Maine humorist Tim Sample is seen in a still from his video endorsing electric vehicles for Efficiency Maine.

Coming to radio stations near you: Maine humorist Tim Sample talking about cars, the ones you plug in.

To promote more understanding of electric vehicles and how they work, Efficiency Maine has hired Sample, who’s featured in a series of online videos explaining everything EV.

In his familiar, folksy Maine accent, Sample calls himself a “lifelong car guy,” recalling his first car, a 1956 Chevy Bel Air, that, “I bought from Doris Farmer for $150.”

There’s a new kind of vehicle on the road, Sample says: electric vehicles.

“These new high-tech cars are real quick, they handle great, look awesome, and cost less to run than gas cars.”

There are two kinds of electric vehicles: the fully electric EVs that use no gas, including Teslas and Nissan’s Leaf, and plug-in hybrids that can use electricity or gas, including Toyota’s Prius Prime or Kia’s plug-in hybrid Sorento.

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Both are clean when it comes to the environment.

The EV’s that use no gas are the cleanest, particularly in Maine, where in 2020, 79% of its electricity came from renewable sources.

“They emit no pollution from the tailpipe,” Sample says. “In fact, they have no tailpipe! No oil change. No spark plugs. No muffler. You save a lot of money on gas, and more on maintenance and repairs.”

In another video Sample talks about how far the EVs can go between charges, posing the question, what if he wants to drive “to the deep south, like Portsmouth, New Hampshire.”

He’s told there’s plenty of help with that and apps on smartphones to locate public chargers.

Efficiency Maine’s EV Program Manager Amalia Siegel said Sample was hired to help promote understanding and comfort about driving electric.

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Key messages are that driving electric can save money on fuel and maintenance, and the cars are fast, quiet and convenient. Most EV owners plug in and charge at home. “You don’t have to visit the gas station,” Siegel said. “You charge at night and in the morning you’re good to go.”

Another common question is how long does the battery that replaces the engine last? Manufacturers warranty batteries for eight to 10 years, Siegel said. “People are not finding they’re having to replace the battery halfway through the lifetime of the car.”

The time is right to grab the public attention’s, she said, adding that the number of rebates Efficiency Maine has given Mainers buying EVs and PHEVs has skyrocketed in the first part of 2021. (See related story.)

Because of the global computer chip shortage needed to build new vehicles, there is a tight supply of EV’s currently at some car dealerships; that shortage is projected to improve as the industry catches up with demand.

Efficiency Maine’s campaign with Tim Sample is on the Efficiency Maine webpage, Facebook and Twitter accounts.

In the next few months radio ads will feature Sample, Siegel said.

Nationally, more manufacturers are making EVs and PHEVs and promoting them in television ads. That makes a difference, Siegel said. “Like it or not, people are being influenced by what they’re seeing.”

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