NATIONAL DRIVE ELECTRIC WEEK REACHES ALL 50 STATES WITH 276 EVENTS
7th Annual Event Achieves Biggest, Widest Reach in History
WASHINGTON – For the first time, National Drive Electric Week has reached all 50 states. This year’s coordinated network of 276 community events ranged from massive displays of electric vehicles in cities like San Diego, CA, Cambridge, MA, and Grapevine, TX, to ride and drive and electric vehicle financing education in Los Angeles’ Watts neighborhood, an electric vehicle parade in Honolulu, and the opening of the newest of six fast EV chargers along the Massachusetts turnpike. These ride & drives, driveway chats and family-friendly festivals give electric vehicle drivers the chance to showcase the value and benefits of electric vehicles as not just clean, green technology, but fun to drive and increasingly popular.
“At first, consumers may have been motivated by the fact that these cars are zero emissions. Now, we’re getting consumers who just know these are better cars—more fun to drive, lower maintenance and more responsive,” said Joel Levin, executive director of Plug In America. “It’s an extremely exciting time to see the electric vehicle movement evolve, and see the hundreds of thousands of people who are not just fans of these cars, but dedicated to a better world.”
National Drive Electric Week is based on the belief that today’s potential electric vehicle (EV) consumers need to hear straight from experienced drivers, and see the benefits up close of quiet, clean, zero emission vehicles. Event participants ask and answer questions, connect with other EV owners and hear from event sponsors—ranging from auto manufacturers to environmental organizations.
“Transportation is currently the single largest source of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions, but with electric vehicle sales rising 37% this past year, and more chargers in the ground and EVs on the road than ever before, it’s clear there are no detours on the road to clean energy,” said Gina Coplon-Newfield, Sierra Club Clean Transportation for All program director. “National Drive Electric Week events help drive away the dirty smog and soot that comes out of our vehicles’ tailpipes by helping people make the switch to cleaner cars.”
Highlights from this year’s event included:
- A record number of events: 276 events, 262 cities, 6 countries and all 50 U.S. states and Washington, DC (a first!)
- More than 8,000 ride and drives.
- Governors Inslee of Washington, Sununu of New Hampshire, and Ige of Hawaii issued National Drive Electric Week proclamations for their states, and many mayors from North Dakota, Maryland, Kansas, Illinois, Iowa, California, and elsewhere issued EV proclamations for their cities as well. Dozens of mayors, state legislators, and other public officials who spoke at the events, including Congressman Paul Tonko of New York and Los Angeles’ Board of Supervisors member, Sheila Kuehl.
- First-ever events in Mississippi, Nebraska, West Virginia, and the nation of Jordan.
- The San Diego event had the largest number of EVs registered at 243.
- The Grapevine, TX event had 183 EVs registered with a collective 4.9 million electric miles driven.
- In Natick, MA, the Department Secretaries of Transportation and Energy and Environmental Affairs opened the newest of six fast EV chargers along the Massachusetts turnpike.
- The Dupont Circle Advisory Neighborhood Commission in D.C. introduced a resolution in support of the electrification of DC Circulator Buses on Wednesday, September 3, right before the NDEW kick-off.
- 19 Massachusetts mayors sent a letter to the state Department of Transportation calling for a swift shift to zero emission transit buses.
- Several events featured zero emission transit buses, including in Los Angeles, CA; San Diego, CA; Schenectady, NY; Worcester, MA; and Steilacoom, WA.
- 688 media hits and over 4.2 million impressions on social media.
This year’s National Drive Electric Week is timed with a number of industry-changing recent announcements:
- The highly-anticipated next-generation 2018 Nissan LEAF debuted at eight National Drive Electric Week events.
- The nation’s second largest public transit agency – the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority – is set to switch to all zero emission electric buses by 2030.
- The Federal Transportation Administration announced $54.9 million in new grant funding for zero emission transit bus investments at 51 U.S. transit agencies.
- Volvo announced that starting in 2019, all of its new models will be electrified.
- More than 400,000 registered customers are eagerly awaiting the widespread commercial release of the Tesla Model 3.
- France announced it plans to end sales of new gasoline- and diesel-powered vehicles by 2040 and the UK by 2050. They join Germany, India, Netherlands and Norway, which have already made similar commitments.
“U.S. consumers have been asking for, and deserve progress toward sustainable policies that are good for business, consumers and our communities,” said Ron Freund, chair of the Electric Auto Association. “National Drive Electric Week is more than a week full of fun events–it’s a rallying cry for our leaders and corporations to do more to take advantage of readily available technology that makes our auto and energy systems more sustainable, and our communities more resilient.”
Manufacturers have announced plans for more than 120 EV models, from economy to luxury class, available for purchase by 2020. Bloomberg New Energy Finance recently projected that by 2040, 54 percent of new car sales and 33 percent of the global car fleet could be electric. Sierra Club, Plug In America, and many other groups are working to advocate for smarter EV infrastructure and incentives policies, as well as continuing innovations in fuel efficiency standards.
Nissan’s all-electric LEAF® has served as National Drive Electric Week’s exclusive automotive sponsor since 2013. Lyft, ClipperCreek, Inc. and California Air Resources Board are also national sponsors.
Next year, National Drive Electric Week will take place September 8-16, 2018.
Photos of this year’s events can be found here.
For more information, visit: driveelectricweek.org
About the Electric Auto Association: The Electric Auto Association, formed in 1967, is a nonprofit educational organization with 73 chapters worldwide that promotes the advancement and widespread adoption of electric vehicles. www.electricauto.org.
About Plug In America: Plug In America is a national nonprofit organization that 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. pluginamerica.org.
About the Sierra Club: The Sierra Club is the nation’s oldest and largest grassroots environmental organization with more than 3 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.