National Plug In Day is becoming National Drive Electric Week for 2014, with festivities taking place between September 15 and 21, according to advocacy group Plug in America. Organizers expect at least 35,000 attendees to attend events in more than 115 cities across 35 states.
And for good reason. Ride-and-drive events, food and drink, and family activities will be standard procedure for everyone who want to get a better look at the various EVs and plug-in hybrids parading through town. And many of the events will have a local spin. Houston's will be in front of a solar-powered IKEA store. In Southern California, UCLA and Santa Monica High School will hold lectures and educational programs about new drivetrain technology. And in New Hampshire, 50 EVs will be whirring their way up Mount Washington, the highest peak in the northeastern US.
Last year, National Plug In Day's organizers Plug In America, Sierra Club and the Electric Auto Association planned the annual event for around 95 US cities, up from 60 in 2012 and the "measly" 29 that celebrated the first-ever event in 2011. You can find more info in Plug in America's press release below.
Electric Car ride-and-drives to be offered coast to coast and beyond. Local organizers and sponsors include private and public sector leaders, volunteers and corporations
SAN FRANCISCO, Calif., Aug. 26, 2014-A record number of cities-over 115 in 35 states and abroad-will observe National Drive Electric Week, Sept. 15-21, 2014. The annual event is designed to showcase the fun, convenience, clean-air benefits and cost-savings of electric vehicles through ride-and-drives and related activities taking place from Hawaii to Vermont.
National Drive Electric Week (formerly National Plug In Day) has quadrupled in size since its 2011 launch. It is expected to draw at least 35,000 attendees this year. Many cities are participating for the first time and others are going on their fourth consecutive year. Just as U.S. plug-in vehicle sales are expected to reach their first quarter-million mark, cities will offer one-day activities or observe the celebration's entire week, organized nationally by Plug In America, the Sierra Club and the Electric Auto Association.
"As we celebrate the first quarter-million plug-ins sold, these vehicles continue their inevitable march toward mainstream adoption," said Plug in America President Richard Kelly. "Plug-ins offer the industry's most efficient technology, freedom from gas stations, costly car repairs and reliance on foreign oil, and the option to drive on renewable energy, delivering tremendous public health and environmental benefits. National Drive Electric Week offers everyone the chance to learn this first hand."
Said Sierra Club's Director of Future Fleet & Electric Vehicles Initiative, Gina Coplon-Newfield: "Don't let Drive Electric Week zoom past without visiting an event near you. Electric cars take fuel efficiency and state-of-the-art technology to an exciting new level."
With the goal of getting butts in seats and learning the ropes from existing owners-advocated throughout the auto industry as the most effective educational methods of-National Drive Electric Week events target people who have never driven EVs and offer ride-and-drives in every plug-in on the market. Events-all of them free-take place in nature centers, at air quality management districts, state capitals, town squares and other venues. Music, food, family activities and solar power displays are part of the mix. Some examples:
• Connecticut's Dept. of Energy and Environmental Protection and the state's Automotive Retailers Assn. will award the state dealership with highest plug-in sales.
• The mayor of Huntington Beach is expected to appear at Surf City's seaside event.
• Stella, the world's first solar-powered family car and winner of last year's World Solar Challenge, birthplace of the storied EV1, will visit Cupertino, where organizers are attempting to break the Guinness world record for most EVs assembled.
• Poolesville, Maryland's event could draw 10,000, staged next to an annual fest replete with a town parade and marching band.
• Houston will celebrate EVs at a solar-powered IKEA store, which will trumpet the event on its electronic billboard, visible from a major freeway intersection. Attendant mini-events will take place at EV charging stations around the sprawling city.
• Scottsdale, Arizona's event will bring EV efficiency to the site of one of nation's longest running gasoline-car shows.
• UCLA and Santa Monica High School will share the EV message with youth through lectures and other activities of the new National Drive Electric Week Ambassador School initiative.
• 50 EVs in New Hampshire will scale Mount Washington, the northeast's highest peak.
Last year, California Gov. Jerry Brown marked National Drive Electric Week by signing six EV-friendly bills.
National Drive Electric Week has been directly linked to increased plug-in vehicle sales, which have jumped by as much as 23 percent the month after NDEW in every year it has been held.
Plug In America recently produced this total cost of ownership analysis for plug-in vehicles, showing that, by choosing an EV over a gasoline car, a typical U.S. driver can cut in half the monthly cost to lease and operate a car.
For details about individual events, visit the National Drive Electric Week Events page. Media may contact organizers directly from each city's event page.
About Plug In America: Plug In America, a San Francisco-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 (formerly National Plug In Day) and has advanced workplace charging by pioneering regular 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. www.pluginamerica.org.
About the Sierra Club: The Sierra Club is the nation's oldest and largest grassroots environmental organization with more than 2.3 million members and supporters and chapters in all 50 states. The Sierra Club's national electric vehicles campaign advocates for a switch to EVs as one important way to reduce emissions and cut our addiction to oil. 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.