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 23 through October 1, in the US & Canada… and one in Mexico City.
Drive Electric Week is an annual event organized by Plug In America, the Electric Auto Association, EVHybridNoire, Drive Electric USA, and the Sierra Club. This is the event’s 13th year. It started in the US as National Drive Electric Week, but for the last few years, some events have been hosted in other countries as well.
These events are 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 many EV shoppers, so unfiltered conversations with EV owners can be a great way to learn.
NDEW is a great chance for drivers to talk to EV owners in their communities about the true EV driving experience. We want to give everyone accurate, practical information so they can make informed decisions about what is best for them. There are a number of great deals and incentives available, not to mention an increase in the variety of models for sale. So there’s a lot to discover at NDEW events, even for current EV owners.Joel Levin, executive director of Plug In America
Each event is organized by local EV advocates, and they range in size from small parking lot meetups and local EV parades to large festivals with lots of booths from nearby car dealers and green businesses. Be sure to check each event page to see what your local events will look like and what types of EVs might be in attendance.
Drive Electric Week has a map and list of events happening this week. Most events are in-person, but there are some webinar-style online events that you can attend to hear about various topics related to electric vehicles. You can also search for events near you.
For the last couple of years, Drive Electric Week has been a little subdued due to the global COVID-19 pandemic. In 2020, all events were shifted to online, with in-person events returning in later years. Most events were outdoors anyway, and attendees were encouraged to follow COVID guidelines.
This year’s lineup still feels a little smaller than the days of yore, but most events are in-person, with only a few online events left. Here’s a selection of some of the events happening over the course of the week:
- Poolesville, MD, on Sep 23 – There will be an EV giveaway hosted by Wells Fargo and a local Nissan dealer, along with a parade, ride and drives, cosplayers, and free drawings.
- Cudahy, CA, on Sep 30 – “Ponte Las Pilas” (“put in the batteries”), an event focused on exposing the Latino community to electric vehicles.
- Kingman, AZ on Sep 23 – At the Route 66 EV Museum, including free entry to the museum, which has a display of 25 historic EVs.
- Schenectady, NY, on Oct 1 – Hundreds of visitors are expected, with food trucks, live music, and zero-emission city bus rides. 88 EVs of 33 different models are currently registered as attending, making this one of the largest events expected in the country.
- Knoxville, TN, on Sep 23 – Likely the biggest event in the Southeast US with 127 vehicles and 44 EV models registered, along with test drives of various cars and electric bikes, live music, and an electric boat on display.
- Waimea, HI (Kauai), on Sep 23 – Even a small island is getting its own event, with eight different models of EV registered to show off. There are also events on Oahu, Maui, and the Big Island.
- Tulsa, OK, on Sep 23 – EV ride & drive from local dealerships and educational booths for local sustainability efforts, including how to get home solar in the area. This event is part of the local “Monarchs on the Mountain” celebration.
- North Bend, OR, on Sep 22-23 – A solar & EV fest at the “Itty Bitty Inn,” with local bands, food trucks, and coffee roasters.
Not all the events are large or hosted in big cities. There are also smaller events happening in town centers, church parking lots, and so on, often with just a handful of EV owners who are typically happy to stand around and have a frank discussion with members of the public about what it’s like to own an EV.
Online events include seminars and interviews with experts discussing various aspects of EVs. There will be seminars on electric school buses, EV charging, local EV issues in New Jersey, an “ask an EV owner” session by Consumer Reports and Generation 180, and a premiere of a new EV ad by Adam McKay, director of Don’t Look Up, along with panel discussion of how storytelling can boost EV adoption.
If you’d like to attend these events, either to show your vehicle, to volunteer to help run the event, or just to show up and look around, you can go to each event’s page to find more information. Remember to click the “RSVP” or “Volunteer” links near the top to register your interest (or register at the links mentioned in the event description).
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