Tom Daldin, host of the popular PBS show Under the Radar Michigan really is as enthusiastic in person as he is on camera. Just ask Jeff Myrom.
“Tom has a ton of energy and he is genuinely interested in what he’s talking about,” says Myrom, the director of Electric Vehicle Programs for Consumers Energy.
Myrom and his team were responsible for securing an electric vehicle for the Under the Radar (UTR) production team to use during filming of their episode that aired on July 29.
It was an opportunity to give someone a first-hand experience of what it was like to drive an EV, something that he enjoys doing. He is a big believer that once skeptics have an opportunity to physically sit in and drive an EV, they will change their minds about how EVs perform.
In fact, the show’s production crew used it just like they would a petroleum fueled vehicle, loading it up with the gear needed for two days of filming. Myrom wanted to make sure the crew had a resource in case they had any questions, and all he heard from them over the two days they had the EV was positive feedback.
“The Under the Radar crew took a big leap of faith with using an EV. Their reaction is really a testament to the charging infrastructure we have in Michigan,” he said.
For Myrom, the timing of the show was the perfect time for Consumers Energy to participate. With programs like PowerMIDrive, Michigan’s public charging infrastructure has grown significantly in the last two years, making the route the UTR team wanted to take around the Lower Peninsula possible. That same route might not have been possible just a few years ago.
“Two years ago, if you went north of Grand Rapids and Lansing, there were hardly any fast charging stations or even Level 2 charging stations unless you were on the Tesla network,” he said. “Now, the UTR crew was able to do their entire route from Kalamazoo to Marshall to Boyne City to Cheboygan in two days. Two jam packed days of filming and charging as needed.”
Now that the episode has aired, Myrom has heard some feedback from family and friends who thought it was cool to see him on television. He’s also excited because it has started more conversations about EVs, why they are good for our environment and how much fun they are to drive.