An innovative approach for introducing the latest generation of co-op members to Electric Vehicles
In 2012, Berkeley Electric Cooperative purchased its first all-electric vehicle – the Nissan LEAF. The purpose was to determine the effect the charging cycle of electric vehicles (EVs) has on the Cooperative’s system. Berkeley Electric wanted to ensure that its distribution system was properly configured to handle the load when the use of EVs became more widespread. The EV also served as a demonstration unit to highlight both the advantages and drawbacks associated with the electric cars.
By 2016, Berkeley Electric had collected the necessary data and retired the LEAF as a demonstration unit. But despite steady growth in the EV market, EVs remain under-represented in their cooperative territory. To expose more member-owners to this innovative technology, Berkley Electric developed the “Pass the Key” initiative.
“Pass the Key” is a program where Berkley Electric leases the LEAF to a local high school for a year to be used for driver’s education. At the conclusion of the school year, a new school is be selected to introduce as many of the cooperative’s future members as possible to the pros and cons of electric vehicles.
Touchstone Energy applauds this effort and encourages other co-ops across the network to implement similar campaigns. If you are interested in learning more about EVs, review four new EV fact sheets at this link.