[Oeva-list] success and change

Gary Graunke gary at whitecape.org
Thu Nov 8 09:13:12 PST 2018

We have seen a lot of changes since I first joined the OEVA in 2000. I
recall my first meeting--someone from Bonneville brought a Ford EV Ranger
just like the one I had just ordered from Damerow Ford in Beaverton. As Ford
pulled out of the EV business after California ZEV mandates were abandoned,
I never took delivery of that pickup. We struggled to find vehicles-a '94 US
Eletricar Chevy S-10 from ebay  became my first EV. Most of our group were
into drag racing, and our focus was on helping members do conversions. We
were mostly engineers and technicians, doing it mostly just for the joy of
EV driving and fun of exhilarating acceleration. 


Today it is difficult to keep up with the EV offerings from almost every
automaker. Most of us are driving store-bought EV's, some of which are
changing the automotive industry in a big way. In the late 70's, I could not
find an EV just to go 6 miles to work and back. Today some of us easily
drive across the country in a Tesla, and Electrify America is helping all
the others catch up with the charging networks to be able to do long
distance travel. 


Along the way we found more and more reasons to go with electric vehicles.
Yes, EV's help our national energy security and isolate our economy from oil
shocks and inflation as we would have wanted in the 70's. They keep driving
affordable not only for those that drive EV's and those that still depend on
stable gas prices. They solve the air pollution problems for urban areas. We
have learned that the current transportation paradigm based on combustion
does not scale-it produces climate change that threatens not only our
economic and political stability, will require us to make epic changes in a
very short time just to survive. 


After hurricane Katrina, when gas first hit $3.00/gallon, my manager at
Intel saw me with my Insight EV in the parking lot. He congratulated me for
doing well in the face of rising gas prices with my EV. I replied that I was
not a hermit-I live in civilization, and if the people around me are not
doing well, I will not be doing well.


We transitioned from an electric car club to a non-profit, where we now work
mostly in public education and occasionally provide input for public policy.

While most of us know first-hand the benefits and nuances of driving
electric, we still do not do as well as when others around us also benefit
from following us down the path of electrifying transportation and powering
it from renewable resources. We are happy to share our joys and even our
missteps with others. One way to be happy is to make others around you


The kind of work we now do is very different from the earlier days. We have
become car salespeople and EV marketers! We have been successful and have
great joy from seeing the changes that have taken place.  But we have
changed and must continue to change to best serve the new opportunities that
come our way. I am grateful that we have new people who have the necessary
backgrounds that have stepped up to lead us in this new environment. 


Today is the 50th anniversary of my 19th birthday. While I still have the
same can-do attitude I had when I was 19, I try to gracefully accept the
changes I need to make as I age. My third (you may recall I lost the first
two to cancer) wife, Gina, and I have decided to become snowbirds, and will
be down in Arizona for the winter months.  


So I believe it is time for me to step down as president of the OEVA. I will
continue to support the group in any way I can, but my participation will
necessarily be limited by my new lifestyle. There is a time to lead, a time
to follow, and a time to get out of the way. I will be participating in the
Phoenix area EV group activities while I'm down here. 


I have full faith in the others that are in leadership positions, and am
grateful for all their work in years past. We could never have done as much
as we have without all their time and effort. 


I know many of you are capable people and hope that you will step up to
continue and expand the EV opportunities in Oregon as officers or regular


With best regards,


Gary Graunke


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