Going eco-chic. That’s neat.

Shhh. Hear that? It’s me driving in my new Prius Plug-In.  The hybrid electric car is so quiet that the dog didn’t even hear it coming down the driveway. Neat.

What’s especially neat about the Prius is its estimated 95 MPG in hybrid  mode, giving me an 11 mile range running on pure battery. That’s great for a purely electric jaunt across town and especially so for using less gas while driving from Portland to Boston.

Yet we need more public charging stations if more of us are to take the leap and go all electric. The benefits are less pocketbook pain at the pump and an incremental contribution to the planet. While  our family considered a Volt and a Leaf we worried about driving to Boston or to the ski mountains and running out of juice without a way to charge up.

Businesses are incrementally catching on, though, and starting to install charging stations to attract  and encourage electric vehicle owners. A favorite Maine family ski resort Mt. Abram just announced they’ve installed charging stations at the mountain as part of their green initiatives.  I’m counting on those being placed as close to the lift as possible, as a reward for choosing to go green.

Speaking of premium parking, the charging stations give Red Sox fans premium parking access with spots on Landsdowne Street. It may not be a surprise to also see electric vehicle charging stations in the parking lot of Harvard’s Innovation Lab, next to the community bicycle swap. Isn’t eco-chic technology part of the brand image?

Beyond rewarding consumers for going electric on the road, businesses are switching their fleets to electric vehicles as part of their broader sustainability strategies. Frito Lay is a leader in the movement, with well over one million electric miles driven this year. Electric trucks reduce fuel consumption, noise pollution and CO2 emissions, compared to traditional delivery trucks. By the end of this year, Frito-Lay will have more than 275 electric trucks deployed in the U.S., making Frito-Lay the largest commercial fleet of all-electric trucks in the country.



About christengraham

President of Giving Strong, Inc. Christen advises businesses, foundations and families for how to make a greater social impact.