Drive Electric
Earth Day
April 23, 2022

Mark D Larsen

Power Play
(Click to enlarge)

I hadn’t been able to participate in Earth Day celebrations for the last few years because of the pandemic, but now that I’ve been vaccinated four times, I decided to volunteer to join with other EV owners to display our cars at the Springs Preserve festival in Las Vegas. Below is my usual annotated “album” of the EV’ent.

NOTE: You can click on the following photos to enlarge them, and the movies to play them.

My introduction to the day, shortly after leaving home early in the morning.

Here I cross the summit of the mountains, and then get onto I-15 to Las Vegas

This is when I pulled out of the garage at dawn.

I checked to see what prediction the energy graph was displaying for my arrival about halfway there.

As I entered Las Vegas the prediction had risen slightly.

I was surprised, and pleased, to see that the city was not shrouded in its usual smoggy haze for once. What a nice breath of fresh air!

The prediction proved accurate when I arrived at a mall just across the street from the Springs Preserve: I arrive with a 35% charge. I had arranged to meet the EV'ent organizer, Stan Hanel, there so that he could give me a wrist band to enter the security area of the venue.

I happened to notice that there was a free Level 2 charger in the mall parking lot.

I decided that I might as well plug into it while waiting for Stan to arrive.

Sure enough, the failing PCS in my Battery Service Panel once again gave me a misleading, erroneous alert about its breakdown. It has now been over 60 days since I filed my complaint with Tesla, and they have yet to arrange for arbitration to settle the dispute. It better happen soon!

Here you can see how Tesla has now shrunken the text of the rate of charge, and I suspect that it is so owners will not notice that their PCSs are not charging at the full rate available from the EVSE.

Stan arrived on his bicycle and gave me my purple wrist band. It was good to see him again, and I took this selfie with the sun glaring on our faces.

This map shows the yellow security road behind the Springs Reserve where we EV owners were to display our cars.

They had us line up along that road on the edge of the desert.

Right behind my Model 3 was a DeLorean coverted to run on electricity. Talk about "Back to the Future!"

The rear trunk was filled with batteries.

With even more batteries under the hood.

It was fun to see such a vintage car converted into an EV.

I'm sure it turned more heads than any other EV on display.

Another real head turner was the Lucid Air farther down the road. What a gorgeous car!

The interior was truly luxurious.

The frunk was cavernous.

And it even had two layers, giving even more storage space.

The trunk was also very spacious, with two levels.

With the rear seats folded down, there was even more room, which also boasted a "ski" hatch for long items.

The charging port was on the front driver's side, sporting a CCS connector that the owner confirmed was capable of handling a whopping 300kW.

Behind the Lucid was a beautiful Jaguar e-Pace.

And behind the Jaguar was a Jeep Wrangler hybrid.

Here is a Spark EV next to its replacement in the Chevrolet lineup, a Bolt.

The Bolt eventually moved to the end of the line, and was replaced by a Mustang Mach-E. Next to the Mustang was a truck converted to an EV.

Here you can see that its engine has been replaced by the EV controller.

More EVs arrived and lined up, like this Model X with its falcon wing doors open.

The wind had finally died down enough for me to play my usual tongue-in-cheek trick on attendees.

Here is what they would see as the walked down the road.

Toward the end of the EV'ent, I locked the car up and took a stroll through the grounds of the Springs Preserve.

There were lots of vendors and information booths. From time to time there were also musicians playing on the stage of the amphitheater.

I was impressed with this blooming cactus.

Its flowers were large, fragant, and attracting bees to gather its pollen.

I was glad to see that they had posted a sign directing attendees to the electric cars, although I doubt very many of them were willing to wander out onto that road in the desert.

There were also signs pointing to the food trucks that were parked across the road from our EVs.

There was a fun children's playground at the very back of the venue, on the other side of the fence where my Model 3 was parked.

There were lots of clever constructions for the kids to climb on.

And impressive "nature" sculptures around the playground.

Here is a view of the Preserve from the balcony of its café.

I followed these signs to see the butterfly exhibit.

At the end of it was a splashpad for the kids.

Unfortunately, the exhibit had closed an hour before the celebration ended, so I didn't get to see those butterflies.

The landscaping around the Preserve was impressive.

With all kinds of exotic plants, bushes, and trees. A perfect venue to celebrate Earth Day!

Before the food trucks shut down, I decided to buy a couple of street tacos for dinner.

The celebration ended at 4:00, and I said farewell to Stan, who was still monitoring the table at the beginning of the road to see the EVs.

I drove to the Superchargers by the LINQ in downtown Las Vegas, and was amused to see the usual hubbub and advertisements, like this one for Barry Manilow on the back of a bus.

And I spotted what struck me as an odd ad for “Menopause the Musical.” Oh, that'd be a barrel of laughs.

I plugged in at the Supercharger with 84 miles left in the battery. If you can read that tiny grey font (grrrr!), it shows a charging rate of 1,000 mi/hr.

I charged to 80%, which only took 20 minutes.

I then set my navigation to take me home.

The graph predicted that I'd arrive with 27% left in the battery.

Here I give a summary of the EV'ent as I left Las Vegas on the freeway home.

When I pulled in the driveway, the battery had dipped to 20%, just barely in the "yellow" zone.

I'd driven 127 miles since Supercharging, using an average of 303 Wh/mi, and now had 55,585 miles on the odometer.

It was a nice EV’ent. I enjoyed chatting with other EV owners, who were most interested to learn about my battery warranty dispute with Tesla. I also really liked answering the questions of attendees about my Model 3. Truth be told, however, I don’t think I will agree to participate under those circumstances in the future. The location where they placed us was inconvenient, less than ideal for displaying our cars, and too isolated to be noticed by the public. If the Springs Preserve does offer an Earth Day celebration next year, and want EV owners to participate, I really hope that they’ll let us park in the lot with EVSEs under the solar canopies where we normally host National Drive Electric Week, like last fall. Otherwise… I’ll pass.