Volunteer EV Coach Spotlight: Nigel Zeid
Nigel Zeid, former EV Ambassador for Boulder Nissan, is starting a new chapter in his electric vehicle (EV) experience as an independent EV Educator. Prior to his current role, Nigel did extensive outreach and education for Boulder Nissan to increase consumer awareness of EVs and encourage people to switch to electric. Much of this outreach involved attending different types of events where Nigel would talk with drivers and educate them about EVs and their benefits. He even started making informational cards to give out explaining the impact of CO2 emissions from vehicles to further increase the public’s understanding. When Nigel first started working at Nissan, there was no one to teach him anything about EVs so he hopes to be the resource he wishes he had for others wanting to learn.
Nigel is extremely passionate about EV education and though he enjoyed his job at Nissan, he had a strong desire to keep up with the EV market more closely and work harder to increase awareness, which is why he decided to become an independent EV Educator.
Since starting his new role in May, Nigel has realized that there is a huge population of people that need a better understanding of EVs and that many dealerships and manufacturers need better EV training to interact with their customers. A lot of his work involves outreach for people, fleets, and manufacturers – his first project in his new position was to create an EV training video for GM. He is looking forward to working with the Drive Electric Colorado team to increase dealer education and hopes to use the knowledge he has accumulated over the years to increase consumer and fleet understanding of EVs.
Nigel’s passion for EVs comes in many forms. The vehicles themselves are fun to drive and he loves connecting with people. His favorite part of the job is getting into an EV with someone who’s never driven one before and says it “makes driving a joy again”. Nigel’s first experience with an EV was in 2009 when he worked with Tesla and got the chance to drive a Tesla Roadster. He recalls experiencing the superior acceleration for the first time and how exciting that was. Electric vehicles were such an interesting concept to him at that time, and after he was done working with Tesla, he went back to work for Nissan just in time for them to announce the Nissan LEAF.
Nigel understands the importance of visualization when it comes to understanding concepts, so he also created visual models like the CO2 cube equivalent (representing one gallon of gas burned) to help him effectively educate people. He also has a yoga ball that he pumps up to 30.5” in diameter that represents one pound of CO2 – burning one gallon of gas produces nineteen of these yoga balls. Nigel believes physical representation is important to help people truly understand the impact of pollution and why electric cars are better for the environment.
As a volunteer EV Coach for Drive Electric Colorado, Nigel’s expertise can help increase our impact on the community and EV adoption. Nigel is the “go-to” guy when it comes to EVs and never misses an opportunity to connect with and educate others. He has made many long-lasting relationships with people and hopes to bring new connections to Drive Electric Colorado. The next few years are pivotal, according to Nigel, and his vision is to have everyone be so educated about EVs in the next five years that he won’t need his job anymore.
“Being a volunteer EV coach and working with Drive Electric Colorado is a great opportunity for me to educate others about electric vehicles,” said Nigel. “Educating and connecting with people helps to pollinate the idea of EVs – it’s all about having a conversation!”
Not only is Nigel an advocate for EVs, he’s also an owner! He bought his first EV, a Nissan LEAF, in 2012 and loves the features and simplicity of the vehicle. Other models he’s interested in are the Kia Soul, Canoo, and VW ID.Buzz.