How to build political support for electric cars: Tesla test rides

We’ve long known the best way to get people interested in electric cars is simply to let them drive or ride in them.

It’s easy enough to tell people they’re quick, smooth and near-silent, but people are naturally skeptical of something they aren’t familiar with.

That includes politicians, but just like everyone else, it seems like a ride in an electric car–specifically, the Tesla Model S–is enough to convince several decision-makers that electric cars are actually pretty good.

New Zealand transport minister Gerry Brownlee is one such politician, whose skepticism for electric vehicles has all but dissolved after a drive in a Model S.
According to The New Zealand Herald, Brownlee experienced a Model S Performance in Los Angeles, and came away highly impressed.

New Zealand is home to only a handful of electric vehicles right now, but Brownlee’s Tesla drive–plus a ride in Google’s driverless car in San Francisco–convinced him of the importance of regulations encouraging the use of electric vehicles.

It’s not the first time some seat time in a Model S has had a desired outcome, either.
Just the other month, North Carolina overturned a bill to ban Tesla from selling cars direct from the factory in the state. Auto dealers have lobbied for similar bills in other states, saying that all cars should be sold by independent dealers.