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National Drive Electric Week: Sept 12-20, 2015

On September 12-20, 2015, we will celebrate the fifth annual National Drive Electric Week.

To many, plug-in electric vehicles (EVs) are a foreign concept wrapped in myth and mystery. Although we’ve made tremendous progress since 2011, with over 310,000 electric vehicles sold, most people have never driven an EV or even heard of the many benefits of driving electric, best exemplified by the Model S topping the Consumer Reports customer satisfaction index two years running.

Electric vehicles are facing many challenges in 2015. States are dropping EV incentives, imposing EV taxes, and banning Tesla from selling cars directly to customers. Stories in the media depict EVs sales as dropping even when they are at historical highs.

We believe the best way for people to learn what’s real about EVs is to hear it from owners, which is the basis for National Drive Electric Week. For the past four years, we have helped EV owners organize events across the country to raise awareness of the many advantages of driving electric. Last year, events across the country and beyond included vehicle expos, test drives, speakers and city proclamations. We reached over 95,000 people. Thanks to dedicated Tesla owners, 109 of those events featured a total of 543 Tesla vehicles.

Atlanta-Metro.jpg

Atlanta, GA. Photo by Dean Miller

More event organizers and volunteers means we’ll reach even more people. If you share our conviction that we want to switch away from gasoline to plug-in electric vehicles for the environmental, economic and national security benefits, and would like to share your positive experience with driving electric, please join us. Take a look at the events map. If there’s an event near you, volunteer to help. If not, please consider organizing an event.

150426-Event-Map.jpg
Event map as of April 26, 2015

We always have a great time hanging out with other EV owners and sharing our experience with the public. Join us to share in the fun.
 

ChadS

Last tank of gas: March 2009
Jul 16, 2009
3,449
2,897
Redmond, WA
I agree with everything Tom says. Volunteering to sell cars may seem a little odd at first; but there are enormous advantages to doing so (including faster buildout of charging solutions). And it's fun; especially since you get a chance to mingle with other owners.

Car dealers could do this (and in fact some participate in National Drive Electric Week); but in addition to the fact that most US dealers don't offer plug-in vehicles, most of the ones that do don't know as much about the cars as owners do. And even when they drive the cars themselves and know all about them...consumers trust owners far more than dealers. Answering questions about your car in public is fun and productive; please give it a try if you haven't before. For you EVent veterans, thank you!
 

ItsNotAboutTheMoney

Well-Known Member
Jul 12, 2012
11,995
10,309
Maine
Thanks Tom.

I attended my first event in South Portland, ME last year and enjoyed it.* This year I've volunteered to help at the event.

Last year there were 3 Tesla owners showing, including one who drove up from MA. ChadS stopped in on a road trip, and another Tesla couple were there in a rental ICEV. Might still not have a Portland Supercharger, but maybe with the CHAdeMO adapter on sale, and there being an on-site CHAdeMO charger some other New England Tesla owners can attend. :)

This year attendance might be helped by being a week earlier, and not being on the same weekend as the Common Ground Fair.

* I actually didn't test drive anything, because I don't need to drive anything to be convinced of the merit of BEV. My wife test drove the Leaf ("OK") and Smart ED ("A bit slow.")
 

ChadS

Last tank of gas: March 2009
Jul 16, 2009
3,449
2,897
Redmond, WA
Thanks for considering it. I've done a few of these (and some similar events). The hardest single thing is finding a suitable location. The web site that tomsax built has guidelines to help out city captains, but you're looking for a location that is:

1. ideally free, or at least inexpensive
2. available the day you want to use it
3. has LOTS of room to park cars (and is welcoming to all PEVs; some dealers, for example, are not)
4. is near a good route for test drives
5. has restrooms
6. has some cover in case it rains
7. is somewhere that has lots of not-rushed pedestrian traffic (i.e. a mall, farmer's market, popular park, etc) that will be passing by on the day of the event
8. has charging, or is close enough to the metro area that short-range BEVs can easily make it there and back without charging
9. is a place where PEV owners would want to spend a few hours
10. doesn't require insurance (ideally, though Tom's site lists ways to get it; it may be available at no cost)
11. has food vendors in easy walking distance

I've never found a place that meets all of those criteria. But you might look around first to see what you might find, because it is a tough job (and people will complain no matter what you pick). Obviously how difficult this is depends on how many cars you expect to attend...in a small town where you might only get 5 cars, it's not hard. But for Miami it may take some effort. I'd recommend you work on this first to see how easy you think it will be to get somewhere that is good enough.

The good news is...once THAT job is out of the way, almost everything else is as hard or easy as you want it to be. You could just create the an entry on the national site, send out email to your local PEV groups, and call it good. If you get people volunteering to help (the web site facilitates that) you could ask some of them to do optional things like:

1. look in to finding sponsors
2. look in to providing food or music
3. look in to having some speakers or awards
4. try to get a parade permit (not really recommended; a lot of work but very little advantage in terms of educating passers-by)
5. try to get associated vendors to show up, perhaps for a fee (EVSE installers, solar, etc)
6. arrange for contests or games
7. create signs and charts, some for main display, some for each car
8. get tents, tables, chairs, sound system, etc

There are plenty of recommendations along these lines on the national site.
 
Chad's insights are super helpful. He wrote a lot of the content on the Resources page, a great place to get started.

Step 1 is to register your intent to organize an event. That will put you on the map, literally, and will help you attract any other volunteers in the area interested in having an event in your area. It also lets potential site hosts and sponsors send you a message through the site which might yield a great site or sponsor.

How about an event at the Miami Dolphins stadium? They are interested in hosting an event but are looking for someone in the EV community to work with. If you register, I'll put you in touch.
 

DJ Frustration

Former Model X Sig, Model S, Model 3, Model Y
Jun 19, 2012
685
138
Miami, Florida
One of the reasons I asked is that Pinecrest Gardens contacted me and offered to host a tailgate event for Drive Electric Week. I know the Director well and serve on the Advisory Committee for the Gardens. I'm interested in coordinating but really want to get a feel for the time commitment. Maybe I'll even have our X to show off by the time September rolls around ;)

Thanks for the info guys.
 

DJ Frustration

Former Model X Sig, Model S, Model 3, Model Y
Jun 19, 2012
685
138
Miami, Florida
Excellent.

On the attendee registration form, there's a question about how they found out about your event. One of the choices is EV Forum so that should give you an idea of how many people find out about your event through TMC. The tabulated info is available on the event page for city captains.

Alana can make you a city captain for the event, which will let you see that information as well as help out with editing the event description to make the page more visually appealing to visitors. You can add photos, text formatting, links, etc. There's a tutorial on how to use the editing tools and I'm always available to answer questions.
 
National drive week sounds very interesting. We would like to invite a Tesla group up to Cripple Creek,CO to Wildwood Casino!! We are the only one with a charging station for Tesla owners and would love to do a photo shoot. If you've never driven up Highway 67 to get here you better get ready! It's a blast! Who should I contact to get the word out?
 

AEdennis

Active Member
Jul 23, 2013
2,721
956
National drive week sounds very interesting. We would like to invite a Tesla group up to Cripple Creek,CO to Wildwood Casino!! We are the only one with a charging station for Tesla owners and would love to do a photo shoot. If you've never driven up Highway 67 to get here you better get ready! It's a blast! Who should I contact to get the word out?

NDEW is open to ALL EVs, not just Teslas. It is organized by numerous groups, Electric Auto Association, [URL="https://driveelectricweek.org/?source=pia"]Plug In America, and the Sierra Club[/URL].
 
I had a blast last year!

Last year I volunteered at the event in Los Angeles, took 70+ people on test drives and blew many minds. A couple people were swung and bought a Tesla after that event, I have since met them at Tesla organized events. I was among 6 volunteer test drivers, one person with the Tesla actually let others drive their car! I remained behind the driver seat. One of the most powerful symbols at the event: a photocopied paper with big bold lettering "Electric miles driven" and we wrote in fat sharpie the miles on our odometers. People got the idea that these cars were not just for show, they were tools and were just as useful as their ICE cars.
 
Mushroom Festival Drive Electric Week Event

At the request of East Coast Tesla Model S owner David Bennett (the man with a frunk full of connectors and adapters), we're trying something a little different this year. Let's go to the people! The Mushroom Festival in Kennett Square, PA is holding their 30th annual event. Upwards of 100,000 people walk through this event over the weekend. Kennett Square is only 16 miles north of the Newark Supercharger. We hope you consider this event in September.

Mushroom Festival Drive Electric Week Event
Saturday September 12, 2015; 8:30 AM - 4 PM
Kennett Square, PA
Register Here!

Display your car at the 30th Annual Mushroom Festival Car Show in Kennett Square, PA. Up to 100,000 people walk through this event, over the weekend, so it should be a great outreach effort. And, they are supporting electric cars this year!

street-fair-general.gif


1916RauchampLangLead_zpsfd4ea84f.jpg
 
I hope this is okay to write here (and a couple other spots) I am working to organize a couple of events in Kalamazoo, Michigan during National Electric Drive Week. We are looking on that Wednesday to offer drives/rides/viewing to the public for about two hours. We have at least one, if not three Nissan Leafs, one Mitsubishi i-miev, one i3 and a Volt. I am embarrassed to admit very few of the electric car owners here know anything about their cars and the general public are shocked to know there are electric vehicles on the road. Myself, I've been an electric car fan before the 1980's.

We have had a community solar charging station which is about to become decommissioned due to the lack of use. We really need to get people in the seat of an electric car and educate the public so they know there is a RANGE of electric cars to meet desires, needs and budgets. I wonder if any Tesla owners could help provide a ride or drive for the event? The state IS anti pure electric, but if people can talk to knowledgeable owners I'm about 100% sure we would see more ev's purchased, including Teslas in the next few months.

Thank you,

Ben Brown
[email protected]
 

CatB

Member
Supporting Member
Mar 2, 2013
927
844
Alexandria, VA
I had a lovely little library of reference sheets (in those plastic protector pages) in my frunk that I would show at Cars'n'Coffee. But a stowaway mouse (thank you BWI) ate through them and I tossed before realizing that I don't have softcopies of everything. And now that I look at the softcopies I do have, they're a bit dated (i.e. P85/P85+ era, no D info :( ).

Please, please PM me if you have anything.

I'm particularly looking for something that shows the inside of the car (RWD vs D), lists features and specs, list of OTA updates that have occurred, and what I miss the most is a 2 pager I printed directly from a website that calculates carbon emissions of gas cars, EVs powered from coal plants, and EVs powered in states with "cleaner power" and (just for fun) the carbon emissions for a bicyclist who ate a meat burrito vs veggie burrito. It was an educational thing from somewhere in CA, and all my google searches have turned up nothing.

And, if anyone wants my 2-pager on charging (I just updated with newer supercharger map), let me know.
 

DavidB

2010 Roadster Sport || 2013 S85 || 2017 X100D
Supporting Member
Jul 8, 2013
923
1,219
Silver Spring, MD
At the request of East Coast Tesla Model S owner David Bennett (the man with a frunk full of connectors and adapters), we're trying something a little different this year. Let's go to the people! The Mushroom Festival in Kennett Square, PA is holding their 30th annual event. Upwards of 100,000 people walk through this event over the weekend. Kennett Square is only 16 miles north of the Newark Supercharger. We hope you consider this event in September.

Mushroom Festival Drive Electric Week Event
Saturday September 12, 2015; 8:30 AM - 4 PM
Kennett Square, PA
Register Here!

Display your car at the 30th Annual Mushroom Festival Car Show in Kennett Square, PA. Up to 100,000 people walk through this event, over the weekend, so it should be a great outreach effort. And, they are supporting electric cars this year!

street-fair-general.gif


1916RauchampLangLead_zpsfd4ea84f.jpg
Bump!

This should be a fun event for the everyone! One caution: Dogs (excluding service dogs) are banned from this event. As the first photo shows, the crowds can get packed, and dogs could easily panic. As much as I love to bring my dogs everywhere, I've had to make plans to leave them at home.

My dog crate, however, will be in the car! :)
 

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