Published on June 26th, 2016 | by Cynthia Shahan2
EV Champion Chris Sharek
I appreciate the central west coast and southwest coast of Florida and the cities here with adequate EV charging stations available for public use — allowing me to live with a Nissan LEAF and no home charging or second car. Along with whatever princess lives off the coast of Sarasota, thus far protecting us from the harder hits of hurricanes, Sarasota has found good fortune with the city planners and policymakers who have brought public parking infrastructure for EVs. Sarasota is similar to St. Petersburg in this way — with some differences I’ll have to delve into in the future.
The important thing to remember is that there are people in any leading EV community who are championing this EV infrastructure and faster growth of clean cars. CleanTechnica.com and EVObsession.com are continuously interested in finding out how certain cities lead the way with good planning, such as in Sarasota, Florida. Who are the forces of such fine implementation of EV chargers in the city and county? I found that it is not merely one person in the case of Sarasota — but 2, 3, 4, 5 ….
One of those people is definitely Chris Sharek, who I recently had the opportunity to interview.
This day more than ever, interestingly, I appreciated that the Nissan LEAF is a bit taller off the road. During what was nearly a torrential downpour, I met with Chris Sharek in front of Sarasota’s newest EV chargers, at the Sarasota–Bradenton International Airport (SRQ), to discuss how he has helped to grow Sarasota’s EV ecosystem and what can be done to raise awareness about EVs.
Chris actively works to bring EV awareness to the community, as well as more broadly, and helps by providing some of the charging infrastructure for the Sarasota EV network.
Chris shared with us a bit about his own part in the EV ecosystem that drivers enjoy in Sarasota (note that he wasn’t boasting but answering specific questions about groups and activities he has been involved with to advance EV infrastructure and awareness):
I’ve served as the Captain or Co-Captain of the National Drive Electric Week Sarasota Event for the past 5 years. I’ve worked with Sarasota County and City of Sarasota Sustainability Leaders to present to a number of audiences in the area, including book clubs, rotary clubs, professional societies, and church groups. Annually for National Drive Electric Week I have coordinated a Proclamation for the week through the City and County Commissions. Recently, I coordinated and supplied four charging stations to SRQ, our airport.
Although I am an avid CleanTechnica.com reader (and writer) — as well as an EV driver who appreciates new sites to charge in Sarasota — I realized when talking to Chris that he knows a great deal more about charging infrastructure and activism than I do. He is a community-evolving EV leader. Chris mentioned to me several people he knows who are instrumental in Sarasota City and Sarasota County when it comes to progressing the city towards more opportunities for EV charging. I’m curious to dig deeper and find out how Sarasota ended up with 39 EV charging stations.
Chris is impassioned about environmental wellness (it seems many of the leading EV entrepreneurs and early adopters are), and is working to supplement the EV advertising arms of automakers and EV companies since he doesn’t see them as going far enough to spread the EV revolution at the pace it deserves. His book is all about doing that. You can get The Electric Vehicle rEVolution: The truth about hybrid and electric cars on Kindle or on Amazon — you can actually download it for free. Have a read, and let us know what popped out to you.