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Coppertalk Joins in Celebration of National Plug In Day

By Bob Weed, Copper Development Association (CDA) Vice President OEM

An electrifying event:  98 cities participate along with several international locations

September 28th & 29th:

Across the country, electric vehicle enthusiasts celebrated the third annual National Plug In Day with events highlighting the benefits of all-electric and plug-in electric vehicle ownership.  A total of 98 cities participated from Hawaii to Maine. The event has become so popular it’s even outgrown its name.  Recent international participants included Amsterdam; Hermosillo, Mexico; Ottawa and Toronto, Canada. Electric vehicle enthusiasts celebrated with tailgate parties, information booths, parades and test drives.

In California Governor Jerry Brown observed National Plug In Day by signing six bills to promote electric cars, in Atlanta Nissan gave away free gas (drivers were encouraged to calculate their potential yearly savings from going electric during the free fill-ups).

In Michigan Coppertalk visited with more than 30 enthusiastic EV owners at the Washtenaw Community College campus in Ann Arbor.  This Plug In Day location featured Chevrolet Volts, the Nissan Leaf, Ford Fusion Energi, Ford C-Max Energi, the Prius Plug-in, Porsche all electric conversion, seven new Tesla Model S vehicles, Think City, Fiat Bertone electric conversion, and pickup truck conversions, including a 1998 all-electric Ford Ranger.

Dr. Hardik Bhansali, a new Tesla owner, organized and managed the Ann Arbor event.  Although he was busy conducting ride and drives in his new Model S, Hardik braked long enough to speak with us about what he likes best while driving electric. “This car is fun to drive.  The battery weight in the floor results in a low center of gravity and even weight distribution, it handles like a thoroughbred race car. Revolutionary features of the Tesla like the frunk (or front trunk) provide greater space, the smooth ride and vehicle handling plus its 17” tablet screen helps make for an intuitive driving experience.  I like technology and its use in this vehicle,” adds Hardik.

“You don’t have to love technology to drive the Tesla” according to new owner Kathy Skubik.  Kathy likes the 4-door feature and the extra room for her furry friends “Ritlin & Ruchi.”  “I bought this car because I wanted an all-electric, environmental-friendly vehicle that’s made in America,” says Kathy.  She adds that the induction motor technology provides a reliable, smooth and quiet driving experience to and from work at the holistic wellness center she owns in Southfield, Michigan.  “When I go to work, I plug in my car and every time I do, I feel good about the choice we’ve made to buy all-electric.  My husband, Bill and I care about the environment and we want to do our part to preserve it.  We also were in the market for a vehicle that is roomy, safe and has power.”  Kathy says she can use any type of charger for her Model S.  “You can draw 80 amps to travel 200 miles, a supercharger takes about 30 minutes and a dual charger about 3 hours.  Using a single charger takes about six hours.”

While Tesla owners were understandably enthusiastic about their recent purchases, new Chevrolet Volt owners attending the Ann Arbor Plugin Day event were equally enamored with their choice of new EV-drives.  Bill Anderson, from Charlotte, Michigan says he took a Volt for a test drive in early 2013 and was “completely hooked.”  “It’s fun to pass lines at the gas stations, to honk my horn and wave,” says Bill.  “One thing is certain about electric vehicle or hybrid vehicle ownership – once you drive them, you won’t go back!”


Did you know:  EV’s rely on copper which has the highest conductivity of any metal practically used for conveying electricity.  The average car has 50-55 pounds of copper in it.  An EV has nearly 3x this amount – 150-180 pounds.  More than two-thirds of the copper is found in the car’s wiring harness and electrical components.  The Tesla Model S uses copper rotor induction motor technology.

Copper is an important natural resource and there’s no danger of running out of it. According to US Geological Survey (USGS), worldwide resources of this valuable metal exceed 3 billion metric tons (more than 6.5 trillion pounds), of which only about 12% has been mined throughout history.

Each year in the U.S., nearly as much copper is recovered from recycled material as is derived from newly mined ore.

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