For the last few years, I have been the custodian of registry of the Electric Automobiles (EVs) on Salt Spring Island. This occurred as we grew from a few forward thinking individuals and back yard vehicle conversions to what we believe is the highest density in Canada (59 EVs for a population of approximately 10,000 islanders). As I see a new electric automobile on the street, I quickly approach the new owners to obtain their vehicle plate and colours and offer them an etiquette card ( see ... http://evlife.ca/articles/salt-spring-island-electric-vehicle-charging-e...). This is especially important with RED Nissan leafs, of which we have seven, and you can only memorize so many license plates - right ? Knowing we have this many EVs has allowed us bragging rights and the ability to challenge other regions to try and catch up or even beat our density rating.
On behalf of Transition Salt Spring and with the support of many local businesses and the SSI Chamber of Commerce, I had the good fortune to coordinate an EV show on July 24 and 25 of 2015. It was held to celebrate our new public Level II chargers that are located at Country Grocer, Island Savings and Mobys Marine Pub and Oyster Bar. Educational events were held at those locations as well as our cozy movie theater and the Library. Eleven vehicles and eleven salespersons arrived from a variety of directions on BC Ferries to display the advantages of their brand and offer test drives. We also featured and electric bikes, solar trailers and commercial drones and information was provided on the high school solar scholarship array. To support these distributed events, I was fortunate to assemble a crew of 24 wonderful and energetic volunteers.
Success can be measured by many ways. Crowds, smiles, activities, volunteer support, feedback, off-island participation, etc.
All those happened in spades, but also 10 "verified" electric automobile sales occurred that were documented as a direct result of the show. I should say, so far, as sales are still being generated as a direct result of the show.
Perhaps more importantly, the event was held over 2 days and generated over $8,000 in business activity into our local island economy. We made a special effort to ensure as many local vendors were featured as possible.
There are many event metrics that are available to analyze and I have already mentioned a few, but my favorite is that because of this single event, our local fully electric automotive fleet expanded by over 20%. This has raised the estimated reduction of our annual green house gas (ghg) emissions from 179 to 216 tonnes, providing us with cleaner air for ourselves and our global neighbours. This has also reduced our dependency on oil, a core mission of Transition Salt Spring. I am so proud of those particular results.
My point is that you can only assess your progress if you have access to the metrics (numbers) for subsequent analysis. Knowing our island population and tracking the ownership of EVs, along with some subsequent gathering of average usage figures has allowed us to be able to estimate our fleet ghg reductions. This bringing to the table of the total fleet benefits again raises the conversation around our coffee shops on SSI and encourages others to consider a electric automobile purchase. Wherever you are, consider tracking as many meterics as you can. They may come in handy one day.
2015 EV Show,
Salt Spring Island
The Importance of Metrics by Jim Standen is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.