WASHINGTON, D.C. — This year’s sixth annual National Drive Electric Week was the biggest National Drive Electric week yet with 2365 events in 212 cities, seven countries, and 46 U.S. states held between Saturday, September 10 and Sunday, September 18. During what was this year’s largest U.S. clean energy mass mobilization including ride and drives, city proclamations, street fairs, electric vehicle parades and more, more than 120,000 National Drive Electric Week attendees had the opportunity to check out electric vehicles (EVs). In fact, there were a reported 7,368 test rides at the events.
‘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.’
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.
- 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.
- 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.
- International events included dozens in New Zealand alone, and events in Canada, Croatia, Denmark, Hong Kong and Italy.
‘With the recent release of exciting new vehicles from Chevy and others, this event served its purpose in showing attendees that driving an EV is within reach of many Americans. Thanks to the many who helped open eyes and minds all around the country,’ said Ron Freund, Electric Auto Association chairman.
Nissan’s all-electric LEAF® has served as National Drive Electric Week’s exclusive automotive sponsor since 2013. California Electric Transportation Coalition (CalETC) was a silver sponsor, ClipperCreek a bronze sponsor, and PlugShare was a media sponsor.
Next year, National Drive Electric Week will take place from September 9 to 17, 2017.
Photos of this year’s events can be found here.
For more information, visit: driveelectricweek.org
About Plug In America: Plug In America, a Los Angeles-based national nonprofit organization, works to accelerate the shift to plug-in vehicles powered by clean, affordable, domestic electricity to reduce our nation’s dependence on petroleum and improve the global environment. The organization conceived National Drive Electric Week and has advanced workplace charging by pioneering ride-and-drive events at such leading corporations as Google, Mattel and Paramount Pictures. It developed the world’s largest, most dedicated network of plug-in vehicle owners and drivers, many of whom have driven EVs for well over a decade. We drive electric. You can too. pluginamerica.org.
About the Sierra Club: The Sierra Club is the nation’s oldest and largest grassroots environmental organization with more than 2.4 million members and supporters and chapters in all 50 states. The Sierra Club’s national electric vehicles initiative advocates for a switch to EVs as one important way to reduce emissions and cut oil consumption. Sierra Club is proud to have been one of the three national groups organizing National Drive Electric Week since its inception in 2011. www.sierraclub.org/EVGuide.
About the Electric Auto Association: The Electric Auto Association, formed in 1967, is a nonprofit educational organization with 75 chapters worldwide that promotes the advancement and widespread adoption of electric vehicles.www.electricauto.org.