115 Cities to Celebrate 4th Annual National Drive Electric Week 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.

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.

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Copyright 2014 Hybrid and Electric Car News

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Sebastian James

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