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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
UPDATE: Since posting this and after reading the various responses from Brian and others (many thanks) I have withdrawn my support for the EVDA. I do not see how the EVDA can survive as it is and with the current committee especially with Brian Orr involved. I have asked to have my name withdrawn from the member list as I don't want to be associated in any way with Brian Orr or, by association, with the EVDA.

If you feel the same then email [email protected] and ask to be removed and tell them why.

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Brian mentioned on another thread that I had been in discussion with the EVDA over how I might help and whilst I am not prepared to disclose the details of the committee's response (if they wish to make their response public then they will I am sure) I do think it appropriate to explain to you what I proposed and why and what the outcome was.

This post is long and I make no apology for that. If you are interested in having a effective EVDA then it is worth reading. If not then you don't have to read on :)

Firstly, it is worth reminding everyone just what form the EVDA takes as I know that not many of you are members yet and so may not understand what structure the association has.

The EVDA is an association and so has a constitution that governs how it is run. That constitution dictates that the committee is voted in at the AGM and in accordance with normal practice in such cases each committee member would be proposed, seconded and voted into office each year. This means that come the AGM, if the membership is not happy with any or all of the committee then if they have an alternative they would like to see voted into office then they can propose, second and vote for any member to the committee.

This is incredible powerful because it puts the real power of the committee into the hands of the membership. The committee represents the members while in office but should the committee take the EVDA down a route that the membership is unhappy with then they can replace the committee at the AGM.

Read the EVDA constitution here.

So, what have I proposed and why?

Many of you that have been around the EV online scene over the past 3 years will know that I have continuously stood up for honesty in the EV world whilst tirelessly trying to be an EV advocate. In addition, I am self-employed and have a lot of spare time with which I feel I could do a lot to help promote EVs even further. I have been trying to get an EV drivers association started for at least the past 2 years but failed to get the support. So I was very pleased to see Matt get the EVDA formed. Unfortunately, the current EVDA committee, for quite legitimate reasons, have not managed to do as much as they would have liked and we find ourselves, a year on, with only limited membership, no real public presence, and no real engagement with the drivers.

I want to change that.

The following section I have withdrawn. I no longer support Brian in any way and I strongly oppose his involvement in the EVDA or any other EV advocacy organisation. He owns and run EV Matters Ltd which I consider a serious conflict of interest. How can anyone be sure he is acting on behalf of the members and not EV Matters Ltd. He should leave the committee of the EVDA or be removed IMO.
Brian and I have our differences and our styles clash quite often. I don't want to speak for Brian but I do believe that he has a similar outlook to me in that he wants to see the EVDA successful and to have a place at the table where we can get the views of EV drivers represented to those that matter. I want that too and in that respect Brian and I are very much on the same side.

However, Brian's TOR as he calls it (terms of reference) is facing government, councils, companies and network operators. His experience is with dealing with governmental organisations and in dealing with the bureaucracy in a way that will most gain us traction at the table. In other words, Brian is looking to ensure that the EVDA represents their members to the people and organisations that we want to influence. That is a great objective and he has my full support in that effort.
The issue as I see it though is that if Brian is even remotely successful in his efforts who exactly is he representing in the EVDA? Currently there are less than a 100 members and there is no dialogue. No dialogue between the members and the committee, between existing members, between the committee and prospective members. Without members Brian has no one to represent and the EVDA will have no standing anywhere.

My proposal was that as Brian focused on the EVDA's representation to the industry I would also join the committee responsible for Membership and PR with the sole aim to build membership... without members the EVDA is weak and so the more members we have, the more of a mandate the EVDA has, the more the EVDA understands what is important to the EV driver, the more successful we could be influencing the decision makes.

So here is the proposal I put to the committee... this is verbatim as it was proposed in an email to the committee.

I propose that I join the EVDA management committee heading up Membership and PR and starting a similar group within the EVDA of members interested in being involved in much the same way as Brian heads up the Liaison Group.

The Membership/PR Group might be responsible for:

- EVDA web site and forum
- social media - Twitter, G+, Facebook etc
- Official interactions in forums
- Interaction with the media in general, radio, TV
- PR efforts at shows and events
- the public face of the EVDA-UK in all aspects
- stickers, PR materials, printing of such

Obviously this is just an off-the-top-of-my-head list and it would be very much open to discussion as to just what the responsibilities would be but you get the gist.

I consider this to be our no.1 priority and with Brian looking after our interactions with official bodies, corporates, government, councils etc we would have made a good start on both sides of the arena... outward face towards those we represent (Membership/PR) and outward face to those we hope to influence (Liaison).

Of course, Brian and I would both be members of the committee but I feel that if we both concentrate on our respective areas of responsibility and interact professionally when our remits overlap then I am sure that we can behave professionally within the scope of a committee structure. With Brian and I, two very vocal and active advocates of EVs, I believe that together we would make a significant impact and finally the EVDA could start to become the voice and influence we all want it to be.
This proposal was partially accepted and I was offered a position on the committee but with a more limited remit. I declined. I feel that if we are serious about wanting to build membership of the EVDA and if the EVDA ever wants to be taken seriously at the discussion table then we need a sizeable membership and we cannot do things in half measures. The image of the EVDA amongst EV drivers I have spoken to is not good and so I took the view that the image of the EVDA must change and how it operates much change along with it. If I were to take over the task of changing the image of the EVDA and turning it into an association that EV drivers feel represents them and that they want to join then I must have the freedom to implement the measures needed to bring about the essential changes. Of course, always within the remit handed to me by the committee and always within the bounds of the constitution.

I feel that the following changes are necessary if it is to attract new members:

- It must become open and transparent. Currently it is a pretty closed entity and no one really know what they are up to or what they are working on.

- It must work on actively engaging with drivers... both members and non to lead the way in discussing the issues that matter to drivers. If drivers are taking about it then the EVDA should be involved actively in those discussions so that they can determine how they might represent those views to the industry.

This would require active discussion on forums and the attendance of an EVDA representative at shows and meetings (e.g. BeVOB, SoCEV, etc).

- It must take the lead in educating new EV drivers and those considering buying an EV so that they can ensure that they get the facts and that they can make the appropriate decisions for their circumstances. This would result in a redesign of the web site and the publication of fact sheets etc.

- The committee should be publicly available and actively promoted so that members and non-members can approach them and discuss EV issues freely without the current feeling of apparent secrecy and disguise.

- The objective of the EVDA must be to engage with drivers at all opportunities... forums, Twitter, G+, Facebook etc and to listen and talk to everyone they aim to represent. It must be a two way, open communication and not the occasional announcement or issuance of an open letter in response to some crisis, as it has been to date.

Let me clear here... I am proposing that I be the one to change the web site, to attend meetings and shows, to engage EV drivers online and off, and if I can get help from members interested in helping then even better.

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So that was my proposal... radical, ambitious, challenging, hard work... perhaps not everything I have proposed will work 100%... but surely it is a step in the right direction. Hopefully it is more likely to create an EVDA that we all want to join than the current offering and hopefully it could kickstart some genuine interest from members who would soon come to see the benefit of an organised voice to the industry for EV drivers.

So, the current situation is that I have declined the committee's offer to join them on a restricted mandate. The lines of communications are still very much open and I am hoping that they will see the necessity for change and accept my offer to bring about that change.
 

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Well I hope they let you join with no restrictions, as I know you will do what's needed to help the ev driver and the up take of ev's. This time around let's not let the EV fail like last time (who killed the electric car). There is no point having a committee that is not willing to talk to its members and the public.
 

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I would be interested to know what the limited remit proposed involved. It is not reasonable to pass comment until having considered both parties views.

My opinion is that the EVDA-UK as it currently stands is irrelevant. Perhaps Paul, if the restrictions of that committee are blocking your vision, there is no reason why you couldn't chair your own group. Eventually if either or both associations flourish and if the ideals of both parties do indeed meet then they could be merged. It may seem counter productive in the short term, but obviously the current structure makes your participation untenable. Your very confident in your ability to represent the views of electric vehicle owners, and gather a group of like minded individuals, so it would be senseless not to harness that enthusiasm.

It is obvious from these forums and meetings that most owners have different uses and opinions on almost every aspect EV's, and the supporting infrastructure. It will be very difficult for any association to truly represent the opinion of the whole EV community as there is certainly not one voice.
 

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It is obvious from these forums and meetings that most owners have different uses and opinions on almost every aspect EV's, and the supporting infrastructure. It will be very difficult for any association to truly represent the opinion of the whole EV community as there is certainly not one voice.
Nail >> Head for me.

The EVDA at present feels sometimes like it assumes it has the right and responsibly to represent all UK based EV drivers. I don't know where that comes from.

As Paul C hints at above, a club without members is no kind of club at all, put members first by getting as many as possible, engaging them, and act on their behalf. OR change the remit and just start small, and grow as the membership evolves, be more organic.

For me it sometimes feels as though clubs in general want to be self-interested lobbyist and PR machines, with an air of self/importance. Hard to avoid, but I guess it's about setting the right tone and building the right environment.

In defence of the EVDA it's early days and they surely have much to learn and much to do. I hope there are many EV clubs and groups to come and EVDA could be a very well run general interest EV group... Time will tell.
 

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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
I would be interested to know what the limited remit proposed involved. It is not reasonable to pass comment until having considered both parties views.
It isn't my business to post what has been send to me in confidence. Sorry. Perhaps the EVDA might give me permission to discuss their comments and if they do then I will post on their behalf but until they do I can only post what I said and the general outcome.

My opinion is that the EVDA-UK as it currently stands is irrelevant.
Totally agree. As it stands the EVDA, in spite of all the good intentions of the committee, is completely stagnant and so totally impotent. It needs members.

Perhaps Paul, if the restrictions of that committee are blocking your vision, there is no reason why you couldn't chair your own group. Eventually if either or both associations flourish and if the ideals of both parties do indeed meet then they could be merged. It may seem counter productive in the short term, but obviously the current structure makes your participation untenable. Your very confident in your ability to represent the views of electric vehicle owners, and gather a group of like minded individuals, so it would be senseless not to harness that enthusiasm.
Definitely not at the moment. Just adding another association at this early stage would dilute any impact we might have.

It is obvious from these forums and meetings that most owners have different uses and opinions on almost every aspect EV's, and the supporting infrastructure. It will be very difficult for any association to truly represent the opinion of the whole EV community as there is certainly not one voice.
I agree. The views and opinions are diverse and I wouldn't expect the EVDA to represent ALL drivers... just its members. But if it can get a sizable membership then that could be a significant voice.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Nail >> Head for me.

The EVDA at present feels sometimes like it assumes it has the right and responsibly to represent all UK based EV drivers. I don't know where that comes from.
Paul, I think that if you think that then that is another failing of the current EVDA committee and I do agree that they are not clear who they think they represent.

An EVDA with me involved would be very clear... it would represent its members... no one else! That is why it is so important to make it relevent to drivers and to engage them. People must have a reason to join and must want to join or else it would have no one to represent :)

As Paul C hints at above, a club without members is no kind of club at all, put members first by getting as many as possible, engaging them, and act on their behalf. OR change the remit and just start small, and grow as the membership evolves, be more organic.

For me it sometimes feels as though clubs in general want to be self-interested lobbyist and PR machines, with an air of self/importance. Hard to avoid, but I guess it's about setting the right tone and building the right environment.

In defence of the EVDA it's early days and they surely have much to learn and much to do. I hope there are many EV clubs and groups to come and EVDA could be a very well run general interest EV group... Time will tell.
The EVDA is not intended to be a "club" at all. The original idea, and the idea I think it should stick to, is to create an organisation, representing its members, which could speak as a single voice at the discussion table to the industry.

It is ever just becomes an EV general interest group then it will have failed IMO.
 

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The EVDA is not intended to be a "club" at all. The original idea, and the idea I think it should stick to, is to create an organisation, representing its members, which could speak as a single voice at the discussion table to the industry.

It is ever just becomes an EV general interest group then it will have failed IMO.
I thought that was what EV Matters Ltd. is set out to do, that seems perhaps to be another matter for clarification?

Club/group/organisation the lines are not clear and as you say, without clear and concise comms it won't be clear what any of these groups, companies and clubs really want to achieve.

But then I have a career and education in and around "communication" of various types (hard to believe sometimes I know) so I perhaps place a higher value on that aspect than others may do.
 

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I comment your efforts Paul -- from the info here your proposal appears to make a lot of sense. I absolutely see the need for there to be membership/community involvement and communication otherwise the organization will indeed be irrelevant to EV owners. At the same time there's clearly a need to something more than us EV owners just talking/blogging/one off emails so having more structure and influence with government, providers etc -- which the EVDA clearly would like to do, is important too.

So sounds like a great combination.
 

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I have to add again to my previous remark about it being young, and a tough task.

Imagine the conversations and debates we have on here, then having to call a (forced) stop to said debate, and ask us all to agree which idea, ideas or value set we will set in stone and march forward with... yeah, never going to happen!

I think that's why I prefer "communities" to "organisations", communities don't have to agree to move along together.
 

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I think that's why I prefer "communities" to "organisations", communities don't have to agree to move along together.
The problem we face is that we have powerful groups making decisions on our behalf such as OLEV, UK EVSE, BEAMA, IET, EU, etc., etc.

If EV drivers want to influence policy then they must have a single voice... you could say that you don't give a damn about this, but if that's the case then you can't complain about the lack of a usable national rapid charging network, or the removal of tax incentives for EVs (for example) :)

Personally I think the survival of the EV project in the UK depends on the participation of EV drivers in the decision making process.
 

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If EV drivers want to influence policy then they must have a single voice... you could say that you don't give a damn about this, but if that's the case then you can't complain about the lack of a usable national rapid charging network, or the removal of tax incentives for EVs (for example) :).
Personally I think everyone has a fundamental right to moan about whatever the like, from the sidelines or from the trenches.

I also genuinely believe the only thing that will truly influence the overall arc of change (or otherwise) towards EV is commercial success or failure, money and power. The rest is noise, distraction and greenwash. I don't genuinely believe any of the companies or groups care more deeply about making a change and pushing EVs than they do their personal interests or their companies bottom line (often one and the same). Sad, but true (not the campaign groups, EVDA and clubs, I mean those "groups" of self-regulators, policy makers and companies).

It's why I tend to treat my and others choices as consumers (or non-consumers) of goods and services as a far more true and powerful reflection of (and driver of) change and intend then any "campaigning", shouting or moaning.

The number of people we all know who moan about the state of that and the other, then go eat a McDonald's, drink a Starbucks, buy crap food in plastic bags all powered by their dirty old cars and back to their big six-fueled homes... yet don't see it as something they're part of or can change. Argh! ;) :D

Spend money where you feel is right (and don't spend where you don't) and you're making a bigger statement than any window-sticker or penny in a charity box ever will.
 

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Spend money where you feel is right (and don't spend where you don't) and you're making a bigger statement than any window-sticker or penny in a charity box ever will.
That assumes you have the 'right' to buy whatever you want.... what if OLEV decide that Hydrogen is the answer and EVs are left to die on the vine? Organisations like UK EVSE exist to influence policy for the benefit of their members... EV drivers must do the same.

I have seen first hand how this works and it isn't pretty :(
 

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That assumes you have the 'right' to buy whatever you want.... what if OLEV decide that Hydrogen is the answer and EVs are left to die on the vine? Organisations like UK EVSE exist to influence policy for the benefit of their members... EV drivers must do the same.

I have seen first hand how this works and it isn't pretty :(
If that's their remit it needs to be a clearer in my opinion. But then again many members wont agree on what policies should or could be as most EV drivers seem to have very different needs and challenges based on ALL kinds of different factors.

Which is why I think the EVDA have a huge task which I think some people may be underestimating. It's not something I'd personally have time or energy for as I need to work for a living and that's hard enough if I'm honest, so in that regard I salute those stepping up to the plate to do their best in this regard.
 

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Gents much as I would like to step up here and argue all these points - experience tells me that getting a hearing, at all for EVDA on Speak EV is quite impossible. There are people here who are drunk on their egos making outrageous statements and doing nothing more than provide entertainment to other Speak EV members.

EVDA Board Member for Strategy and Comms
When your board member for comms sends out that type of message direct to their audience... it's a big task the EVDA has.

@brian orr has been afforded a voice here but I'd never want him to be seen as a voice that represents me as an EV owner/driver in any way, shape or form with the attitude shown here and elsewhere.
 

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I am very active on behalf of EVDA and I have made excellent progress - but its not progress that I can share in a chat-room. I am building relationships with key stakeholders and moving towards full "accreditation" as EV 'stakeholders'.
This is exactly the problem. It's all gone secret squirrel and the members have no idea what is going on.

To be honest I'm not even sure if I am a member.
 

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This is exactly the problem. It's all gone secret squirrel and the members have no idea what is going on.

To be honest I'm not even sure if I am a member.
Don't you worry your pretty little head about that, EV Matters is on the case on behalf of the EVDA and ALL EV owners, hush now...

;) :(
 

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That assumes you have the 'right' to buy whatever you want.... what if OLEV decide that Hydrogen is the answer and EVs are left to die on the vine? Organisations like UK EVSE exist to influence policy for the benefit of their members... EV drivers must do the same.

I have seen first hand how this works and it isn't pretty :(
If this happens it'll be a sad day. I think perhaps we misconstrue the EVDA as something that sounds like it should work for EV owners, when in reality it should perhaps work (or is working) for EV companies and those who make money from them (or potentially can) so they can realise maximum profit. Profit is not evil, its required for any type of product and its infrastructure to succeed.

This is why I don't get involved as it's way out of my comfort zone, and we're not financially secure enough as a family to spend the requisite time and effort (and therefore money) to help learn and drive something like that forward.

I hate politics.
 

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Is EV Matters Ltd a for profit organisation Brian? Either way this company and it's interests should be clearly mentioned in your bio at the very least on EVDA-UK. I am concerned that I only find out about it from what you call this 'chat room' . As a membership we need to know if you are representing our views or those that promote your commercial interests.
 

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Definitely not at the moment. Just adding another association at this early stage would dilute any impact we might have.
I disagree Paul, there is no voice to dilute right now, and the elected committee have told you they don't want your help to change that. You have every opportunity to invest your energy and enthusiasm and create an organisation that could, if you succeed as expected, make an impact.

If you insist on having EVDA-UK bend to conform to your requirements, it appears that you are only here to whine that you didn't get your way. I believe that you could chair your own group, in exactly the way you wish, and if successful there will then be two voices representing the EV community. Which is actually more powerful than one especially when they support the same principal.
 
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