National Drive Electric Week: Calls on More Cities to Join in 2015
Last year’s nationwide annual celebration of electric cars was held in about 150 cities, where more than 90,000 people participated. It broke a Guinness World Record when 507 vehicles participated in a parade in Cupertino, Calif.
The 2015 event—taking place September 12-20—promises to be even bigger than last year. The organizers are now calling on cities that have not previously participated to get busy.
“Adoption of plug-in vehicles and the desire to communicate the passion of driving an electric car is exploding all over the country,” said Tom Saxton, Plug In America chief science officer. “With one month to go, we need every EV driver, no matter where you live, to visit our website to see if an event is planned in your community.”
Saxton said that if nobody else is organizing an event in your city, use the volunteer sign-up form on the site to contact national organizers. The annual celebration is held to heighten awareness of today's widespread availability of plug-in vehicles, and their benefits related to the environment, the economy, and reducing dependence on oil.
In 2014, the event took place in 39 U.S. states, as well as cities in Canada, Italy, and The Netherlands. Participation in last year’s activities was five times bigger than what occurred in 2011, the inaugural year.
EVs in Oil Country
Oklahoma city is one of the cities holding a National Drive Electric Week event for the first time. That event is being organized by John Gallagher, an oil-field worker who has become an ardent advocate for plug-in vehicles. “It’s not about being anti-oil. It’s about [how] this is the future. This is just better,” said Gallagher. “If we can do it in Oklahoma City, you can too.”
Gallagher also called upon EV owners in neighboring cities to pay a visit to Oklahoma City for the event. It’s being held on September 12, from noon to 4 pm, in the city’s Paseo Arts District. PlugShare, the leading app for finding an EV charging station, recently added a Trip Planner (for Android, iOS and its website) to make it easier for EV drivers to plan a journey to a local event—charging along the way if necessary.
PlugShare is also a media partner for National Drive Electric Week. The Nissan LEAF is the exclusive automotive sponsor at the national level. (Plug-in vehicles from all automakers are encouraged to participate in local events.) ClipperCreek, a maker of electric car charging equipment, is a bronze-level sponsor.
“John believes it’s time to stop preaching to the choir, and we agree with him,” said Zan Dubin-Scott, a co-founder of National Drive Electric Week. “That’s why we are so excited to see his event in Oklahoma City setting such a great example.”
National Drive Electric Week is based on the idea that EV ride-and-drives—giving drivers an opportunity to experience a clean, quiet and powerful plug-in vehicle—is the key to converting gasoline-car drivers to EV owners. Each event is led by local plug-in drivers and advocates and typically includes a combination of EV parades, ride-and-drives, electric tailgate parties, press conferences, award ceremonies, and information booths.
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