As the nation's largest market for electric vehicles, Californians have the most choices of what party to attend, but even in places with far fewer battery-powered models, fans can find a place to go to find likeminded drivers. With one EV for every 2,304 registered vehicles in the state, Idaho has an event in Boise. Despite the figures being just 1 in 4,121 cars, even Louisiana has two gatherings: in Shreveport and Baton Rouge.
The annual event to promote EVs and build awareness about them started in 2011 as National Plug In Day but switched to a weeklong celebration in 2014. Nationally, Plug In America, the Sierra Club, and the Electric Auto Association present it, but local fans in each city help organize the gatherings. You can check out the list of all of the locations and times set up so far, here, and they are also looking for volunteers.
The basis of National Drive Electric Week is that the enthusiastic owners of electric vehicles are EV's best advocates and the key to gaining widespread adoption. Some states created early incentives or benefited from federal programs that have helped drive EV ownership. In those states, we tend to have strong EV owner communities and participation in National Drive Electric Week.
In other states, it's both more of a challenge and a tremendous opportunity to kick start outreach and build EV momentum. This month, we'd like to recognize some of the National Drive Electric Week events that are taking place in states that are just getting started with EV ownership.
According to data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration, as of 2013, California led the nation with one plug-in electric vehicle for every 181 registered vehicles, Hawaii was in second place with 1 in 237 and Washington rounded out the top three with 1 in 295.
In Kansas, only 1 in 1921 registered vehicles is electric, yet Al Pugsley is organizing two events in the Kansas City area Overland Park and Prairie Village and Shawn Schmidt is getting an event started in Wichita.
In South Carolina, with just 1 in 2228 vehicles having plugs, James Haberberger is leading an event in Bluffton, Richard Williams an event in Charleston, and Phillip Washington in Columbia.
Idaho has 1 EV for every 2304 vehicles and an event in Boise led by Edwina Allen.
In Oklahoma (1 in 2368), John Gallagher put Oklahoma City on the event map.
Kentucky (1 in 2991) has two events going in Jeffersontown. James Maddox is leading one on September 13th and Jon Tyson has a three-day event going at the Gaslight Festival the following weekend.
In Alabama (1 in 3069), Jeff Baker is organizing a Huntsville event in the Redstone Energy Demonstration Park.
Louisiana, with just 1 EV for every 4121 vehicles, has the lowest EV adoption rate of all the states that (so far) have a 2015 National Drive Electric Week event, and they have two events! Michael Epper is organizing an event in Shreveport and Lauren Lambert-Tompkins is getting an event started in Baton Rouge.
The organizers listed above can use the support of the existing electric vehicle drivers and supporters in their area. Please consider bringing your electric vehicle or your enthusiasm to these events. You can volunteer on the event page for any of the events.
We currently have events organized or being planned in 31 states. The states that don't have events range from Connecticut with 1 electric vehicle in 822 vehicles to Mississippi with just 1 in 5563. Check out the event map. If your state doesn't yet have an event, there's still time to organize one!