Plug In America announces winners of 2019 Drive Electric Awards


August 22, 2019

Noah Barnes, Plug In America
(323) 333-8010

Plug In America announces winners of 2019 Drive Electric Awards

 Leaders in the electric vehicle movement include students, advocates, event organizers and more

LOS ANGELES – The second annual Drive Electric Awards are being awarded to people and organizations that have led the electric vehicle movement. Awards will be presented at a private reception in Los Angeles on Tuesday, September 10.

The awards announcement is in advance of National Drive Electric Week, September 14–22, 2019. During that week, hundreds of electric vehicle events will take place across the country. More information and a list of events is available at

Plug In America members submitted nominations and the winners were chosen by a committee comprised of Plug In America board members.

“We are thrilled to honor these outstanding individuals and organizations for their contributions to increasing electric vehicle adoption,” said Tonia Buell, awards committee chair. “We tripled the number of categories this year to recognize even more awardees who are promoting the capabilities and benefits of driving electric. The committee selected the best and brightest from the 50 nominations received.”

The 2019 Drive Electric Award winners are:

Lifetime Achievement Award

Kenneth & Gabrielle Adelman have been driving EVs and driving the movement since they first leased an EV1 in 1998. They have leased or owned 11 EVs, ranging from the EV1, two generations of RAV4 EVs, Tesla Roadster, Tesla Model S, Tesla Model X, and one of three tzero vehicles. Kenneth assisted director Chris Paine with getting footage and stills of the crushed remains of EV1s stacked in GM’s Arizona proving grounds, in one of the key moments in the documentary Who Killed the Electric Car?. Their philanthropy has supported Plug In America’s advocacy efforts since its inception and funded the first EV lobbyist. Much of the public policy that exists today would not have happened without their involvement.

Chelsea Sexton has been working to accelerate electric transportation since cutting her teeth in the mid-1990s on the General Motors EV1 program. Her diverse adventures since have included co-founding Plug In America, guiding VantagePoint Capital Partners’ early investment in Tesla Motors, and directing an automotive X PRIZE to encourage development of compelling, highly efficient vehicles. Chelsea was featured in the Sony Pictures Classics documentary, Who Killed the Electric Car?, and she was a consulting producer on the follow-up, Revenge of the Electric Car. She continues to work as an advisor, speaker, and friendly co-conspirator with companies, non-profits, and policy makers around the world to make the movement of people and goods cleaner, safer, and more accessible through electrification.

Individual Award

Chuck Caisley is the chief customer officer and senior vice president of marketing and public affairs at KCP&L in Kansas City. He proposed and developed the Clean Charge Network, the first major EV charging network implemented by a public utility with more than 1,200 stations across its service area.

Andrea Pratt is the climate & transportation policy advisor for the City of Seattle. She has led the city’s efforts to become an EV-friendly city, including requiring all new buildings to be ready for EV charging, electrifying the city fleet, installing hundreds of charging stations in city buildings and working to electrify transit, freight and TNCs like Uber and Lyft.

Organization Award

Smart Columbus has been central to the growth of electric vehicles in Columbus, Ohio, where EVs went from just .37% of new sales in 2015 to over 2% in Q4 of 2018, shattering their original goal of 1.8% by 2020. Among their efforts, they provided more than 9,000 EV test drives to residents of Columbus.

Utility Award

Austin Energy created EVs for Schools, which pairs EV charging at local schools with EV curriculum for students. Austin Energy also offers Plug-In EVerywhere, which gives subscribers unlimited access to 800 charging ports powered by 100% renewable energy credits for $4.17 per month. Their outreach campaigns, including the community favorite “StEVie the EV loving TRex,” have also contributed to growth in EV adoption.

City Captain Award

Kitty Adams has organized six National Drive Electric Week events in Southern California, with a combined total attendance of nearly 4,000 people and more than 2,300 ride and drives. She is also the executive director of Adopt a Charger, which facilitates fee-free EV chargers through sponsorships.

Duff Mitchell is organizing his sixth Drive Electric event in Juneau, Alaska this year. Among his efforts, he involves the city government to have local officials express their support and he uses drone technology to demonstrate the growth of these events and of EV adoption in Juneau.

JD Taylor is organizing his seventh Drive Electric event in Poolesville, Maryland this year. His events are among the largest in the nation, with more than 10,000 attendees each year. He volunteers his time year-round promoting, organizing and participating in many events, including an EV showcase for high school students.

Advocate Award

Patty Monahan is currently a commissioner at the California Energy Commission. In this role and during her time as transportation program director at the Energy Foundation, she has been a critical leader in EV policy and strategy for over a decade. She has united EV advocates with combined strategies and was active in supporting the Transportation Electrification Accord.

Student Award

Samuel Bona developed an interest in EVs for environmental reasons and has worked part-time for a used EV dealer in Utah, using his great communication skills to influence consumers to purchase EVs. He will begin studies at Utah State University this fall and plans to pursue education connected with transportation electrification.

Russell Corbin, a first-year student at Pomona College, is a young EV activist that has been attending EV events since 2015. He coordinates other teen volunteers for National Drive Electric Week events, organized EV events at his high school, served as the environmental affairs coordinator for the Montgomery County Regional Student Government Association, and has advocated for electric school buses at the local and state level.

EV Marketing/Awareness Award

Nikki Gordon-Bloomfield is the founder and lead presenter of Transport Evolved, a website and YouTube channel that presents news and information about electric vehicles. Distinguished by her British accent and authentic voice, Nikki is respected for her objective, interesting content, with more than 1,100 videos and 95,000 subscribers.

EV City

Los Angeles, California, under Mayor Eric Garcetti, has the most ambitious EV goals of any city in the country and has developed several programs to achieve those goals, including rebates for used EVs and BlueLA, the first all-electric car-sharing program in the country, aimed at lower-income residents.


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.

Plug in & get connected!

Join the EV movement