Like an electric vehicle with instantaneous torque, the momentum towards this year's National Drive Electric Week (NDEW) accelerated pretty rapidly towards its September 12 start date. As a result, the number of global NDEW events, which stood at 122 as of the end of July, totaled 196 events in 187 cities. And attendance was up at least 36 percent from a year earlier, to more than 130,000 from about 95,000 attendees during 2014.

Some of the milestones for this year's NDEW, which ended September 20, included both the West Coast debut of General Motors' Chevrolet Bolt electric vehicle and the world debut of the 2016 Nissan Leaf at the Los Angeles event, which also included about 1,000 ride-and-drives. Baltimore's first fast-charging station was installed as the city's mayor looked on. About 500 electric-vehicle test rides were given in Hong Kong. And 2015 marked the first-ever NDEW event in Oklahoma, organized by an oil-field worker. Other cities celebrated the week with panel discussions, parades, burnout contests, and other festivities. In all, about 9,000 ride-and-drives were given, and rather quietly.

The annual celebration of all vehicles electric is put on by a partnership between Plug In America, the Sierra Club and the Electric Auto Association. The first-ever event took place in 2011 and was held in 29 cities, while last year's had 152 events. Next year's National Electric Drive week will start September 10, 2016. We've got the wrap-up press release from this year's National Drive Electric week below.

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National Drive Electric Week 2015 Breaks Attendance Record for Second Consecutive Year

More than 130,000 Took Part in 187 U.S. Cities and Abroad

2016 Date Announced: Sept. 10-18

SAN FRANCISCO, Calif., Sept. 29, 2015—Breaking its own record again, National Drive Electric Week 2015 tallied 196 events in 187 cities this year with more than 130,000 people attending events coast-to-coast across the U.S. and Canada, in Hong Kong and New Zealand.

Last year, 152 events in 150 cities in the U.S. and abroad drew some 95,000 attendees.

This year's highlights included the world debut of the 2016 Nissan LEAF and the West Coast debut of the Chevy Bolt EV concept. These vehicles came together at Los Angeles' event, which alone featured roughly 1,000 ride-n-drives out of nearly 9,000 total. Events from Hawaii to Maine also delivered parades, rubber-burning races, panel discussions and more. Every major plug-in model available in nearly every state was represented.

With total plug-in sales on pace to double that of plug-less hybrids for their first five years,

Drive Electric Week resulted once again in EV sales, such as in Hong Kong, whose celebration included 500 test-rides in a country with only 2,500 EVs on the road.

Some events triggered first-time discussions with office holders and businesses about such EV advancements as boosting local infrastructure. Events also served as platforms for officials to make such announcements, with dozens of new charging stations inaugurated during the week. In Baltimore, Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake announced the city's installation of a fast charger, the city's first, and a pilot program allowing city employees to test four different EVs for the city's fleet.

"Once again we've seen that National Drive Electric Week produces concrete results that boost sales in addition to raising awareness of plug-in vehicles from neighborhood to board room," said Joel Levin, Plug In America's executive director.

National Drive Electric Week, which will be held next year from Sept. 10 through 18, 2016, showcases the cost-savings, clean-air benefits and fun of plug-ins. Plug In America, the Sierra Club and the Electric Auto Association team up to support events organized by local groups.

"National Drive Electric Week's record-breaking events show that Americans want to move forward – they want clean energy and they want 21st-century solutions to climate disruption," said Sierra Club executive director, Michael Brune. "With more chargers in the ground and EVs on the road than ever before, it's clear we're driving forward, not backwards – clean energy is here, and it's here to stay."

Other mayors, members of congress, state senators and assembly members, governors, city council members and other office holders—roughly 70 total—across the country took part in the celebration along with utilities, environmental nonprofits, municipal and state energy agencies, automakers, auto dealerships, solar and EV-charging equipment companies, air-quality management districts and academic institutions.

Raising more EV awareness than ever before, Drive Electric Week social media reached some 6.5 million recipients. Nearly 250 articles appeared in local and national outlets alike. Ford Motor gave away plug-in vehicles on the Ellen DeGeneres Show all week and a crew from the Emmy Award-winning environmental television series, "Years of Living Dangerously," filmed an upcoming segment with Emmy Award-winning actor Ty Burrell ("Modern Family") at the L.A. event.

Perhaps the most productive activity of the week: James Haberberger and his wife, Katie Epps, drove to the hospital from the Bluffton, SC event James organized to welcome their son, Conor Alexander Epps, in to the world. A few days later, James reported, "my son Conor had his first ride in an electric car as we brought home our new bundle of joy."

National Drive Electric Week (previously National Plug In Day) launched in 2011 in 29 cities.

Nissan and its all-electric LEAF have served as the event's exclusive automotive sponsor since 2013. ClipperCreek, SunPower and Schneider Electric are also national sponsors and PlugShare is media sponsor.

Media photos here. Video here.

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 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. www.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.


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