Looking in the Rearview Camera Back Over a Busy 2021
As the year winds to a close, we take this opportunity to give our sincere thanks to all who have joined us for our meetings, events, advocacy, and information efforts. We look forward to seeing you in 2022!
2021 was a disappointing year for climate legislation with our top priorities of direct sales, TCI, and adoption of the California emission standards for medium and heavy-duty vehicles not making it through the legislature.
The EV Club worked with the other members of the CT EV Coalition on these efforts but the Club was the tip of the spear on direct sales. We wrote blog posts and op-eds such as here (Hartford Courant)and here (CT Mirror). We called, emailed and met with legislators and gave testimony in support of SB 127, a bill we call EV Freedom. Our social media team did an outstanding job promoting direct sales and debunking bad PR meant to sow confusion and doubt about direct sales. Club member Will Cross – also Communications Director for Tesla Owners Club of Connecticut – built a platform, evfreedomct.com, to educate and inform the public about the bill, allow readers to show support by signing a petition and using social media to reach legislators and share excellent EV footage debunking many of the myths being advanced about direct sales.
The EV Freedom Bill made it out of the Transportation Committee but did not get called for a vote in the Senate. We were told that we were 1 vote shy. The bill will be reintroduced by Senator Haskell in 2022.
We held a well-attended press conference, as seen in these photos, with state officials, environmental organizations, labor, and others speaking.
We had support from Tesla and Lucid and were graced by the presence of a Model Y and the Lucid Air. Also, Rivian brought a pre-production R1T to Hartford and gave rides to legislators, followed by a small reception for club-members in New Haven. This was the vehicle’s first appearance in the state.
We thank the bill sponsors, Senator Haskell and Representative Steinberg, our friends at the CT Tesla Owners Club, and all of our members and others who reached out to their representatives, wrote an op-ed, or gave testimony before the legislature.
The only way this bill will pass is if constituents keep the pressure on. 2022 is an election year and it is the time to make our voices heard. We will be asking everyone to reach out again. Each year starts anew. If you have contacted your representatives in the past, memory is fleeting; it is important to do so again. Our state’s ability to meet its EV and emission reduction goals depends on it, not to mention that it has overwhelming consumer support. We will be communicating more specifics about the policy agenda for 2022 as they become available.
The footprint of the club continues to expand. We have now become a go-to source for press when comments about EV-related news are sought, including a recent, not as yet published article from CNN.com. The EV Club has also been invited to sit on the policy committee of the (national) Electric Vehicle Association (formerly the Electric Auto Association) even though we are not a chapter. The EVA formally endorses direct sales and will be another resource for us.
- The EV Club again partnered with Sustainable Fairfield to stage an EV Parade from Westport to Fairfield for National Drive Electric Week (NDEW). This year it was followed by an EV showcase at the parade terminus with speakers.
- We supported as best we could other NDEW events held around the state, such as a successful event at Central Connecticut State University in New Britain.
- We were pleased to again support the Electric Car Guest Drive folks at their ride and drive event in Montgomery, NY.
- AIACT – All electric home and BEVs webinar for architects
- Sustainable Essex – Deep dive into EV charging
- Route 7 EV Corridor dedication
- Municipal Police EV Adoption Workshop
- West Hartford Environment Committee
- Sustainable Weston
- Sierra Club Hartford
- Save the Sound Legislative Panel
- Webinar (Please subscribe to our YouTube Channel!) – How to Save on an EV and Get Free Charging
(We will be updating our incentive content. There is a lot of news on the near-term horizon with the PURA/utility incentives about to be finalized, and the possibility of major changes to the federal purchase incentive in the Build Back Better bill.)
- Two updates to the EV Dashboard with more charts added.
- Track of CHEAPR performance, which continues to under-perform (that means allocated funds are underspent)
- Financial Analysis of Westport Police Model 3 patrol car, along with modeling out the financial implications for fleet adoption.
Select Meeting Speakers
- Marissa Gillett, Chair of Public Utilities Regulatory Authority, spoke about the upcoming EV Rate Design.
- Congressman Himes – A look forward to climate legislation
- Citizens Climate Lobby – Dr. Roger Kuhns discussed a proposal for a carbon tax with dividend.
- Stephen Wagner of South Windsor Planning and Zoning discussed using zoning regulations to improve charging access
- Kim Pacquette, early Tesla FSD beta tester spoke early in the year, followed by a recent panel of local drivers who have the received the recent upgrade
Westport Fire Department
EV Club Members loaned their vehicles for training so first responders can learn how to handle the cables and where to cut if necessary. We have had another request, this one from the Bethel Fire Department. We are waiting on a firm date before asking for volunteers. All that is involved is leaving the vehicle for a few hours so they can look at the wiring.
Club members participated in a fund-raiser to help Louisiana residents after the hurricanes. It was a grassroots effort driven by Tesla owners and coordinated with local LA resident, Clean Technica journalist, Johnna Crider.
Finally, this post is being composed on giving Tuesday, though it most likely will not make it live until Wednesday (yep, that’s what happened). The EV Club does not take donations, but several of our esteemed partners on the EV Coalition would be happy for any largess, for example, Save the Sound, The Sierra Club, Acadia Center, League of Conservation Voters, Electric Vehicle Association. If you are considering further giving options this year, please consider them.
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