Workplace Charging Challenge Ride and Drive Webinar (Text Version)
This is a text version of the video for Workplace Charging Challenge Ride and Drive Webinar presented on Feb. 26, 2015.
COORDINATOR: Welcome and thank you for standing by. I would like to remind all parties that your lines have been placed on listen only until the question and answer portion of today's conference. At that time if you're wishing to ask a question, please press star one on your touchtone phone and please be sure that your telephone is unmuted and clearly record your name at the prompt so that your question may be introduced. Today's conference is being recorded. If you should have any objection you may disconnect at this time. It is now my pleasure to introduce your first speaker today, Ms. (Natalie Committee). Thank you, ma'am. You may begin.
NATALIE COMMITTEE: Hello and welcome everybody to the Workplace Charging Challenge Ride and Drive webinar. Thank you for joining us today. Today's webinar will be the first in a series of webinars that we will be hosting this year to address some of the most pressing workplace charging topics effecting our partners and investors. My name is (Natalie Committee) and I'm the communications coordinator for the Workplace Charging Challenge. I've worked with many of you to bring attention to your workplace charging efforts, especially through the Department of Energy's Website and social media outlets. If any of you have workplace charging news or activities that we can help to amplify I would love to hear from you through the workplace charging email account.
Today we'll hear from several presenters with lots of experience implementing plug in electric vehicle outreach strategies. First I'd like to introduce you to our challenge coordinator Sarah Olexsak. In her role as coordinator, Sarah works to increase workplace charging availability across the country and has built the challenge program from the ground up.
She previously conducted analysis on the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energies Technology portfolio and coordinated the Efficiency and Renewables advisor - excuse me Renewables Advisory Committee. We have lots of - lots more good things we can say about Sarah but we'll go ahead and get the program started. So with that I'll turn it over to Sarah.
SARAH OLEXSAK: Thank you very much (Natalie). Welcome to all of our participants on today's call. Whether you are a challenge partner, ambassador or other stakeholder, I think that you will find that all of us can benefit from hearing from today's presenters about one of the most proven and successful PEV outreach efforts, the Ride and Drive experience.
Before we jump into today's presentation, I'd like to give you a brief challenge update. For those of you on the call who may not be as familiar with the Workplace Charging Challenge, our goal is to increase the number of employers offering PEV charging to 500 by 2018. We are steadily moving towards our goal with currently more than 180 partner employers committing to providing charging station access to their employees. These partners represent over 350 worksites and they are providing over 3000 charging stations for nearly one million employees across the country.
And some of the most exciting efforts to promote and support the growth of workplace charging are coming out of our 17 ambassador organizations and our network of DOE clean city coalitions that we'll hear about today. This past November we gathered more than 100 partners and ambassadors — many of you are on the webinar today — at the workplace charging challenge summit where we shared ideas and gained feedback.
One of the things that we heard from you was that you wanted more educational opportunities and outlets to connect with fellow partners and ambassadors. This webinar is one example of how your feedback is informing our program planning and develop - resource development in 2015.
As (Natalie) mentioned, today's webinar will actually be the first in a series of webinars that we'll be hosting this year to continue addressing those topics identified at the summit. So be on the lookout for updates on the next webinar. As partners on the call know, one of the things that we ask of the employers involved in our organization is that they complete and submit a partner plan.
Whether or not you have already installed charging stations, partner plans are important in the establishment of a robust workplace charging strategy. Using best practices to develop the partner plan will help minimize barriers and smooth the way to installing charging at your organization and managing a successful workplace charging program.
At DOE we draw upon lessons learned from the plans that you submit and we promote these as best practices to other partners. One of the key parts of this plan takes place after the installation and that is PEV charging - PEV and charging promotion. Some partners engage in employee education efforts or other innovative benefits to employees such as plug in electric vehicle car share or purchase rebates. Webinars like the one that we're having today are an example of how promoting PEVs and charging at your organization that you may choose to participate in or lead at your organization. Don't forget that you can always talk to your account manager about your workplace charging plan.
We encourage you to browse the promote workplace charging section of our Website for useful tools and resources that can assist you in your efforts to do this. Two resources that we'd like to point out in particular are the PEV outreach resources for your employees document which includes tools, tips and networks to support employer efforts to engage PEV and not yet PEV driving employees.
One of the resources referred to in this publication is a ride and drive toolkit developed by our workplace charging challenge ambassador organization Advanced Energy. Many other ambassador organizations involved in the challenge, like the Electrification Coalition, have assisted employers in putting on ride and drives at their workplaces. These groups are well experienced working with local automotive dealerships in arranging the ride and drive experienced.
So we encourage you to check out these employee resources and work with us to get in touch with an ambassador organization that can help you put on a ride and drive at your workplace.
If you're not already a challenge partner and you want to learn more, please visit our Website or email us to learn how you can join. Thank you again for joining today and I'd like to introduce you to today's featured speakers. (Damian Herr) joined Nissan North America in 2013 as an EV Business Development Manager. She focuses on establish and sustaining relationships with clean transportation minded employers to promote EVs and the Nissan LEAF. She considers herself to be an EV evangelist sharing Nissan's EV workplace program to employers by conducting Nissan LEAF ride and drives, holding educational sessions and promoting EV charging assistance.
Our second speaker is Karen Jackson. Karen serves as the Director of Experience Design and Strategy at Reach Strategies where they have developed - where they have helped to organize thousands of ride and drive experiences for their clients. Prior to her work at Reach Strategies, Karen co-founded Ecotone Creative and served as Chief Innovation Officer and Vice President of west coast green. Karen is based in the San Francisco bay area. And with that, we will turn it over to (Damian).
DAMIAN HERR: Thank you Sarah for that introduction. I hope everyone can hear me. I wanted to just start off by saying of course Nissan has been working very diligently over the past few years with our workplace outreach with different employers. And so my intent today is to kind of share with you a little bit about what we're doing with our employers and then providing a little more detail on the ride and drive component.
So I wanted to start off again by just highlighting Nissan's place with the workplace charging challenge. We started years ago seeing one of the initial ambassadors of the U.S. Department of Energy's workplace charging challenge and we want to from some of the things that we did in our efforts with establishing a workplace charging program with Nissan, I'm going to be highlighting some of those things that we use to establish a promotion or a program that we're doing to assist other employers to do what Nissan is doing and the success that we have seen.
So kind of highlighting some of the things that Nissan has done on a corporate perspective with EV charging and workplace charging and electric vehicle outreach it kind of highlights that we are actually we've embraced this. We are practicing what we preach in that we invested in charging. And then from there, you'll start to see that we again started to have different ([empty] ) events, outreach events, any sort of educational presentations on the lead at our various campuses. And from there you're starting to see more and more employees understanding more about the electric vehicle and from there more need to add charging.
So we started out at the ([empty] ) location and of course (Myrna) and then from there you're starting to see that our efforts are beginning to move across other areas as well to implement charging and from there you're seeing pieces of the LEAF in ongoing practical - that provide practical experiences for employees to understand and learn more about electric vehicles. So car sharing programs, even just simple things as utilizing the LEAF for short trips to airport drop offs or anything that allows the employees to experience electric vehicles in addition to ride and drive or things that just fuel more EV adoption.
So as I alluded to earlier from some of the things that we started doing we realized how important it was and we saw that there was a missing component as far as learning the electric vehicle experience to the general public. Rather than expecting for people to learn more about the EV on their own, we wanted to ensure that we were reaching out to everyone. And so from the learn - the lessons and the learnings that we gathered from doing our own workplace EV outreach and workplace charging initiative, we said now let's take this to the marketplace.
So what you're seeing here is a reflection of what we do, four simple steps, as to how we engage employers and how we try to understand where their current needs are not just for charging, if there's anything happening from current EV adoption. And then from there, we want to expand upon that by encouraging the second bullet that you're seeing here are the actual ride and drive. So what we will do is try to understand if there are opportunities for us to have a ride and drive component as part of an existing event that's happening at that employer, whether they're having an earth agent employee benefits fair, a sustainability event, is that an opportunity for us to then reach additional employees so they can at least get a chance to sit in the vehicle, experience it, understand it, learn about it. Whereas before perhaps these people or these employees would not have taken that step to learn more about the vehicle.
So the strength of truly our workplace initiative for EVs is getting more people exposed to the electric vehicle side, bringing them to their workplaces for them to experience it in a comfortable environment where they're free to ask questions. And we walk them through the process and help them understand as much as they would like about an electric vehicle. And the goal of course is to get them to understand the benefits of the electric vehicle and how the driving experience typically is just as similar as it is with a gas vehicle. Okay
So I wanted to highlight quickly just and I apologize for the graphics here. We were having some technical challenges. There were some pictures to the right. But as you're seeing, you know, you're looking at where we have really worked very closely with an employer who ([empty] ) of course and what we have done with our workplace charging efforts. So we have done several events at Google, some of which all auto manufacturers were invited. But through that, we were able to have as you can see hundreds of ride and drive events. And through that, you're seeing more employees embracing or investing in the LEAF from that experience.
So what we're doing is helping Google continue on in their sustainability efforts by focusing on the clean transportation pillar of that by encouraging ride and drive. Now Google of course with that has also had or implemented a car sharing program. So when we walk away as far as the Nissan experience or the test drive, they now have a car sharing environment where employees can still experience the EV. So even when we walk away, we're helping them by getting acquiring an additional LEAF, perhaps in their car sharing pool, so more employees can experience the electric vehicle.
So I wanted to - that kind of gives a segue into as we began to roll out this program and we were in our leading into our third year, our second year within this program, we started to see more interest in employers wanting to get EVs, electric vehicles in their fleet and that being providing a car sharing experience, employee motor pools. Because what they realized is, the more exposure their employees have with these vehicles and they use them in their daily work experience, they're understanding how that could translate into something that they could utilize for their own personal use.
So what they're seeing is the more ride and drives we have the more interest there is to having the LEAF or other EVs in their fleet and that increases the exposure for employees understanding about the EV. So in effect it turns into a ride and drive experience even when Nissan isn't present. So there are periods when Nissan is there for test drive events, where we've having more of a formal approach. But then they're able to have extended test drive experiences extending what the employees already had from a similar smaller setting of a 15 minute test drive. They're now able to use that vehicle in their day to day operations.
So I wanted to give you just a quick example of what that looks like. The city of Houston, which was one of the first in the south of the United States to really step up and say we've had experienced with the LEAF through ride and drive experiences and there was a champion with the city of Houston from that who said you know what we want to invest in the LEAF and other EVs in a centralized motor pool. So now they're starting to see a trend that initially there were just a few employees that were using the LEAF or other EVs in their motor pool. But now they're seeing 48% of their employees starting to use the LEAF as part of their experience and some of their day to day activity. So you're seeing the public works department employees using that vehicle.
And what ended up happening is, through that experience these employees started to purchase the LEAF for their own personal use. So we consider that to be, you know, some of these things that we're starting to see in some of our experiences. We consider those to be wins because we're getting more people to start thinking about creative ways to enhance their ride and drive experiences and then also look to increase activities where the employees have more exposure to the EVs. And through there you're seeing more of these individuals investing in the LEAF. So those are wins. Not only are we getting more people driving them. Those are turning into new EV owners. Okay?
So just to kind of sum it up, before - this is giving you a before and after shot of what we and the impact that Nissan is having with our initiative. Again, you're seeing employers here that we engaged and before you're seeing maybe a few LEAF sales or people investing in the LEAF before our efforts. After our efforts, you're truly seeing how we're moving the needle, how we are impacting the workplaces and helping them to encourage EV adoption.
We're getting more EV owners and that's the key. So we want to make sure that we're getting these - getting people the opportunity to experience the electric vehicles but then from there hoping that they are starting to think about maybe an EV will work for me. And so when I consider my next purchase on a vehicle, maybe I should think about an EV. So this gives you a snapshot of our impact and how we're doing. So with that if anyone has any questions of course we'll address that at the end but at this point I guess we'll just pass it on to the next speaker.
SARAH OLEXSAK: Thank you very much (Damian) and for providing that broader context of, you know, some employee educational opportunities about PEVs. Now we're going to turn it over to Karen who's going to take a more detailed look at, you know, step by step what you can do to implement a ride and drive. So Karen?
KAREN JACKSON: Thank you. Hopefully you all can hear me. And thank you for the introduction Sarah and (Natalie). It was a few months ago now that we bring from the possibility of creating this presentation and workplace ride and drive to fill this need for educating workplaces and other stakeholders on the value of ride and drive as well as the best practices for executing them.
And Plug In America has been working with the DOE as an ambassador for the past few years and over the past few months, I have worked through a truly collaborative approach with the DOE Workplace Charging Challenge team to create what I'm going to present to you today. And with that in mind, I just wanted to preface the presentation by reflecting on what this collaboration means because it's working and we have the DOE Workplace Charging Challenge as a resource for all of us which I'm very grateful for.
So this presentation represents public, private and non-profits working together. And we really appreciate at Plug In America the work that the DOE Workplace Charging Challenge is doing to provide the industry with resources that can bring our collaboration to the next level. And I'm grateful for what's been created to date and excited to see what's ahead. So with that in mind, I have three things that I would like to cover today. The first is an overview of Plug In America and how the team works with Reach Strategies on producing workplace ride and drive events and the important role that the DOE's Workplace Charging Challenge has in it. The second is some case studies on some of last year's events and campaigns. And the third is best practices for workplace ride and drives.
So the other thing that I want to tell you is that behind the scenes I can't see what you're seeing. I'm not seeing the slides. So I'm going to be breaking the number one best practice for giving a presentation which is reading slides. I'm going to read the headers as we go to make sure that we're on the same page, not because - not for any other reason.
So with that said, let's go to the about me slide and I'll just share that the angle that I'm coming at my work from is that of an experienced designer in all of its aspects. I started my career in the green building industry. I worked up and down the industry food chain with content experts and eco celebrities, product manufacturers, practitioners and more to organize the industry for the mainstream.
I've since worked on a number of domestic and international market development initiatives. They've all been rooted in energy on some level and I've been focused on the EV space for the past year. And that experience design perspective I think is unique in terms of how we're looking at things.
Moving to the next slide, about Plug In America campaigns. Plug In America is committed to electrifying transportation and has great expertise related to workplace charging and is proud to be a workplace charging ambassador. Plug In America has partnered with Reach Strategies, which is the company that I work for, to design and execute workplace outreach events across the nation. As this initiative Plug In at Work grows, we're increasingly targeting current DOE Workplace Charging Challenge participants to host these workplace events.
Moving on to the next slide, 2014 workplace hosts. Last year we produced several thousand test drives across a wide range or workplaces. Here you see a dashboard of some of those hosts: government agencies, scientific research centers, utilities and tech. They've all augmented their workplace charging efforts. So it's highly engaging workplace ride and drive events.
Next slide, campaigns and partners. Within the past two years we've also seen growing interest in moving beyond one off homespun events. We're seeing more interesting campaigns that include many local and many locations and provide multiple touch points for participants, including a range of participants.
Here are - again are some of the key partners and sponsors that have stepped up to support this approach, this campaign approach, to really pushing the envelope on scaling the impact of workplace ride and drive events. As (Damian) mentioned, this is a missing component of the EV experience. And so we've seen great impact from this approach.
Moving to slide six, our experience has shown two major things. You'll see a lot more in the coming slides but one is that these ride and drive events are some of the most effective mechanisms for driving plug in electric vehicle adoption. And the other is that marketing and communications and the way that they are executed really maximizes the impact of these experiences.
Next slide, our best practices overview. This is a dashboard of what we are going to go through in the remainder of the presentation. First we're going to look at the benefits of ride and drive. Then I'm going to go through two case studies. We're going to look at crafting the experience, engaging management, holding events, producing events and then how to tell the story of your success.
Moving to the next slide, we have understanding the benefits of workplace ride and drives, slide nine. The place that we start is just around motivation of the workplace itself. And essentially that it really varies. Of course there isn't a one size fits all approach to workplace ride and drives, especially when it comes to identifying the core benefits for a particular.
The range of benefits, and there are many, begins on the emotional level with fun. We hear repeatedly that EV test drives are one of the best things that happens on the campus each year. This includes companies whose logos I showed earlier that are recognized as some of the most fun places to work in the world.
And there are other more measurable results, like supporting CSR reporting and compliance that are real benefits as well. Of course all of this can lead into stories that can be leveraged for PR and leadership positioning. For example, Google's test drive event last year that we produced with them was highlighted as a success story in the DOE's EV Everywhere Workplace Charging Challenge 2014 report. So that's some pretty good visibility there.
Moving to slide ten, results are consistent. There's this idea that motivation varies but the results are consistent which is that no matter how you cut it, you're going to accomplish all of these goals. It's important to understand which are at the forefront for your organization because it will help you position this opportunity with management and tell your story but it's unavoidable that you will be accomplishing all of these goals.
Moving to slide 11, case studies and then on to slide 12 just for our first case study. We're looking at a campaign in 2014 where SDG&E worked with Plug In America to produce two workplace ride and drive events. And really this is an illustration of the important role utilities can play in this field. The site hosts were customers of the utility and SDG&E worked with us every step of the way to produce two very successful workplace events, one at (Salk Institute) and one at Qualcomm. And again this is highlighting that we're moving from individual events in many cases to seeing larger campaigns.
Moving to slide 13, I wanted to drill down just to show you what the results of this one event was which was the Qualcomm campus event where there were 101 test drives. You also see here that there were 800 employees who participated which is a different number which we'll get into when we're looking at how to measure success. And then we also had 121 waivers that were collected. So we get this dashboard of different numbers that we look at to measure success.
Moving to slide 14, we'll go into our case study number two, Experience Electric campaign in the San Francisco bay area which is a campaign that the workplace charging partners asked us to highlight for a number of reasons. This case study comes by way of a campaign called Experience Electric that was made possible through funding from the Metropolitan Transportation Commission and the Bay Area Air Quality Management District. And we had a few partners on executing this campaign.
And the campaign ran last summer, so the summer of 2014, and aimed to boost awareness across the bay area to residents about EVs as being reliable and cost effective options primarily through ride and drive events that add an otherwise no sales environment and included 20 events featuring plug in electric and plug in hybrid electric vehicles held in communities throughout the bay area, nine counties. And it was a portion of those events that were at workplaces that we're going to concentrate here for our purposes. The campaign made extensive use of word of mouth and social media marketing as well as other traditional advertising and media outlets. And here what we're looking at is a dashboard of nine workplace events that were part of the campaign. You see some measurements in terms of how we track the number of test drives, the number of passengers, the number of motorcycle rides which were included to get a total number of test drives here.
Moving to slide 15, case study two, Experience Electric campaign, San Francisco bay area. This is an infographic about the results at the Google campus in particular. And the Google ride and drive was something that was mentioned by (Damian) earlier and it was also mentioned in the DOE's report last year. And it was held at the Google Mountain View headquarters.
And after Google had worked with Plug In America for three prior years to produce the event on campus, this Experience Electric campaign allowed the event to scale to become the largest most engaging employee experience to date. And the numbers are pretty high here. You're seeing 777 test drives in a matter of a few hours.
And an interesting stat that's embedded within this is that for the EV drivers or for the test drivers, 46% said that it was their first timing driving an EV. And this is at a campus which is (Damian) was explaining where there has been a high rate of exposure to electric vehicle through programs like what Nissan has done there.
Moving to slide 16, I want to pop out a few more things on the Experience Electric campaign. There's also a URL here for those who would like to navigate to see the social media platform that was built for the campaign. Here we're seeing that every test drive included a survey component and the final results from survey work are expected within the next few weeks. And so people can look forward to that.
There are two important data points that are already available as preliminary findings. One is that 68% of those who conducted test drives said they were more likely to buy an EV after driving one. So that's a good marketing number, 68%.
And the other is the number of 8% conversion. What that means is that 8% of all the test drive participants ultimately purchased and/or leased an EV in the two to three month period after attending an event. And those purchasers stated that the ride and drive event positively impacted their decision to purchase LEAF an EV which goes back to the power of this experience based type of exposure that employers are able to offer to their employees.
Moving to slide 17, designing the event and then on to slide 18, designing the overall strategy. What this is is a little map of the components of an - a test drive event to be considered. As you're creating your strategy, you're going to have test drives. That's what we're talking about today. But you may also have static displays and an expo.
In terms of your marketing you're going to want to do some internal marketing to draw your employees to your event but are you also going to have external PR. Are you going to be working to engage the public to participate in the event as well. And at large what you want to do when you go to the drawing board is build a draft strategy that works for your organization's goals.
Moving to slide 19, designing the event experience. Across the board you want to have the user in mind, the person who's going to be attending the event. And you want to make sure that it's going to be an easy and fun experience and then it's also going to be educational.
And there are a few - four components to the experience that require time. And I think that's important too for people to remember when they're planning events. I know a lot of people have a lot of experience planning events but experience varies and you're talking about time and space. So how are people going to be navigating through time and space?
And so they're - on the space side they're going to registration tables and they're going to the test drive and they're going to the expo. How long do each one of those test - those touch points take and how do you maximize the amount of fun and education that can be had across those touch points? So it's maximize impact.
Moving to slide 20, I want to talk a little bit about setting goals. And this is some simple math on one level but I think it's really important and this can be a foundational way of calibrating to the size of what you're going to create before you pitch this idea to management.
What you see in equation - equation one and equation two relate to each other here where we look at the - what the goal is here is to get to how many car companies we want to invite. How many vehicles do we want on site? Because we want to have the right number. We don't want to have cars that are sitting idle. We want them to be occupied and we also don't want long lines.
So we look at the total minutes of the event divided by the length of a given test drive given your test drive route and we come up with a maximum number of test drives per vehicle for the event.
And then, we multiple the total number of vehicles that are going to be coming times that number of the maximum number of test drives per vehicle to come up with what's in green and circle here which is the overall maximum number of test drives that can be accomplished in the amount of time of the event with the number of vehicles that's coming.
And so that's the highest possible. There's no way that you can squeeze more test drives in than whatever number you get to there. And I find this very helpful and this has been very helpful in the planning purpose for many independent organizers as well.
And I tacked on here what I've called extra credit which isn't related to these other equations but does become important in planning which is based on your expected number of test drives and how many test drives are going to be happening per vehicle and the length of your route will the vehicles need to be charged before driving back to the dealership?
And is that available? Because this is a very real piece of the logistic. If you run the batteries down to the bottom of their charge and they can't get back, then that's an important thing to consider. How do they get that charge before returning?
Going to slide 21, we're looking at engaging management and then over to slide number 22, engaging management in a little bit more detail. Essentially once you have this concept, this overall strategy and you've set some goals it's time to start engaging management but also really the internal stakeholders in your organization that can look like a number of things depending on the constitution and culture of your organization.
Of course there are people in management who are decision makers that you want to engage, but the transportation team is another group to engage, your communications team, facilities if you're having this event on site. EV drivers make amazing volunteers to work at your event and of course depending on your organization there might be other stakeholders that you want to engage.
And this is really is the best way to ensure that your strategy meets objectives and gains necessary by them is by presenting this overall strategy early on, allowing people to weigh in with what their goals are and then taking it to the next level, having an iterative approach.
Moving to slide 23, promoting the event and then on to slide 24, integrate communications into your plan. On slide 24 you're going to recognize that the center bar here, the during component we looked at this earlier when we were talking about having the user in mind on site.
And so you see there that the onsite experience is six - maybe 30 minutes long. But what we're really looking at from the perspective of potential participants is a much longer experience because you're going to have pre-connect communications that are touching them as touch points before they ever show up onsite.
And perhaps even post connect communications that are hitting them after the event. So you may be looking at a month. You might be looking at five weeks. You might be looking at two weeks. But looking at all of those touch points holistically as the components of this engagement for the event cycle can be helpful in weaving them together artfully to make them really land with the user in a way that's most helpful.
Moving to slide 25, promoting the event. This is just a few of the best practices that have floated to the top for us across our events and many of them are very simple but they really do come down to planning and having sophisticated communications and knowing when to share information at the right time. The first one is very important, perhaps one of the most important for driving high levels of engagement on site.
Having an invitation from leadership, having someone in the leadership position that reaches out your employees and invites people to attend is extremely - has a very RLI and has a very high ROI versus having someone else send that communication. Free food, giveaways, you can read through these but all of these have been seen to be best practices.
Moving to slide 26, producing the event and then on to slide 27, producing the event. If you're having an expo within your experience for your participants you can go a rung out from the car companies in terms of who you're engaging as vendors in your expo. You can think about rebate providers. You can think about your local utility.
You could think about home energy providers, solar companies as well as the car companies that are going to be providing the test drive vehicles. Because when you have them all there, you're painting a full picture of the resources that are needed by the consumer and you're putting them all at the fingertips of the individual.
And if you think about those resources as a whole and how valuable that is think about how much time it would take to figure out how to find all of them on your own. And it would take weeks to find them all on one ([empty] ). So you're providing an incredible service to put all this information in one place, in one thought out experience for your employees.
Moving on to producing the event or under manage vehicle liability, you're going to have a few things come up in terms of how you're managing vehicle liability. And one of them is how you administer waivers of liability. At the simplest level you want to think about who's administering the waivers.
When we work on larger events like what we described at Google or even what we did with SDG&E, oftentimes we will centralize that experience for a number of reasons. But if you're producing on your own we do suggest that you request that the car companies administer waivers themselves so that you don't have to manage that process and that the car companies send a host with the drivers so that that experience is tightly managed.
Moving to slide 29, I have a few key elements for how to manage safety which is very important and I don't think you can ever put enough work into this. With all of the test drives that we've produced, the thousands of them just last year we've had zero incidents and that's no accident.
Pun intended. All of these things that you see here really will help at the most basic level to make sure that it's a very safe experience. It's a lot of cars moving, a lot of people moving through a space they might be familiar with but they've certainly never seen it used this way before.
Moving to slide 30, telling the success story and then on to slide 31 celebrate the success internally. Essentially when the event has happened you have an opportunity to share the successes with the world. If you've captured photos, if you've captured statistics you can then weave those into actionable next steps through follow up communications. Consider an employee survey to see what people's perceptions of EVs were before the experience versus after. Ask them whether they - how they felt about the experience, what they learned and that will give you more data.
Moving to slide 32, share your success story with the world. You really want to create a story based on an engaging hook and this is thinking about internal communications as well as external and potentially PR promotions of what you put all of this work into doing.
And what you want is you want to be announcing something that's new, something that's novel. And adding additional charging stations certainly is a great announcement. Making chargers available to the public is something we've seen.
Being the first to have some number of chargers within a particular geography or if you forged a new local or regional partnership and set some goals around that, these are great stories and engaging hooks to bring media in on. Moving to slide 33, that's my contact information. If you have any questions. And now I believe we'll move into the Q&A section of the presentation.
COORDINATOR: Thank you. At this time anyone wishing to ask a question or make a comment, please press star on your touchtone phone. Please be sure that your telephone is unmuted and clearly record your name when prompted so that your question may be introduced. Once again anyone wishing to ask a question or make a comment please press star one at this time. One moment please for the first question.
NATALIE COMMITTEE: All right thank you (Emily). While they're waiting there was a question that came on the online Q&A and this question is for (Damian). On plugshare.com many of the charging stations that need ([empty] ) are only available during service department hours. Can these be made available 24/7 for EV travelers? An example is of the day the ([empty] ) Nissan in Pueblo, Colorado and the Garcia Nissan in Santa Fe, New Mexico.
DAMIAN HERR: Okay. So as far as making those charging stations available from 24 hours that would be something that is a decision from the actual dealership. There are some dealerships in certain markets where the charging station is placed where it's not behind a gated area. So I would assume that the dealerships that have - that were mentioned have opted to have the charging stations behind a controlled area. So it's a dealership asset. So they can determine how best to manage that. So I hope that answers the question.
NATALIE COMMITTEE: Thank you.
COORDINATOR: Thank you and we do have a question from the telephone line. Our first question comes from (Britta).
BRITTA: Hi everybody. This is (Britta). I hope you can hear me. Great information all around. Thanks all you guys for the update today. Karen I've got a question for you. Is there more automakers or dealers or a combination should be doing to help you out on ride and drives to do a better job of supporting you?
I - for example I looked at - when you quickly showed the Google slide I think I didn't see the Chevrolet logo on the bottom and I don't know if that means that Chevy folks weren't at the event or we're just not doing what we're supposed to or you typically reach out to dealers instead of the car company. Can you just sort of shed some light on what more we can all be doing to help you do your job better?
KAREN JACKSON: That's a good question. I don't believe that we had the Volt there. Of course there was an opportunity that was an oversight. I - at times what we're working with is we're working with the local dealers who may not have vehicles that they can bring and then we're at other times we're working with OEM.
We're working at a national level to bring the vehicle. So it has to do with supply. And what's interesting is for example just to give you insight down the road when we are working at a place like the Google campus in Mount View we are in Silicon Valley where the dealers have a lot of vehicles that they can bring out and provide for these test drive experiences.
When we're looking at different markets and different geographies we know that that is a very different situation. And so I think leadership is really important here and incentivizing dealers to send vehicles to such events and getting them to understand the benefits for them and that this does convert to very real sales is going to be essential, more and more so moving into the future. I hope that answers your question.
(Britta): Yes thank you. It's hard to come up with sort of a systematic answer to this because I think that there are thousands and thousands of ride and drives every year…
KAREN JACKSON: Yes.
BRITTA: And it's just hard for some of us to keep up and be engaged everywhere. We hate to miss a single opportunity. So it's just like it would be great if we knew a better way to do that. And I do understand the challenges with dealerships and just, you know, who do you call and do you see the receptivity you're looking for, you know, everywhere all the time. It's - it is a challenge. I understand that.
KAREN JACKSON: But I think it's a good question and I think that as we've seen with this model is so transformative in terms of converting to sales that it will be happening more and more in the EV space. And it certain is a good question. How do we streamline so that we can make sure that the manufacturers and the local car companies can participate as much as possible? Because it's an incredible opportunity.
BRITTA: Yes. I agree. Totally.
COORDINATOR: Thank you. And once again if we have anyone wishing to ask a question or make a comment, please press star one at this time. Again star one to ask a question. One moment please.
NATALIE COMMITTEE: We did receive another question on the online Q&A. It says any tips on working with dealerships that are not interested in EVs? Phone charge laws, at least in Ohio — so this is someone from Ohio — require them to only work with closest dealers. Typical when one dealer is interested in a ride and drive but cannot participate because of the location. Any thoughts on that?
KAREN JACKSON: This is Karen. I apologize. Some of that broke up a little bit but I believe that the essence of the question was how to work with dealers who potentially are skeptical about EVs. Is that right?
NATALIE COMMITTEE: Right. That's correct. Sorry about that. Yes the question is any tips on working with dealerships that are not interested in EV?
KAREN JACKSON: That could be its own webinar. Let's see. (Damian) I would be curious to hear from you if you have tips on that. In the model that I was describing really there is a dependent on the dealers to bring the EVs to the events. There certainly are workarounds that I would be happy to discuss offline in terms of how to get EVs if the dealers don't have them. But I think that what you're calling attention to is a larger problem that I'm not sure I'm going to dive into. (Damian) do you have any…
DAMIAN HERR: Yes sure I'll share some feedback on that. I think, you know, as part of what we're doing from a - Nissan is doing from an outreach perspective is of course we run into those situations and that's when myself and some of my teammates will kind of step in and work with the dealer.
So there are a couple situations. Number one there could be you're working in an area or you're trying to have a ride and drive where perhaps the dealer doesn't have any vehicles in stock because perhaps they've opted not to have any available because they haven't seen any, you know, perhaps interest for the vehicles that would warrant them to have those vehicles on the lot. So that could be the first issue there.
And with that being said, you know, it's - and typically in those areas is where there's limited infrastructure, okay. So in those situations when we run into that there are some things that we can do from a business development standpoint with our Nissan dealerships to see if there's a way to get a LEAF for a particular ride and drive.
So if it's from a Nissan perspective, I would encourage the Clean Cities folks to reach out to the corresponding business development person from Nissan on our team and I can help facilitate introductions to those people. And they might have ways to get some Nissan LEAF representation.
In some cases we even have - there are specific Nissan LEAF customers that will bring their LEAF to events because we have such a great relationship with them and they are great advocates for the vehicle. So we've seen instances where that has happened.
We've also had instances where dealerships from other areas would actually deliver a vehicle to support a test drive event. But it's all on a case by case basis and I think from a Nissan perspective we are willing to do whatever we have to and whatever we can, which is within our guidelines, to try to support, you know, any ride and drive event.
And I think some of the folks that may be on this call can attest to that, that we'll do whatever we can. And the best way to help facilitate that is leverage Nissan's system of reaching out to the business development person to help to get that.
KAREN JACKSON: And I can absolutely attest that that's been our experience with Nissan, that they will do whatever it takes to get cars there.
COORDINATOR: And we do have another question from the telephone line. Our next question comes from ([empty] ) with Cisco. Ma'am your line is open.
CORY: Hi. My name is (Cory) and I the manager of our - the Cisco program. And this project season I'm wondering how much does it cost to set up one of these larger events like you did at Google?
DAMIAN HERR: I'm sorry. I couldn't hear the question.
SARAH OLEXSAK: This is Sarah from DOE. The question was how much does it cost to put on one of these larger events, such as the one at Google where you're putting on a larger event with multiple dealerships involved and multiple staff administering the event?
KAREN JACKSON: Thank you. This is Karen. As you might imagine the cost varies greatly and some of the variables to consider are how much of the work is absorbed by existing internal staff versus how many external consultants and team members need to be brought on to help manage.
If food is going to be brought in, that's a cost. So there are hard costs that are involved. So it really varies on a case by case basis based on the materials that are existing or needed. The management, how much of that is managed internally versus externally and therefore how much of that management cost can be absorbed into current salaries.
DAMIAN HERR: And this is (Damian) to add onto that. From a Nissan perspective, when we engage an employee by - or a location or company and they're interested in having a ride and drive event, typically what is the simplest form of keeping costs low but still achieving your goals is attaching the ride and drive component to an existing event within that company.
Because number one there's already - there is all - it's a good start. If you're trying to get exposure and getting more people, you know, experiencing the electric vehicle you already have a common existing event at that employer. So an employee benefit form or fair, Earth Day of course or any sort of opportunity where there might be a chance to add a test drive component that keeps the cost low because you're just adding one component to an existing event.
So that's some of the coaching that we do when we engage employee sites is let's take the path of least resistance. There's already an event in place and established. Let's start small and build from there. So start with those events. Get a rhythm going and then let Nissan kind of manage all of the things required for that test drive component.
And so that takes all - we then ourselves because we have a group that handles that, we take all of that management on. So it's just a matter of saying we're adding the Nissan LEAF test drive component to this event and Nissan is going to manage that. So all of our interactions with the company is going to be through the actual champion or advocate who is looking to add the test drive component to that existing event.
SARAH OLEXSAK: Thank you very much. And as we conclude the webinar I'd like to thank our speakers Karen and (Damian) for your valuable time in putting this together. And for all who joined the webinar today, a recording of this will - along with the presentation slides will be available on our Website and we'll be sure to email participants and notify them when that's available.
If you do have any feedback about this webinar or questions about information that was presented today or even ideas for future webinars we would love to hear from you at firstname.lastname@example.org. And if you're already a partner feel free to reach out to your account managers. And thank you very much for joining today.
COORDINATOR: This does conclude today's conference. Thank you so much for joining. You may disconnect at this time.