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10.04.2018
Dozens of New Electric Vehicle Programs Launched During Largest Ever National Drive Electric Week

Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Contact: Noah Barnes, nbarnes@pluginamerica.org

WASHINGTON, DC — For the second year in a row, National Drive Electric Week has reached all 50 states, with a coordinated network of 321 community events. From massive displays of electric vehicles in cities like San Diego, CA, Weymouth, MA, and Scottsdale, AZ, to ride and drive and electric vehicle financing education in Los Angeles’ Watts neighborhood, to an electric vehicle parade in Honolulu, people from across the country were able to experience the benefits of electric vehicles firsthand. 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 technology, but fun to drive and increasingly popular.

This year’s National Drive Electric Week was timed with a number of industry-changing recent announcements:

  • Governor Phil Scott of Vermont announced the state’s $2.4 million Electric Vehicle Charging Station Grant Program, funded by the Volkswagen settlement that resulted from the automaker’s diesel emissions cheating scandal.
  • New Jersey created a new grant program to install EV charging stations at businesses, apartment complexes, and in public spaces
  • Michigan State Representatives introduced legislation to remove barriers for the sale, research, and development of electric vehicles and other clean mobility technologies.
  • L.L. Bean announced its plans to create the largest charging station in Maine at their flagship store.
  • Environmental, clean energy, and consumer advocates gathered at Denver’s event to release their GoEV City Toolkit and call on Colorado cities and counties to lead the charge toward a zero emission transportation future by making bold commitments and pass policies and programs that accelerate mass electric vehicle adoption.
  • California Governor Jerry Brown signed multiple bills to boost the state’s electric vehicle market, particularly among low-income Californians, and reinforce the state’s fight against climate change.
  • Led by Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, more than 20 cities across the country joined together to collectively work towards electrifying their vehicle fleets, and released an online tool to make ordering such vehicles more accessible.

“Across the country, it’s clear that people are tired of the same old gas-guzzling cars and buses — they want clean transportation, and they want it now,” said Gina Coplon-Newfield, Sierra Club Clean Transportation for All Director. “National Drive Electric Week events help people make the switch to cleaner cars, and it gave businesses and public officials a great opportunity to launch new electric vehicle policies and programs.”

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.

“Each year, more Americans discover why electric vehicles are far superior to traditional gas-powered cars,” said Joel Levin, Executive Director of Plug In America. “It is incredibly exciting to see the sheer number of people from across the country that came out during National Drive Electric Week to share information and celebrate the many benefits of clean EVs.”

“2018 may well go down as the ‘tipping point’ year. This year’s event popularity shows clearly that consumers are curious and eager to drive the new technology… and they love learning directly from electric car owners.” said Raejean Fellows, President of Electric Auto Association.

Highlights from this year’s event included:

  • A record number of events: 321 events, 297 cities, 3 countries, and all 50 U.S. states.
  • More than 9,000 ride and drives.
  • Governors Inslee of Washington, Malloy of Connecticut, Sununu of New Hampshire, and Murphy of New Jersey issued National Drive Electric Week proclamations for their states, and many mayors from Connecticut, Tennessee, Florida, California, and elsewhere issued EV proclamations for their cities as well.
  • Dozens of mayors, state legislators, and other public officials spoke at the events, including Congressman Brad Schneider of Illinois and Governor Larry Hogan of Maryland.
  • The San Diego event had the largest number of EVs registered at 289 and more than 4.7 million electric miles driven.
  • Danville Utilities in Virginia unveiled its public EV charging station in the parking lot of the Community Market to be available for use by the public at no cost.
  • Duquesne Light Co. announced a program with the Pittsburgh Parking Authority garages to nearly double the number of electric vehicle charging stations.
  • Mayor of Abita Springs, Greg Lemons, cut the ribbon on the town’s first ever EV chargers which are located in the historic center of the town.
  • The first event in Utica, New York was held at City Hall where they held a ribbon-cutting ceremony for a newly installed EV charging station.

Manufacturers have announced plans for more than 120 EV models, from economy to luxury class, available for purchase by 2020. Annual EV sales in the US are expected to top 200,000 this month, a 57% increase compared to sales at this point last year. The 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 and its all-electric LEAF have served as the event’s exclusive automotive sponsor since 2013. ClipperCreek, Inc. was also a returning national sponsor.

Next year, National Drive Electric Week will take place September 14 – 22, 2019.

For more information, visit: driveelectricweek.org

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About the Sierra Club

The Sierra Club is America’s largest and most influential grassroots environmental organization, with more than 3 million members and supporters. In addition to helping people from all backgrounds explore nature and our outdoor heritage, the Sierra Club works to promote clean energy, safeguard the health of our communities, protect wildlife, and preserve our remaining wild places through grassroots activism, public education, lobbying, and legal action. For more information, visit www.sierraclub.org.

About the Electric Auto Association

The Electric Auto Association (EAA) is the oldest and largest, volunteer-driven nonprofit association that promotes electric vehicle adoption across the country and the globe.  Its thousands of EV owners educate and advocate for electric vehicles with public outreach throughout the year at farmer’s markets, malls, schools, libraries, businesses, and civic groups. Members in more than 80 chapters meet regularly to share the latest global and local news in the EV community. EAA provides information for local governments to increase EV adoption as well as infrastructure. www.electricauto.org.

About Plug In America

Plug In America is the nation’s leading independent consumer voice for accelerating the use of plug-in electric vehicles in the United States. Formed as a non-profit in 2008, Plug In America provides practical, objective information collected from our coalition of plug-in vehicle drivers, through public outreach and education, policy work and a range of technical advisory services. Our expertise represents the world’s deepest pool of experience of driving and living with plug-in vehicles. We drive electric. You can too. pluginamerica.org.