Every year for the last 10 years, there has been a campaign to raise the awareness of the benefits of driving electric. Of course, cars are a big part of the focus, but so are trucks, motorcycles, bicycles, and even scooters. This year’s National Drive Electric Week campaign begins tomorrow, September 24th, and runs through October 4th. Many of the coast-to-coast events associated with the campaign are online, while a few are still in-person.
National Drive Electric Week Kickoff
The kickoff for the National Drive Electric Week begins at 5 Pacific (PT) Thursday in Los Angeles, California. No physical presence will be needed for this event. It is online only. According to the organizer’s website, the opening seminars will cover the cost of electric vehicle (EV) ownership, driving experience, environmental benefits, EV 101, and legislative action regarding the EV industry.
What the National Drive Electric Week organizers have to say
According to the Pluginamerica.org website,
“There are now more than 1.5 million EVs on the road in the United States and a recent survey by Consumer Reports and the Union of Concerned Scientists showed that more than 60% of prospective car buyers in the U.S. are interested in electric vehicles. There are now more than 40 models available in the U.S., with many of the newer models having a range of 200-300 miles or more.”
“The need for clean vehicles and clean air is more evident than ever. National Drive Electric Week plays a major role in educating people about rebates, charging, and any other questions that people may have about EVs, in busting misconceptions, and in getting people who are charged up about EVs to spread the enthusiasm. This year looks different as we prioritize keeping people safe during the COVID pandemic and expanding EV education online, but the enthusiasm around electric vehicles and their benefits remains the same,” – Hieu Le, campaign representative with the Sierra Club.
Other electric week plans
Other events planned through the week include opportunities to hear from Leilani Munter, who is a race car driver and filmmaker. Bill Nye the Science Guy will be there, as will Peter Sagal, who hosts the NPR quiz show called “Wait wait, Don’t tell me”. Also showing up will be Warren Dickson a hip hop artist with 3rd Rock Hip Hop.
Highlights from the press release for the campaign are,
- 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 long time EV expert and advocate Will Beckett.
Clearing the fog of electric vehicle questions
Internal combustion engine vehicles will never go away. There will always be people that prefer the visceral feel of a rumbling engine. However, alongside those consumers, there is a growing acceptance of EVs by other consumers in electric cars, trucks, motorcycles, scooters, or bicycles. So, as time progresses, a growing number of people will begin to have questions about EVs. Campaigns such as National Drive Electric Week can be useful to answer those questions and clear any fog from lack of education. If this is you, this week’s festivities may be just what you need.