National Drive Electric Week shifts online in its tenth year, scheduled from Sept 26 -Oct 4

The tenth annual National Drive Electric Week, a coast-to-coast celebration of electric vehicles (EVs), will be held September 26–October 4 and include more than 100 online events for the first time, due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The campaign highlights the environmental, health, and consumer benefits of clean plug-in vehicles and is hosted each year by Plug In America, Sierra Club and Electric Auto Association. 

National Drive Electric Week will begin with a national kick-off virtual event on Thursday, September 24 at 8 pm ET/5 pm PT, to be streamed on Facebook Live.

The event will include TV personality Bill Nye the Science Guy, NPR’s Wait Wait… Don’t Tell Me! host Peter Sagal, race car driver and environmental activist Leilani Münter, and Warren Dickson of 3rd Rock Hip Hop. In April, a similar Drive Electric Earth Day event from the same hosts garnered more than 17,000 views.

National Drive Electric Week will continue throughout the following week with more than 100 local and national virtual events from more than 34 states and Canada. Most events are organized locally, by individuals and groups within their own communities.

In some areas of the country, in-person events will be held outdoors with social distancing and required safety measures, in line with CDC guidelines.

“Over the past ten years, hundreds of thousands of people have attended National Drive Electric Week events and experienced the power of clean EVs,” said Joel Levin, executive director of Plug In America. “By including virtual events, we have the opportunity to educate even more Americans about why EVs are better for consumers, better for our environment, and more fun to drive!”

“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,” said Hieu Le, campaign representative with the Sierra Club.

“Those considering driving electric like to hear real-world EV driving stories from everyday EV drivers,” said April Bolduc, president of the Electric Auto Association. “Hearing EVs are fun to drive, easy to charge and cost less to maintain are the top three reasons why drivers transition to electric cars after attending National Drive Electric Week.”

Online event highlights:

  • 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.

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.

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