Record Number of Cities Celebrate Sixth Annual National Drive Electric Week

This is a guest post taken from a press release by Plug In America, one of the national sponsors of National Drive Electric Week. To view the original release, click here. Photos originally published here. Sarah Gilliam, SACE’s Communications Coordinator wrote the summary.

Racecar driver and EV-owner Leilani Munter gave a speech urging for increased availability of electric vehicles in North Carolina. Event held in Asheville, NC.

This year’s sixth annual National Drive Electric Week, held September 10-18, was the biggest National Drive Electric week yet with 235 events in 212 cities, seven countries, and 46 U.S. states. It could be called the year’s largest U.S. clean energy mass mobilization – it  included ride and drives, city proclamations, street fairs, electric vehicle parades and other activities. More than 120,000 people joined in the celebration to learn more about electric vehicles (EVs) and it is reported that 7,368 test rides were completed at the events. That’s a lot of new people getting the opportunity to experience the benefits of EVs for themselves.

Palo Alto mayor Pat Burt, Assemblymember Rich Gordon, and EVangelist Sven Thesen "cut the gasoline cord" in front of Assemblymember Gordon's Tesla S.

“With more chargers in the ground and EVs on the road than ever before, it’s clear we’re driving forward, not backward. Clean transportation is here, and it’s here to stay,” said Gina Coplon-Newfield, the Sierra Club’s Electric Vehicles Initiative director. “As more than half a million electric vehicles drive along U.S. roadways and public officials and everyday citizens flock to National Drive Electric Week events, this year’s exciting events show that American drivers are ready to make the switch from dirty gasoline to clean energy solutions like electric vehicles.”

National Drive Electric Week is based on the idea that nothing beats learning the ropes from existing owners and ride-and-drives in clean, quiet and powerful plug-in vehicles for converting gasoline-car drivers to EV owners. The event showcases the fun, cost-saving, and clean-air benefits of plug-in electric vehicles. For the sixth year in a row, Plug In America, the Sierra Club, and the Electric Auto Association teamed up with local groups to organize events, which featured all-electric and plug-in hybrid electric cars.

“In just five years since this event began, we’ve seen a massive uptick in consumer interest, product availability and social push for clean transportation,” began Plug In America’s Executive Director Joel Levin. “With such wide variety in today’s marketplace, there truly is an electric vehicle to fit every lifestyle and price point.”

A Hong Kong naval officer with his small child test out the trunk space of a Tesla Model S.

Some highlights of this year’s events included:

  • National Drive Electric Week proclamations and speeches by many public officials, including the governor of Hawaii, the Chair of the California Air Resources Board; U.S. Congressman Paul Tonko (NY); and the mayors of Boise, ID; Salt Lake City, UT; Ottawa, Ontario; Pleasantville, NY; Fargo, ND; South Portland, ME; Annapolis, MD; Baton Rouge and New Orleans, LA; Windsor Heights and Des Moines, IA; Alpharetta, GA; and Cupertino and Solvang, CA.
  • International events included dozens in New Zealand alone, and events in Canada, Croatia, Denmark, Hong Kong and Italy.
  • Ribbon-cutting for several charging stations at Dunkin Donuts locations in the Pittsburgh area and 26 new charging stations at the Hyatt Regency in Sacramento, CA.
  • The President of the University of Utah and the Mayor of Salt Lake City announced a new round of funding for EV rebates and reduced costs of EVs through a joint purchasing program.
  • The White House and the U.S. Department of Energy amplified news about EVs and National Drive Electric Week through social media.
  • More than 400 media articles in TV, radio, print, and web outlets referencing this year’s NDEW events.

    Springs Preserve museum parking lot with photovoltaic solar canopy that provided power to ChargePoint CT2020 AC Level 2 stations and refueled four Nissan LEAFs shown in right foreground.

  • Dozens of U.S. Navy sailors checking out EVs at the military base in Groton, CT.
  • Wall-mount charger giveaways in Cupertino, CA and Poolesville, MD.
  • 750 ride-and-drives at one Los Angeles, CA event alone.
  • A speech urging for increased availability of electric vehicles in North Carolina by racecar driver and EV-owner Leilani Munter in Asheville, NC.
  • Zero-emission electric bus demonstrations in Richmond, CA and Concord, NH and a showing of Alaska’s first electric bus in Juneau, AK.
  • Ride-and-drives and financing and rebate information booths to highlight EV incentives geared toward low-income residents, in Watts, CA.
  • An Electric Juice Bar Crawl featuring a caravan of EVs, who toured and visited public charging sites around town, and gave attendees the opportunity to ride in different models of electric vehicles in Las Vegas, NV.

In summary, this global event shows the growing popularity of electric vehicles and SACE is excited to support this growth throughout the Southeast. As climate change continues to impact communities around the world, we are committed to cost-saving and climate solutions like electric vehicles, clean energy and energy efficiency. We look forward to participating in 2017 events, which are already scheduled for September 9th-17 2017. Onward!

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