On the Ground at NDEW Events Coast to Coast: Staff and Board Reports

Jeff Finn, Treasurer


Tesla Roadsters and Root Beer in Issaquah, WA

At the Issaquah, WA NDEW event, I spoke with a couple about their EV experience. The husband informed me that they had recently located a reasonably priced used LEAF which was perfect to use for his 24-mile round trip commute to work each day. Unfortunately, his wife liked driving the LEAF so much that it is now essentially her car and he’s been reduced to driving their gas burner to work.



Michael Thwaite, President

We had a really good NDEW event – the best I’ve ever attended – here in NJ. Our photographer, Miguel Aviles, has created an interesting picture from the event using the reflection of the clouds off of one of the cars. (Right)1

Our NDEW event in Bridgewater New Jersey organized by Pamela Thwaite had an outstanding turnout – almost 900 people. Since starting out with electric cars, eight years ago (I’m a relative noob), the turnout and the number of test drives we give out has increased exponentially. That, and, when cornered by one disillusioned EV driver who had to return her 2012 Honda Fit EV prototype because the range just didn’t hold up in the winter, it was encouraging that I could look around and point to every model and confirm that 100-200+ mile range was now the norm for the new crop of EVs. 


Daniele Neuharth, National Drive Electric Week Sponsorship Director

sdge-ndew-statsSan Diego’s event was a lot of fun. It was hosted by San Diego Gas & Electric, a utility making a big push to electrify their region. I was impressed by the EV owner corral, where more than 100 EV enthusiasts displayed their own cars. They patiently answered dozens of questions about how easy and fun it is to drive electric, how they charge at home and work, and what it costs to do it. There was plenty of family fun, too, as engaging kids and family through the little kid zone with EV racer area was a great idea! Overall, the event was wonderfully organized, with really clear signage and informative booths to help educate people. Most importantly, would like to share some of the interesting findings from surveys of people who took test drives or rode in EVs at the event. More than 80% of participants say they are more likely to purchase an EV after test driving one!

Mary Kathryn Campbell, Plug In America’s National Drive Electric Week Program Manager

Kids were happy to “pretend drive” in South Pasadena for NDEW 2016. Here a little guy is behind the wheel of a Kia Soul EV.

Although it was my pleasure to help coordinate all 235(!) events this year, I was privileged to attend four local NDEW events in person. Since it’s way too hard to pick a favorite, I won’t. Instead, I’ll highlight something neat that happened at each one.

In South Pasadena, I got to see lots of happy kids checking out cars with their parents. Many of them were the ones educating moms and dads about cars which clean the air and go faster than their neighbors’.




Ice pops powered by Nissan LEAF's battery at NDEW 2016 Los Angeles.

Ice pops powered by Nissan LEAF’s battery at NDEW 2016 Los Angeles.


At the Los Angeles celebration, I was blown away by the awesome Nissan LEAF bi-directional battery, the first EV to come standard with this capability. A Nissan LEAF powered a giant tent, with fans, a TV screen, and most importantly, a fully-stocked artisanal ice pop freezer!





Checking out Tesla Model S at NDEW 2016 Santa Monica

The Tesla Model S was a popular display at Santa Monica’s NDEW 2016, held at Alt Car Expo.

At Santa Monica’s event, I learned about a new EV infrastructure charging start up, called EV Match. Grad students at UC Santa Barbara are launching an app to allow home car charging station sharing throughout LA. We’ll keep an eye on this and keep you posted.







Families learned about EVs at Watts’ first ever NDEW event.

On the closing day of NDEW 2016, I was thrilled to attend the first-ever EVent in Watts. There, I heard about the LA Department of Water and Power’s plan to install charging infrastructure in this underserved community. Additionally, I was introduced to an incentive program from the South Coast Air Quality Management District, which offers a significant break on the cost of a new electric car. Eligible folks who turn in their old gas guzzlers and replace them with plug-ins can get up to $9,900 off the sticker price! Learn more about this program, called Replace Your Ride.

Countdown to NDEW 2017

We can’t wait until next year’s NDEW, which is already set for September 9-17. Find an event near you, or better yet, offer to lead one in your neighborhood!


NDEW presented by Plug In America, Sierra Club and the Electric Auto Association

Join us next year for an electric car celebration near you: September 9-17, 2017.

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