Weatherford resident nominated for EAA board


Weatherford resident Jacob Melton is one of 11 members from across the United States who have been nominated for the National Electric Auto Association (EAA) Board, and will be voted on by members in early December.

The EAA is North America’s leading volunteer organization that accelerates the adoption of electric vehicles (EVs) by supporting our chapters and members as they talk neighbor-to-neighbor about the benefits of driving electric.

Members will vote to fill three open board spaces and will do so once they receive an email from our third-party voting organization, True Ballot, in early December.

“I believe that EV’s are an important part of our future infrastructure, and a huge chance to create jobs, improve lives, and reshape our carbon footprint, plus they are a lot of fun. And I feel that having a ‘working group’ to help shape a technology or culture shift is vital to a common message, legislative support, engagement, and reinforcement,” Melton said.

“When I was a kid, I wanted to be a scout, but my town did not have scouts. I talked with my mother and she called every other kid’s mom in town and then the scouts, to see what needed to happen to have our own chapter. We started our own troop, 355, and had an amazing experience while learning a lot of life skills. When I was in high school, a friend of mine was kicked out of a local park for skateboarding. My brother checked the local code, and my family went to the local town hall, pointing out that the code said no skateboards on sidewalks, and no skateboards on city streets, so where to ride? We further pointed out that the baseball, basketball, tennis, etc. players all had their own city funded fields or courts,” Melton said.

“The city agreed to match any fundraising we did, and we ended up with a $40,000 skateboard park. What these moments have taught me is that 1, asking or speaking up is half the battle, 2, if you don’t someone else will, and maybe not for as worthy a cause, or as effective, and 3, if your goal is for the common good, everyone wins. I thrive in problem solving, technically, and I believe that I can be of value in talking EV related tech, directions, and further to help communicate up or down to the appropriate audience, whether that be a group of ‘range anxiety’ potential consumers, ‘tight purse’ legislators, or the occasional Luddite,” Melton said.

“I have been working in energy for more than a decade, doing software engineering, data science, and machine learning, and have been leading a U.S.-based electric bike company for the last few years, aiming to build an electric bike/motorbike completely in the USA. My background is largely engineering and computer science, but I have lended myself to help organizations and nonprofits throughout the years. I’ve been on boards to help move business accounting methods toward greater transparency,” Melton said.

The following ideas can make the board even stronger, Melton said.

• Communication: Communication via a cultural level is necessary for change (Kurt Lewin - father of change theory), where behavior is only altered through an unfreezing/ shifting/freezing of existing methods to altered methods, and really only effective through local group behavior. In that regard, if it is vital to shift the World’s Carbon Footprint, then it must be done culturally (making it cool). People fear the loss of carbon based jobs that have supported many communities and built vast amounts of economy over the last 100 years. There are many industries currently devoted to a carbon value chain, that can easily still profit and thrive in an EV world. And there are many more workers and communities that can benefit. If companies are doing their SWOT analysis, they should see this not as a threat, but as a huge opportunity. EV’s aren’t just about replacing internal combustion engines, it’s about rebuilding our workforce, generating a new era of wealth, promoting good health, innovation, and hope for a better tomorrow. Messaging is key, and that message should be that our future success is through EV.

• Outreach: Whatever happened to Science Fairs? There is so much opportunity in reaching schools through programs that promote EV innovation, understanding, or ‘hacking’. Consumer markets generally target ages 10-40, and almost half that range can be reached in our public school system. Encouraging kids in EV science could be huge to influence their impact circle (parents/friends/neighbors), and it could inspire the next gen of EV tech or science influencers.

• Frequency of Events: Once the current pandemic is mitigate, EV related events should increase in frequency, to promote community. Branding relies on community, and increasing visibility, or creating that ‘Friday night drag spot’, (like the ‘cool’ crowd you want to hand with) will instill the desire and anticipation one generally surrenders to while clicking “Buy.”