Plug In America, the Sierra Club, and the Electric Auto Association are co-sponsors of the 2015 event, which will include the first NDEW rally in Oklahoma (organized by an oil field worker, no less), a big event in Los Angeles featuring race car driver Leilani Münter and Who Killed The Electric Car? director Chris Paine, and actor Ed Begley, Jr. at an event in Woodland Hills, CA. You can find a listing of all the NDEW events here.
The growth in the annual event has been matched, somewhat, by the increase in plug-in vehicle ownership. Last year, there were 150 percent more events than there were in 2013, and we can only guess what will happen next year.
From Hawaii to Vermont, in Canada and Hong Kong, more than 170 events in 165 cities are planned
SAN FRANCISCO, CA, Sept. 2, 2015—An oil field worker, a "hippy chick" race car driver, high school students, celebrities, secretaries of energy, congressmen, mayors and moms will all unite for the fifth annual National Drive Electric Week, boasting more events this year than ever. More than 170 events in 165 cities coast-to-coast, in Canada and Hong Kong will feature plug-in vehicle ride-n-drives and related activities from Sept. 12 to 20, 2015.
In 2014, events totaled 152 in 150 cities for an attendance topping 90,000.
"What strikes me the most about National Drive Electric Week is the incredible diversity of our participants and our event organizers' passion," said Plug In America's executive director Joel Levin. "At present, we have 171 events in 39 states across the American landscape—in big cities, in farm towns and on top of mountains. Plug-ins are not a partisan issue any more. People just love these vehicles and the volunteers putting on these events are keen to educate people about EVs and share their excitement."
National Drive Electric Week, celebrating its fifth anniversary this year, 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 cost-savings, clean-air benefits and fun of plug-ins. Plug In America, the Sierra Club and the Electric Auto Association team up with local groups to organize events, which typically feature all-electric and plug-in hybrid electric cars from every automaker on the market.
"The growing popularity of plug-in electric vehicles shows that there are no detours on the road to clean energy," said Michael Brune, the Sierra Club's executive director. "With more than 170 events across the nation and more plug-in electric vehicles on the market and on the road than ever before, National Drive Electric Week events are proof that American consumers want 21st Century solutions to climate disruption."
Numerous past attendees from around the country have purchased or leased plug-ins as a direct result of Drive Electric Week events, where they learned about the technology from long-time plug-in drivers in a relaxed atmosphere.
"I got to look at and test drive a broad spectrum of electric vehicles without any car dealership pressure," said Peggy Vadillo Orenstein, a public health analyst at UCLA, where she attended a 2014 event. "I was able to compare different vehicles at the same time. I ended up buying a Ford Fusion Energi 2015. I love the car! I've owned BMWs and my last car was an Audi Q5. Nothing beats electric!"
Most Drive Electric Week events are organized by volunteers. They're held in state capitals and small towns alike. Among this year's highlights:
Oklahoma City, OK: Oil-field worker John Gallagher, who hauls oil in his 18-wheeler from a local well site to a major pipeline in the heart of oil country, is staging the first event in Oklahoma.
Jeffersontown, KY: Brian Kent, driving his Nissan LEAF™ through 48 states—to plant a tree in each one—will route his gasoline-free, 26,000-mile tour through the event in Jeffersontown, KY.
Los Angeles: "Vegan hippy chick" race car driver Leilani Münter will be among featured speakers. Also invited: LA. Mayor Eric Garcetti, California state Senator Kevin de Leon, director Chris Paine ("Revenge of the Electric Car"), Sierra Club executive director Michael Brune, and actress/environmentalist Alexandra Paul ("Bay Watch.")
Mt. Spokane, WA: An EV rally ascending 4,000 feet to the top of Mt. Spokane should dispel any doubt that unmodified, affordable EVs available today can climb mountains.
Boston: At the state capital, expect to see Massachusetts' secretaries of energy and transportation as well as state representatives Jonathan Hecht, Frank Smizik and Bradford Hill and Massachusetts state senator Jamie Eldridge.
San Antonio: Charging a plug-in with solar power, for "zero gallons of fossil fuel use for personal transportation," will be among panel topics. Also: an electric car parade and "energy lab" for kids (and their moms).
Woodland Hills, CA: Actor/environmentalist Ed Begley, Jr., who has been driving an EV on sunshine by charging it with solar-generated electricity longer than anyone else, is scheduled to appear at this event, organized for the third consecutive year by teenager Erik Doroski at a high school.
Hong Kong: Activities will include a "treasure hunt" with points awarded for most public chargers used, test-drives given and the like.
National Drive Electric Week will take place Sept. 12 through 20, 2015. More information here. To find an event near you, visit our events page.
Nissan and its all-electric LEAF have served as the event's exclusive automotive sponsor since 2013. ClipperCreek and SunPower are also national sponsors and PlugShare is media sponsor.
Photos of past events 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.