

I had the chance to meet with Patrick Murphy at a fundraiser a few weeks ago and  I told him all about our EV Conversion workshops and thanked him for initiating the Green Jobs Academy.  He called me out by name during his speech, which was awesome, but I blew it and didn't ask for a photo op afterwards.  Oh well!   

I was pleased to find that I liked Murphy personally.  He's a wonderful, inspiring speaker and you can see that he's an affectionate family man who manages to keep his family around him while busily campaigning -- his two children, wife, and parents were all in attendance. 

So if you're in Murphy's district, and especially if you're an independent wondering which way to go in the coming election (which has been long on negative campaigning and short on issues), please know that he's a friend of electric vehicles, green job creation, and the environment.   I'll be casting my vote for him with real enthusiasm, and I hope you'll join me.