2017 Southwest Michigan Drive Electric Week Photo Gallery

Electric Car Excitement!

2017 Southwest Michigan Drive Electric Week photo gallery

Clean, quiet, practical, affordable, everyday transportation.

Transitioning from gasoline power to plug-in electric cars is one of the most important tactics in the war on climate change. That’s why Sierra Club co-sponsors National Drive Electric Week. This year marked Sierra Club Southwest Michigan Group’s third annual Drive Electric Week celebration. Along with the Kalamazoo Electric Vehicle Association, we hosted presentations and demonstrations in Hastings, South Haven, and Kalamazoo. We’re showing people that electric cars aren’t just the future of personal transportation. EVs are practical and affordable right now! You can join the fight against climate change, save yourself a lot of money, and have a lot more fun behind the wheel by making your next car a plug-in. Here’s our Drive Electric Week photo gallery to help convince you.

Drive Electric Week Photo Gallery –
Saturday, September 9, in Hastings

A big THANK YOU to Hastings Public Library Director BARBARA HAYWOOD for inviting us to bring the Drive Electric Week celebration to Hastings and for doing such a fantastic job of organizing the event and getting it publicized! WBCH 100.1 FM plugged us on the air and on their website, and the local papers helped get the word out.

Thanks to all the local excitement about electric cars, we’ve heard that the city is considering installing charging stations! Thanks, Hastings, for giving us the opportunity to share our electric car excitement – and for your enthusiastic response!

Drive Electric Week Photo Gallery –
Monday, September 11, in South Haven

Sending big THANKS to…

JIM FRANCE at South Haven Memorial Library for inviting us to bring the Drive Electric Week celebration to South Haven this year and for doing such a fantastic job organizing and publicizing it! He also created a promotional flier, posted copies around South Haven, and passed it out to library patrons. The Zero Motorcycles Jim saw at our drive-and-ride last year in Kalamazoo impressed him so much that he bought one. Since then, he’s become an EV enthusiast – same as everyone else who ditches a gas-guzzler for a plug-in.

RICH EICHHOLZ of Benton Harbor for speaking at our pre-ride presentation. His new company, Qmulus, is developing EV charging technology. He’s also aiming to run for Fred Upton’s congressional seat in 2018.

SOUTH HAVEN OFFICIALS for making the farmers’ market pavilion available for the event and for giving us the opportunity to share our electric car excitement. Thanks also to the people of South Haven for the enthusiastic response!

Drive Electric Week Photo Gallery –
Wednesday, September 13, at WMU

Photos: Kathy VanDeusen and Bruce Brown for Sierra Club Southwest Michigan Group (except as noted).


About twice as many EVs and twice as many interested people as we had for our first event in 2015 flocked to this year’s Kalamazoo drive-and-ride. We also branched out this year, answering calls from folks in Hastings and South Haven to come show them what this growing electric-car excitement is all about.

The news media is taking notice, too! A few days before we kicked off National Drive Electric Week with our drive-and-ride in Hastings, Rebecca Thiele of WMUK radio interviewed Ben Brown. Then Jim France of South Haven appeared with Ben on WWMT Newschannel 3’s Lori Moore Show. At our drive-and-ride next to Waldo Stadium in Kalamazoo on Wednesday, Ben got interviewed again. So did Mike Walenga of the Kalamazoo Electric Vehicle Association.

Special thanks to Barbara Haywood at the Hastings Library and to Jim France at the South Haven Library for inviting us and for doing such a fantastic job organizing and publicizing! Thanks also to Western Michigan University’s Office for Sustainabilty for their help in promoting our work and for getting us more publicity on Channel 3.

The people who made the week a success


On the far left is Don Grantham, one of many EV owners who shared their cars and advice at our WMU celebration. Then, left to right, we have: Mike Walenga, Kim Sandefur, and Glenn Griffith of KEVA; SWMG Executive Committee members Roz Linsea (Vice Chair) and Charlie Stefanac; SWMG member Bruce Brown; Rich Eichholz, EV enthusiast who also joined us in South Haven to introduce Paul Pancella’s program at the library; SWMG’s Programs and Events Chair Kim Gabriele; KEVA’s Paul Pancella, who gave his informative EV advocacy presentation at our Hastings and South Haven event; tireless SWMG member Kathy VanDeusen who worked hard and long at all three events; and the amazing Ben Brown, SWMG Executive Committee member and our Drive Electric Week Chair who spent months planning, organizing, doing all the legwork, and managing all the invisible, under-appreciated but all-important details, that made the week a slam-bang success! Another unidentified person used Paul Pancella’s camera to take the picture.

Special recognition to two people not pictured – Barbara Haywood at the Hastings Library and Jim France at the South Haven Library. Thanks to both for inviting us and for the amazing work they did organizing and publicizing their events. Also not pictured but sincerely appreciated: Ginger Miller and Al Baker who helped in Hastings and South Haven; Becky Mandrell and Craig Brainard for their help in Hastings; and Gail Patterson for spreading the word about us in the South Haven neighborhood. Two SWMG Executive Committee members, Chair Mark Miller and Secretary Nancy Appel, were also on hand for the EV demo at WMU but had to leave before we assembled for the group photo.

Our biggest thanks of all goes out to the several dozen EV believers who brought their cars to our celebrations and shared their excitement and their knowledge!

Update, December 6, 2017

Sierra Club’s Michigan Chapter recognized Ben Brown’s work with a special Service Award presented by Chapter Executive Committee member Craig Brainard at SWMG’s monthly meeting in December. Ben organized three of the five drive-and-ride demonstrations held in Michigan during Drive Electric Week 2017. Thanks, Ben, for all the hard work, and congratulations on your much-deserved award!

Ben Brown, center, with his Sierra Club Michigan Chapter Service Award with Michigan Chapter Executive Committee representative Craig Brainard (left) and Southwest Michigan Group Chair Mark Miller (right). Photo by Bill Strong.

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