Had a great meeting this week with former State Senator, Christine Kehoe, who is the Executive Director of the California Plug-In Vehicle Collaborative. We met with her, the electric car people at FORD, a rep from NRG and a local solar company. We talked about how the construction and development business is similar to the auto business in that both are woefully behind in leading/launching green initiatives. There seem to be a lot of people talking and not a ton of action. My impressions after the meeting:
- Senator Kehoe gets and likes our concept of healthy green homes. She seemed fascinated by the vision of putting electric cars into near net-zero homes.
- FORD guys completely get it. They see the electric car opportunity as one that could be a game changer for them and are more than happy to help us put cars in our projects.
- The biggest challenge seemed to be determining who’s ready to lead this push and from what direction. Senator Kehoe is a big advocate for building consensus through a variety of groups (BIA, FORD, etc) and taking a well thought out plan to city/state planning depts with requests for incentives for green builders like us.
- I shared with Senator Kehoe that rather than smaller monetary incentives (which seems to be an uphill battle for little gain) I’d prefer building incentives. Incentives that allowed me to reduce parking requirements or get our plans checked quicker, etc. Those would be much more beneficial and valuable to us and they would be a soft cost to a city planning dept.
I’m looking forward to next steps with this group. Everyone seems highly motivated to get this rolling.