- electric vehicles and their advantages for the environment are much talked about, and sales are growing, but evs are still only the choice of a tiny fraction of u.s. car buyers.
- that's why booster groups started the annual national drive electric week in 2011.
- this year's ev celebration runs from september 14 to 22 in cities all over the united states, with more than 300 individual events scheduled.
electric vehicles may have a distinct advantage over ices in a drag race—all your torque at zero rpm certainly helps—but they could use a boost when it comes to sales. that's especially true in the united states. although there was an 81 percent increase in u.s. ev sales last year, it still only added up to about 360,000 total sales of all evs while more than a million buyers chose ford's f-150 and super duty trucks. that's why advocacy groups plug in america, the sierra club, and the electric auto association are throwing their annual ev-promoting event starting today.
called national drive electric week, this year's celebration runs for nine days and features over 300 events across the country. plug in america's director of communications, noah barnes, told car and driver this week that 313 events have been registered, but since more are being added every day, the group is on track to surpass last year's total of 321 events. there's also an earth day event of the same type scheduled for april 2020.
the size and scope represent a big jump since the first ndew happened in 2011. that year, back when it was still called national plug in day, there were only 29 events, and most of those were in california. this year, ev fans from hilo to atlanta will be bringing their electric vehicles to the public in a sort of battery-powered version of cars and coffee.
"all of the events are created and organized by individuals and groups in their own communities," barnes said. "ev drivers are passionate about their vehicles and love to share their experiences with others."
plug in america has started off the festivities by handing out its 2019 drive electric awards to people and organizations that have led the ev movement. one of the winners, nikki gordon-bloomfield, the editor in chief of transport evolved, was given the ev marketing/awareness award. she told c/d that she sees the kind of person-to-person education that happens during ndew as vitally important.
"with more electric cars than ever before on the market, it's easy to think that consumers must be aware of electric cars by now," she said. "even in areas traditionally viewed as welcoming of plug-in vehicles, there are still many challenges surrounding misinformation and misunderstanding. much of that stems from poor dealer education, which leads to poor buyer awareness."
other prize winners include the city of los angeles for ev programs including an electric-car-sharing program for lower-income residents; seattle climate and transportation policy advisor andrea pratt, who led efforts to electrify the city fleet, install hundreds of city charging stations, and require all new buildings to be ready for ev charging; and austin energy of texas, for pairing ev charging at schools with an ev curriculum for students.