Drive Electric Week kicks off this Saturday with over 200 online and in-person events celebrating electric vehicles. Events will be held for the next two weekends, from September 25 through October 3.
Drive Electric Week is an annual event organized by Plug In America, Electric Auto Association, EVHybridNoire, and Sierra Club. This is the event’s 11th year. It started in the US as National Drive Electric Week, but for the last few years, events have been hosted in various other parts of the globe. This year, there are some events in Canada, Mexico, and New Zealand.
While there will be a significant number of in-person events this year, unlike last year, attendees and hosts are required to follow guidelines including CDC and local/regional/state health guidelines like wearing masks, social distancing, and holding events outdoors, to help stop the spread of COVID-19.
Each event is organized by local electric vehicle advocates as an opportunity for prospective EV buyers to talk directly with EV owners about the experience of owning an electric car. The dealership experience is not ideal for a lot of EV shoppers, so unfiltered conversations with EV owners can be a great way to learn.
Events range in size from small parking lot meetups and local EV parades to large festivals with lots of booths from car dealers and environmental businesses. There will be fewer of the latter this year due to the pandemic. This has led to event guidelines stating that people from multiple households should not be present in the same test drive vehicle. Ongoing vehicle shortages due to the global chip shortage might lead dealers to be less enthusiastic about doing remote sales events as well.
The organizers have picked out some highlight events that they think will be some of the better showcases of what Drive Electric Week has to offer:
- In Orlando, visitors will have the opportunity to test drive EVs, including three-wheeled vehicles, and enjoy live music by Dane Myers. (Saturday, September 25; 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. EDT)
- In Wichita, guests can talk to EV owners, test electric bicycles, see one of the city’s electric buses, and meet the entire Wichita city council. (Saturday, October 2; 1 to 4 p.m. CDT)
- A free online event, available to all, will explore the fun of electric bikes, motorcycles, and other modes of small e-mobility, as well as public transit, zero-emission buses, rail, car-sharing and autonomous vehicles —and how we all share the road. (Saturday, September 25, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. PDT/2 to 4 p.m. EDT)
Many events will have ride & drives where you can test drive various electric cars. Due to COVID, every test drive should consist of members of only one household (plus a dealer representative) with the windows open at all times to increase ventilation.
Online events include seminars and interviews with experts discussing various aspects of EVs along with virtual test drives of cars. There will be seminars on solid state batteries, women, and EVs, and other general introductory programs. There are also a number of events discussing local EV issues – like in Hawaii, Colorado, Kentucky, and Austin, among others.
These events are free to attend, and attendees can RSVP in advance on each individual event’s page. This is particularly helpful if you plan to bring and show an electric vehicle, so crowds and organizers can get a sense of what kind of cars they’ll get to see at each event. Registering also enters you to win a $250 gift card on completion of a short survey.
If you do plan to attend, read up on the safety guidelines for these events and be sure to follow all of them.
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