“It’s not just about a car—it’s about who we are”

Howard and his new Fiat. Photo by Stephanie M. Lim.


By Shannon Liang

This week, I interviewed Howard Lim, Brand Advisor for the U.S. Green Chamber of Commerce and president of his own company, HOW Creative.  After some technology difficulties with Skype on my end, I was finally greeted with an unfamiliar, yet friendly face in the small screen of my laptop. I welcomed Howard’s approachable demeanor, as I was stressed out by my unreliable internet connection and somewhat anxious about our first meeting. However, my unease melted away during our introductions to each other, as it became clear that Howard was not only pleasant and charming, but also a smart businessman making efforts towards sustainability. Buying a brand-new, all-electric vehicle, which we discussed in detail, is part of his goal of preserving the “green space”, reminding us that it’s not just about the car, but about who we are.

Shannon: Hello, Howard! Thank you for taking time out of your busy schedule. To my understanding, you are the U.S. Green Chamber of Commerce’s Brand Advisor and part of their team. Can you tell me more about your role, and your commitment to sustainability?

Howard: I create an image with people the U.S. Green Chamber of Commerce wants to connect with. What I like about [the U.S. Green Chamber of Commerce] is that they’re about social cause and social change. They’re giving the green space a voice and giving alternative energy a voice. It’s really about sustainability, with all businesses… It’s about creating equal opportunity.

Howard's brand-new Fiat. Photo by Stephanie M. Lim.

Howard’s brand-new Fiat. Photo by Stephanie M. Lim.

Shannon: That’s really cool! Can you tell me a little bit about your personal commitment to sustainability?

Howard: I’ve built an office at home with solar panels and a septic system. I’ll also be getting a generator soon, and the electric car just fit the equation. I got the electric car because it would benefit the green space and sustainability. I’m an early adopter, someone who likes to try new stuff. I prefer the Fiat, versus the Tesla. The rebate is amazing, and I feel like I’m doing my part.

Shannon: Is this your first electric vehicle?

Howard: This is my first all-electric vehicle.

Shannon: You are leading by example in purchasing your new, all electric vehicle. When did you get it? Can you tell me anything more about it?

Howard: I got my Fiat about two months ago. I wasn’t looking for a big car, as I’m parking in L.A.—there’s a lot of small, condensed areas. I can also drive in the carpool lane because of the electric car. There are also a lot of charging stations [in L.A.]; I don’t have to worry too much about running short of energy.

I also love that there is a hatchback. I can throw in my surfboard, groceries, and bike. It fits my lifestyle! The Fiat’s great from an economic standpoint and from its footprint.

Shannon: You’ve mentioned choosing the Fiat over the Tesla. Did you have other reasons why you chose this brand and model? Would you recommend someone this type?

Howard: I thought I didn’t need all those miles per charge from the Tesla. I would recommend the Fiat; it’s fun and quick and agile. It’s very spacious and a very smooth ride. I’m impressed by the price and value! It’s definitely well worth! I’m a car enthusiast, and a couple of my friends are too. I do like the car with style as well, with more style and class and performance. It’s also very practical. I don’t have to worry about space.

Howard and his new Fiat. Photo by Stephanie M. Lim.

Howard and his new Fiat. Photo by Stephanie M. Lim.

Shannon: How would you persuade someone to get an electric vehicle?

Howard: If they’re not commuting that often, it’s really a great benefit. The car has a self-timer in it, so it’ll automatically charge from 10 to 2. I’d say to give the vehicle a test drive.

Shannon: Would you offer your own car for the test drive?

Howard: [laughter] No, I wouldn’t.

Shannon: One last question about the car. Is it everything that you’ve ever dreamed of?

Howard: It really is, and more. I wasn’t expecting much. I’m really happy with it, with everything I’ve mentioned before. It really works with my commuting and meeting with clients.

Shannon: Alright, wonderful. Can you tell me a little bit about your company, and how it relates to sustainability?

Howard: My company is called HOW Creative. I work with companies that want to do good and empower humanity. Conscious companies are my target market and my niche.

Shannon: Is there anything else you would like to share?

Howard: I’m really happy about the electric car. I’m pleasantly surprised by how much I really enjoy it! I didn’t have too much expectations, and now I’m really excited about the little car.

Our interview finally came to a close. Not only was I able to learn more about the Fiat and the vehicle’s benefits to the environment, I also gained an understanding of Howard as a person. His passion for sustainability and his amiable personality have definitely left a positive impression on me. I thanked Howard for his time, and wished him good luck with the L.A. traffic!

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