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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
We are all painfully aware of the issues we are facing with the EVDA-UK right now. Paul has made it clear we are not to discuss the EVDA-UK vote or the committee and so I start this thread with a plea to us all - please do not breach that rule! This thread is NOT ABOUT THE EVDA-UK and so I must ask that we do not discuss it or the EVDA-UK committee.

However, there is an elephant in the room at the moment and that is do we need/want any advocacy group at all? That is my question here.

I hope we can keep this on topic and not give Paul yet more work :eek: but I do feel that it is something that has not really been established in my mind.

We have lived without one to date without too much harm being done IMO. Things are ticking over with more rapids being installed and many more fast posts too driven by the OLEV grants and local councils realising this adds to their Green agenda. We are getting many of our points over through letters, emails and general social media pressure. So why is it important that we have some kind of organised group?

On the other side of the argument there are many things that are happening where clearly there have been little thought and EV drivers clearly have not been consulted or listened to. Many people, perhaps the majority, are not interested in becoming one man lobbyists or feel they have the time or the interest to take any form of action but still would like their voice heard. For those a group they can join that broadly represents their views at least gives them a way to have a say.

I am split over this issue.

Right now, I believe we do need an organisation but not necessarily one that focuses on representation. A group to pull together the needs and wants of the EV driver and to try to find a way to give us what we want. If representation forms part of that then so be it but for me the focus should be on the EV driver. Just my view :)

So, my question is this: Do we need any EV advocacy group at all? (Remember, no discussion about the EVDA-UK or Plug in Britain please... let's keep it general :) )
 

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I think the need for a UK-wide group is diminishing thanks to the accelerating roll out of rapid chargers and as EV ownership becomes more mainstream. UK fiscal policy couldn't be much more favourable - no road fund licence, BIK benefits (admittedly being tapered off), 100% First Year Allowances for business ownership and 100% discount on London Congestion Charge.

There is a need for a drivers' lobby group at regional levels to address particular issues that get aired here: public charging tariffs in Milton Keynes, Hampshire and Devon; on-street charging points in London residential boroughs, etc.

The availability of peer expertise and wisdom is already fairly well covered by this forum and the manufacturer-specific boards.

In my view what would make my life as an EV driver easier would be to have access to a unified, up-to-date map/database of all UK charging points. As we know, when planning some journeys it's necessary to visit about three or four different websites to get information about public chargers.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Interesting.

I could imagine then an affiliation of local EV groups... like the Malvern group that so successfully had their first meeting a week or two back or the BEVoB in Bristol or the SoCEV on the south coast... or even more local if people wished.

Local groups could form to provide a local focus to gather and organise local interest and address local concerns with their local councils, have local meetings and interact with local businesses.

Where a national organisation could help is to provide a framework, or a set of guidelines, to local groups of people that wish to start their own group. Not to take over and dictate but to help the local groups form and to then support them in the efforts they wish to make. It could also provide a communications channel between the local "chapters" (for want of a better word to describe them, allowing an easy way for the local organising committees to dicuss what works/doesn't work, get ideas, help support other chapters close by etc.

I think that has legs tbh.

It means that there is no single group. No single committee. No single way. It gives local ownership of local issues.

The national organisation, to which the local groups could be affiliated, could provide such a framework and also take on any national issues that the chapters thought was needed... but driven by the chapters and not the national organising committee. Issues like maps, which is clearly national, could be taken on by the national organisation but with the input and direction coming from the local groups.

Now that is something I think is worth exploring IMO

Any other thoughts? Are there others ways or organising ourselves?
 

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In an ideal world OLEV would be the EV advocacy group, after all that is their remit!

In the year since we got our first EV only Ecotricity have allowed us to use it like a car.

We live half way between our two biggest cities, London and Birmingham and near the major through route between them, the M40. We regularly visit friends in the Thames valley near Maidenhead.

In the last year there has not been a single additional OLEV funded piece of infrastructure that either works or we would want to use in our comfortable out and return range in a Nissan Leaf to my knowledge. Certainly not that I have even been able to test as functional yet despite many attempts. The few that already existed are poorly conceived single destination chargers only, like a single post at a railway station with too short a parking bay to prevent damage to our car and a £4.50 minimum parking charge to pay for 2hrs for the privilege of using it!

If councils are not taking up OLEV offers of grant funding then OLEV need to make the system more attractive to councils. Encouraging the up take of EVs is their bag.

If OLEV actually had been seen to be doing something about this I don't think there would be such an EV grass roots clamor to form an action group to look after our interests.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
GBEV... interesting post but please try to keep it on topic... how does what you say there relate to whether we need/want an advocacy group? Are you saying that because of that we DO need one or that we don't?
 

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GBEV... interesting post but please try to keep it on topic... how does what you say there relate to whether we need/want an advocacy group? Are you saying that because of that we DO need one or that we don't?
IMO;
Do I want one?
It shouldn't be necessary should it? Having seen this being debated I would be inclined to say no.

Do we need one?
The cars are great. Proper deployment of support infrastructure is the one thing that lets them down. The paucity of that appears to depend on where you live so there is a regional dimension for sure. At this rate, I may never be able to justify the cost of a type 2 to type 1 lead for example and that for a BEV with no petrol option! PHEVs appear to be the solution for many which is a step backwards, hopefully temporary.
So for North end of Thames Valley region generally at the moment, I would say absolutely yes.

No1 on the agenda however would still be... How do we get this log jam on delivery of a usable infrastructure un-blocked and see some real value for all the tax payer money spent, much of which is being wasted at the moment?

They are relying on our collective gullibility and it may be that threat of embarrassment is the only thing that will motivate them out of their current apathy so we need some organisation and representation both at local and national level if things are to change for the better IMO.
 

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If councils are not taking up OLEV offers of grant funding then OLEV need to make the system more attractive to councils. Encouraging the up take of EVs is their bag.

If OLEV actually had been seen to be doing something about this I don't think there would be such an EV grass roots clamor to form an action group to look after our interests.
Most councils have been immersed in a tidal wave of Central Government initiatives – the most impactful being the reduction of the Council Tax Support Grant. Their top priority has been identifying ways of saving money - long overdue in many cases.

Given the siege mentality of many councils, the notion of using any (scarce) funds to put towards EV charging points would be a non-starter. The only option that has legs would be if a company approached the authority to provide chargers on a no-cost basis.
 

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I don't think there is a future or need for an advocacy group for EV drivers. Owners clubs will be the thing for those who like to get together, but what we all want is for Ev's to become the norm and I don't see an advocacy group aiding that process. If anything it could deter new buyers if they are aware of the "special representation" needed. What does work well in the states is specific brand/model owners clubs as can be seen in the volt forum on Facebook. This SpeakEV forum is far more valuable than an advocacy group.
 

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Given our contrary nature as soon as we form one, some of us will disagree with their actions in our name. Probably best left to local action as I don't think councils will take kindly to outsiders butting in to their local agendas. On the other hand collective action might be worthwhile with national companies.
Following a stay at a Hilton Hotel up in Scotland recently I filled in a feedback form to Hilton telling them they were falling behind in not having overnight charging for mt EV. My comments won't make any difference on their own but if echoed by others they will start to take notice. All of the big national chains with large car parks could do with our collective message also. They all have a CSR/sustainability agenda now and EV charging might seem to be a win win ( ethical image and more customers)
 

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I'm not really a fan of special interest groups. What would we do? Bang on the government door to tell them they are rubbish and that we need lots more money? To me it sounds divisive and sets EV drivers against road fuel duty and other taxpayers.
Perhaps some sort of focus group or consultation process would be better; to help the government implement what they want to achieve.
 

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I think the best thing for EV drivers is for there to be more EV drivers. Governments around the world are already steering that.
 

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Interesting topic which, dare I say it, has political issues. Do we expect intervention to provide the infrastructure that we need or do we leave it to market forces. (I'm sitting on the fence here and say both".:)) Could we or should we try to influence it?

Cycling has caught the imagination but it is only media attention that has caused a major initiative. The tabloids started shouting about the unacceptable level of casualties and action was started. Admittedly there is some way to go and, as in other things, it seems that Milton Keynes has done things "differently".

There are plenty of people now in EV ownership who treat it like a regular vehicle other than the obvious refuelling difference. They probably did not seek out information on this forum and have no intention of taking part in this sort of exchange of views. They will soon or may already outnumber the enthusiastic early adopters. Those are the ones who have done much to pave the way and make things smoother for those of us who follow. At that time any advocacy group or similar will be considered irrelevant unless it has a voice that Government, Manufacturers and charging suppliers hear and consider important.

Therefore if you want to have a shout about things I think 2014 will be your last chance. By next year the "enthusiasts" will be a minority.

We can vote with our feet against charge pricing but that seldom works with councils who only face the electorate only once every few years and know that the majority of those who elect them will do so on party political lines and not local issues.

Look at groups that have saved local hospitals, obtained new sports stadiums and generally put right the faults that are inevitable in our complex society. They have worked out how to make their voice heard. They use media, lobbying and where necessary judicial review. A large number of decisions by ministers, committees and councils are seemingly OK but there are often minor errors in the procedure. This leaves them open to challenge and the need to re-take the decision. Swift lobbying can take place in the interim period.

The alternative is apathy and acceptance. I see it every morning in the commute to London. Thousands of commuters who are unhappy with the delays, overcrowding, condition of trains, price of tickets. They moan to each other, their colleagues, their families and the station staff on the platform:mad:. They give token interviews to the media every January when fares have gone up saying how unacceptable this is having already paid for their annual tickets the week before. Very few make even a token complaint to the rail companies or authorities.

The irony is that many of those commuters hold influential jobs in the city and could bring serious weight to bear on government and commerce but they don't. They just complain, claim their nominal delay compensation and carry on as before.

The comments earlier in this thread are all correct. It is really up to each person to decide how to respond to the challenges. For me, I have written far too much and I must now go an put in a claim for my train delay.;)
 

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Cycling has caught the imagination but it is only media attention that has caused a major initiative. The tabloids started shouting about the unacceptable level of casualties and action was started. Admittedly there is some way to go and, as in other things, it seems that Milton Keynes has done things "differently".
Milton Keynes was built around both the bike and car (and potential monorail) from the scratch, so we had a big advantage there. Still people are not happy... drivers or cyclists you'll never please everyone.
 

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Milton Keynes was built around both the bike and car (and potential monorail) from the scratch, so we had a big advantage there. Still people are not happy... drivers or cyclists you'll never please everyone.
The provision for cyclists is p*** poor compared to the Netherlands, where cycle paths usually follow the most direct routes with secure cycle parking, often covered, at all shops/doctors/etc. The cycle routes in MK are up/down/round, which make it difficult to maintain steady progress.
 

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The provision for cyclists is p*** poor compared to the Netherlands, where cycle paths usually follow the most direct routes with secure cycle parking, often covered, at all shops/doctors/etc. The cycle routes in MK are up/down/round, which make it difficult to maintain steady progress.
I've never had a problem, lived here since I was a kid though so maybe I just grew up tough enough to handle an up and down every 3/4 mile or so. :p

Maintenance though, that's another thing. "Leaves on the line" taken to an entirely new level!
 

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As an outsider to your country and political situation, I was attracted to the title of the post because my response upon seeing the title is, there already are several advocacy groups and they seem to work well together and apart. [I often use TapaTalk IOS App and am notified with all new messages without easily spelling out what part of the forum is on, so I may find myself with a subject title that is not in a part that I normally visit.]

In my country, we have the Electric Automobile Association of America that functions regionally and seems to coordinate together for national events, such as National Drive Electric Week along with the Sierra Club and Plug-in America.

Plug-in America is also another advocacy group that had a national feel, but was very California controlled at the start, and has made large strides to include other regions by the inclusion of other prominent EVangelists from other states onto its board.

Then again my nation's political system was created as a reaction to and the rejection of your country's political system over 238 years ago (which I admit you folks have fixed a bit since then). More importantly, my nation's political system understood that factions form and will try to sway things, so the system was created to ensure that everyone is unhappy and that compromise would occur (now the latter does eventually happen, but that's the system).

I have travelled the world enough to know that which works for Americans may not necessarily work for Australians, Britons, Chinese, to Zamibians... However, the dialogue is definitely intellectually interesting.

On another note...

Given our contrary nature as soon as we form one, some of us will disagree with their actions in our name. Probably best left to local action as I don't think councils will take kindly to outsiders butting in to their local agendas. On the other hand collective action might be worthwhile with national companies.
Following a stay at a Hilton Hotel up in Scotland recently I filled in a feedback form to Hilton telling them they were falling behind in not having overnight charging for mt EV. My comments won't make any difference on their own but if echoed by others they will start to take notice. All of the big national chains with large car parks could do with our collective message also. They all have a CSR/sustainability agenda now and EV charging might seem to be a win win ( ethical image and more customers)

It will get there... I saw a tweet from Hilton Corporate less than a month ago touting the deployment of EV charging throughout the chain, granted, like the Tesla Dual Drive, Americans will probably be among the first to get it before the world.
 

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I've never had a problem, lived here since I was a kid though so maybe I just grew up tough enough to handle an up and down every 3/4 mile or so. :p

Maintenance though, that's another thing. "Leaves on the line" taken to an entirely new level!
I didn't even know there were cycle routes in MK, I just used the roads last time I came by bike..... That was fun, honest :(
 

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Maybe OLEV should run a forum, complete with polls for their various ideas. Would certainly make them more transparent and perhaps would be a good place for people to raise ideas and concerns.

Anything that moves away from the concept of a lobby group, committee or other 'elected' group that is primarily motivated by empire building has got to be a good thing in my view.
 
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