Drive Electric Week is going online this year — on its 10th anniversary — with events centered around electric vehicle advocacy. Most events will be virtual, though some local in-person events will be held — far fewer than in previous years due to the COVID-19 pandemic (wear your masks!). A full list and map of events can be found on Plug In America’s website.
The week kicks off Thursday, September 24, at 5 p.m. PDT/8 p.m. EDT, with an “all-star” event featuring longtime EV advocates Bill Nye and Leilani Munter. Its host will be NPR’s Peter Sagal. It will be streamed on Facebook Live (no account required to watch). Register here to get more information via email, or find the event on Sierra Club’s Facebook page.
Drive Electric Week is organized by Plug In America, Sierra Club, and the Electric Auto Association, and consists of local EV advocacy events across the US and abroad. In previous years, there have been hundreds of events organized by local groups to show off emerging technology, give EV ride-and-drives, connect with local green businesses, and most of all, to give the opportunity to talk to real EV owners about the experience of owning an EV. EV fans who haven’t yet made the plunge can bypass the mostly uninterested dealerships and get unfiltered information from knowledgeable owners instead.
In-person events this year won’t have as much of a festive atmosphere as previous years, and most will consist of either EV caravans/rallies or parking lot meetups where attendees will need to remain socially distanced and wear masks.
The highlights, instead, are mostly virtual this year. The event list includes national online events, each of which focuses on a particular topic (buying a used EV, vehicle-to-home technology, installing a charger, etc.), and nearly a hundred events being run by local EV groups. These will feature informational sessions, notable guest appearances, and local tips like how to apply for local EV incentives or utility rates. It’s a good way to learn all about EVs in the comfort of your own home and from members of your local community.
Here are Sierra Club’s picks of notable online events:
● Fairfield, CT (Sept 26–Oct 2, 2020): This event will include a showcase of new EV models, informational articles and videos, and testimonials from EV owners. Comedian and former Tonight Show host Jay Leno will make a special guest appearance, in an extended conversation about EVs with Fairfield-based automotive writer and SFTF member Jim Motavalli.
● Dallas-Fort Worth, TX (Sept 26–Oct 4, 2020): In part one, hear from a few of Plug In America founders, race car driver Leilani Münter, Dr. Shelley Francis of EVHybridNoire, and others. In addition, see an artistic Tesla Cybertruck created out of recycled plastic! In part two, there will be a historic, first-time discussion, “Birth of the EV Movement — And Where We Must Go Now,” reuniting Chris Paine, director of “Who Killed the Electric Car?”; Chelsea Sexton, the documentary’s main figure and one of the world’s top EV experts; and other early activists. Dan Neil, the Wall Street Journal’s Pulitzer Prize-winning auto columnist, will moderate.
● Find Your Perfect Match: EV Speed Dating (Sept 27, 2020): Looking for your perfect EV match? We’re here to help! Select up to three different EV models, and then you’ll be paired with EV owners who can answer your specific questions.
● EV Battery Recycling/Reuse (Oct 2, 2020): Learn how EV batteries are recycled and reused at the end of their life. We’ll be joined by lithium-ion battery recycling company American Manganese Inc. and ReCell Center, a national collaboration of industry, academia, and national laboratories working together to advance recycling technologies.
● Santa Cruz County, CA Central Coast (Oct 3, 2020): This event will focus on the integration of EVs with solar, batteries and the grid for home, and local grid resilience. There will be a live demo of how to power the home with Vehicle 2 Home (V2H) technology using his Chevy Bolt by longtime EV expert and advocate Will Beckett.
To find out about specific timing and location of each event, go to the events page and click through to the events you’re interested in. There you’ll find a description of each event and a link to register to stay informed via e-mail.
So tune in tomorrow and see what it’s all about, and maybe learn some new things about electric cars while you’re at it. Tell your friends, too, as maybe it will be easier to convince them to watch a livestream than to get up and drive across town to a physical event. Besides, a livestream has lower emissions than a car anyway, so that’s a good thing.
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