Plug in America, an organization which advocates the transition to electric transportation, along with Sierra Club and the Electric Auto Association, are holding their 7th annual National Drive Electric Week this coming week, with 263 events registered all across the US – and even a few in other countries (Canada, New Zealand, Australia, Denmark and Jordan). There are events scheduled both this weekend and next, and some during the week as well. The events are free to the public and a great way to get the word out about electric vehicles.
These events are often attended by local dealerships offering test drives, sponsor companies in the green energy space, government agencies or educational institutions offering information sessions, and local EV owners who want to meet up and talk to each other and with members of the public who are curious about the experience of owning an EV. They’re a great way to get a few minutes behind the wheel of an EV (if your local event offers test drives – check the individual event page to find out), to see them in person, and to ask questions of knowledgeable owners who tend to be rather enthusiastic about their vehicles and passionate about converting transportation to electric.
Along with a selection of all the EVs you know about – Teslas, Leafs, Bolts, Volts, i3s, etc. – there are often interesting, lesser-known cars or DIY builds which show up to these events. In the past there’s been everything from Corbin Sparrows, to a triple-motor Ferrari 308 EV conversion, to a converted Geo Metro with a small solar panel strapped the hood (to charge the 12v, not as a range extender).
Sometimes manufacturers also bring new or unreleased models along. Last year Chevy brought a Bolt prototype to the Los Angeles event, and this year Nissan will bring their newly unveiled Leaf redesign to several events around the US, giving attendees a chance to be one of the first to see it in person. There might be more surprises in store, especially at some of the bigger events in areas where EVs are popular.
Solar installers like Tesla’s Solar City unit are also at these events so you might see some of the latest panels and a Powerwall or two.
Click through to the event map to find an event near you. Each individual event has its own page where you can see what specific activities will be offered. You can also find out about volunteering at your local event, and register your interest if you’re planning to bring a car and see which other cars have been registered to show up at your local event.
I’ll be at various Orange County CA events so if you are there, come say hi. Seth will be at Pleasantville NY on September 9th and Poughkeepsie NY the following weekend. If you plan to attend and event, let us know in the comments, perhaps fellow readers can meet up.