Plug In America has played a serious role in the re-emergence of the electric vehicle over the past – um, how long now? oh, yeah – five years. To celebrate, the "motley crew" of activists who were fed up with putting gasoline into their cars is holding a fifth anniversary party this coming weekend in Los Angeles (details here). We look forward to seeing the group's "Gas Vs. Electric" videos that will be unveiled there.

Paul Scott, one of the group's co-founders and, now, a Nissan Leaf salesman, found time on a recent rainy Sunday in Santa Monica to write up a look back at the last five years in the best-known electric vehicle advocacy organization. Here are some highlights.

On starting PIA out of the ashes of DontCrush.com:
We needed to relaunch what had been a grassroots protest group, grown from the burning desire to prevent thousands of great electric cars from being destroyed by the very companies that built them, into an advocacy group that could help rebirth the modern EV. We really didn't know how we were going to do it, but we knew it had to be done. With the addition of a few key board members with very good strategic skills, we earned some serious clout within the federal and state legislative process, created a very effective outreach and education program, and to some degree, we convinced the car makers themselves that plug-in cars were part of their future.
On seeing "Who Killed the Electric Car?" for the first time:
Exiting the hot crowded theater into the freezing Park City night, the realization that we had such an amazing tool to use in getting the word out about electric cars gave me shivers above and beyond the cold air. ... We knew this film would change things, but we didn't imagine it would become one of the most popular documentaries of all time. The EV movement owes Chris a lot for creating such a fine film, and we'll no doubt go deeper in debt when "Revenge of the Electric Car" releases in the spring.
There's more over on Scott's blog, including this paragraph on why he thinks plug-in vehicles are important:
Consider that you spend between $2,000 - $4000 every year for gas. Sixty percent of that money leaves the U.S., and 90% leaves our respective communities. We spend a billion dollars every day for foreign oil. This constitutes 45% of our national foreign deficit. A thousand million dollars every day, leaving our country instead of staying here, creating jobs and wealth for us. When you get your EV, your part in that ends.
[Source: Paul Scott]

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