A few weeks ago, we held our third annual National Drive Electric Week event in Liberty Lake. It was a cold, drizzly, breezy day.
One reason we like this particular location is that it's next to the Farmers Market. It's a good source of traffic.
But with the weather like that, not too many people were at the market. Some people who might have come by to learn about EVs stayed home. Our Tesla Roadster drivers chose to keep their drop-tops in the garage.
Car dealerships who've participated before found other things to do.
BMW of Spokane continues to be our biggest supporter. Amy Black brought a bright blue 2017 i3. Bridger Price brought an X540e. Both of them are trained BMW Geniuses with plenty to share.
NDEW isn't typically a big thing for dealers. Honestly, it's not a great place to sell cars. I have a bit more perspective on that since I've worked in the business.
Car dealers prefer to have serious buyers come to them. They don't want to waste their time on people who just want to sniff the paint. Salesmen would much rather not go to off-site events. You may not find one buyer in a thousand people, but you'll spend lots of time saying blah-blah.
But BMW is more serious about this electric thing than anyone. Even Nissan, which has more EVs on the road than anyone. Local dealers know nothing and like it that way. They're content to ignore the rare EV customer.
Don't tell my Leaf, but I still dream of the i3. If (when) my income makes a leap, I'd rather go i3 than Tesla for my daily commuter. More support for the vehicle and more bang for the buck.
I would certainly investigate the used Tesla market before pulling the trigger, though.
And the X540e is still the biggest vehicle an ordinary person can find with a plug. I've driven one in the snow and it's rock solid. It has more power than the 3.0 liter gas V6. It will get most people to work and back without burning gas, but you still have a twin-scroll turbo 2.0 in case you need to disappear.
I can't wait to see a PHEV or even pure-electric 3 Series.
Anyway, I wanted to take a minute to thank the only dealer who showed up on a nasty wet morning to support the cause.
They didn't have to, but they did.