07.24.2017
Record Number of Cities To Take Part in 7th Annual National Drive Electric Week

From Hawaii to New Hampshire, from Australia to Croatia, National Drive Electric Week Expected to be Bigger than Ever

Monday, July 24, 2017
Contact:
Sian Wu, (206) 374-7795 x105
Lauren Lantry, (202) 548-6599

WASHINGTON — For six years, National Drive Electric Week has inspired drivers to ditch the gas station. The seventh annual National Drive Electric Week (NDEW) is on track to boast more events than ever before. Still two months away from National Drive Electric Week, there are more than 175 registered events across the globe featuring plug-in electric vehicle (EV) ride-n-drives and related activities from Sept. 9 to 17, 2017 with more registered events coming in every week. Through test drives, parades, news conferences and announcements of new EV policies and programs, NDEW community events demonstrate how EVs are greener, cheaper, and more fun to operate than conventional vehicles. Last year, there were 235 National Drive Electric Week events with 7,500 test drives and 120,000 attendees.

EV drivers are no longer an anomaly. Electric cars are entering the mainstream, with some major roll-outs recently. The next generation Nissan LEAF is slated for release in September; Chrysler just debuted the world’s first-ever plug-in hybrid electric minivan; GM’s Chevy Bolt EV, the first 238 mile range car under $40,000, will soon be available in all 50 states; Volvo announced that starting in 2019, all of its new models will be electrified; and more than 300,000 fans eagerly await the first delivery of Tesla Model 3 later this summer.

Just this summer, cities and even entire countries have built on a global movement to plug-in. Here’s the proof:

  • London’s mayor announced that London’s entire public transport system will be zero-emission by 2050.
  • 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.
  • Next week, the United State’s second largest public transit agency – the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority – is expected to approve a contract to switch to zero emission electric buses by 2030.

“With more cities committing to 100% clean energy, more EVs on the market than ever before, and with electric vehicle sales rising 37% this past year, it’s clear there are no detours on the road to clean energy. The popularity of National Drive Electric Week events is proof that American consumers want 21st Century solutions to transportation and climate disruption,” said Gina Coplon-Newfield, Sierra Club Electric Vehicle Initiative director.

National Drive Electric Week is based on the idea that to convert gasoline-powered car owners to electric vehicles owners, nothing beats learning from existing owners and taking test drives in clean, quiet and powerful plug-in electric vehicles. The event showcases the cost savings, clean air benefits, and fun of plug-ins. Plug In America, the Sierra Club, and the Electric Auto Association team up with local groups to organize events, which typically feature all-electric and plug-in hybrid electric cars from every automaker on the market. Numerous past attendees from around the country have purchased or leased plug-ins as a direct result of Drive Electric Week events, sales have jumped by as much as 23 percent the month after.

“American consumers are finding that EVs are just better cars all around, and we’re seeing this attitude in the sales numbers,” said Joel Levin, executive director of Plug In America. “When a car is less expensive, easier to maintain, cheaper to fuel and most importantly, better to drive, no matter what the brand, consumers will respond to the innovation we’ve seen in the electric vehicle market.”

Most Drive Electric Week events are organized by volunteers. They’re held in state capitals and small towns alike. Among this year’s highlights:

  • Scottsdale, Arizona: This event will have every electric vehicle available for purchase in Arizona from the Tesla Model S, to Ford Focus EV, Kia Soul EV, Chevy Spark EV, to the Smart Car EV. Come learn about charging locations at the over 500 locations in Arizona.
  • Louisville, KY: Louisville’s NDEW event centers around an EV movie night. Attendees can check out all the EVs in the parking lot (before and after the film) and talk with EV owners about their experiences.
  • Las Vegas, NV: This event takes place under a photovoltaic solar canopy that tracks the sun during the day and provides power to two EV charging stations.
  • Durham, NH: The Energy Committee of the Town of Durham, NH is putting on its third annual National Drive Electric Week event held in conjunction with Durham Day, the town’s annual celebration with free food, drinks, kayak demonstrations, boat rides, and more. Chevrolet, BMW, Nissan, Tesla, and other dealers are likely to have electric vehicles and offer free test drives, and EV charging is provided free of charge!
  • Honolulu, HI: Honolulu’s second annual National Drive Electric Week event includes an EV caravan that drives all over Oahu. The caravan is followed by an event open to EV owners and non-owners alike, with opportunities to talk to EV owners about why they love to drive electric.
  • Westerly, RI: The Westerly NDEW event is being held in in partnership with the Misquamicut Business Association’s Fall Festival. After attendees take an EV test drive, they can check out the amusement rides, listen to the concert, and explore the beach.
  • Watts, CA: Watt’s second annual event features info on all of the available rebates and financing options to help low-income communities drive away air pollution with electric vehicles.

“With three more affordable new models all achieving longer range than the earlier EVs from major automakers – we should see more adoption of fully electric drive in the U.S.A.starting this year. It’s exciting to see progress on so many fronts, and the reasons to not go electric are disappearing” said Ron Freund, Chairman of the Electric Auto Association.

The environmental and financial benefits combined with the growing convenience of electric vehicles, from longer ranges to expanding charging infrastructure, are causing a steady increase in use. Each year, American passenger cars and trucks, through vehicle tailpipe, oil extraction and transport emissions, spew upward of three trillion tons of carbon pollution into the air by burning about 121 billion gallons of gasoline. In the U.S., reducing emissions in the energy and transportation sectors could prevent almost 300,000 early deaths caused by air pollution by 2030. Globally air pollution causes 6.5 million deaths per year.

Find an event near you (additional events to be announced), volunteer or launch an event in your community and view previous media announcements and coverage.

Nissan and its all-electric LEAF have served as the event’s exclusive automotive sponsor since 2013. ClipperCreek, Inc. and California Air Resources Board are also national sponsors.

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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 2.4 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.