National Drive Electric Week begins this Saturday, with more than 150 cities around the world gearing up to celebrate plug-in cars and other electrified vehicles (EVs).
“What strikes me the most about National Drive Electric Week is the incredible diversity of our participants and our event organizers’ passion,” said Joel Levin, executive director for Plug In America, which started the event. “At present, we have 171 events in 39 states across the American landscape – in big cities, in farm towns and on top of mountains.”
“Plug-ins are not a partisan issue any more,” he added. “People just love these vehicles and the volunteers putting on these events are keen to educate people about EVs and share their excitement.”
Whether you already own an alternatively-fueled vehicle or you’re considering buying one, there are plenty of ways to participate. Here are three ways to celebrate National Drive Electric Week (NDEW):
Take a Test Drive
If you’re curious to experience what it’s like to drive an EV, many NDEW events will be giving the public a chance to get behind the wheel. Electrified vehicles from Audi, BMW, Chevrolet, Fiat, Kia, Mercedes-Benz and Volkswagen will be onsite for a test drive at the NDEW event in Los Angeles this Saturday. You can even get a peek at the Bolt EV, a battery electric concept from Chevrolet.
“I got to look at and test drive a broad spectrum of electric vehicles without any car dealership pressure,” Peggy Vadillo Orenstein said of her experience at a 2014 NEDW event. “I was able to compare different vehicles at the same time.”
After owning BMWs and an Audi Q5, she ended up picking a 2015 Ford Fusion Energi after her test drive.
Join A Record-Breaking Parade
Many cities are kicking off their NDEW event with an EV parade. You can join in the processions in cities such as Poolesville, Md., and Cohoes, N.Y. The parade in Lincoln City, Ore., has already received so many registrations, that organizers had to start a wait list.
Last year, attendees at one NDEW celebration set a world record for their parade: 507 battery electric cars lined up for a convoy in Cupertino, Calif. Check out their gathering in the video below.
Summit With A Road Rally
In the Pacific Northwest, one group of is planning a live demonstration of EV’s mountain-driving abilities as they travel to the top of one of the area’s tallest peaks.
“Let’s kick off National Drive Electric Week by getting a traffic jam of zero emissions vehicles to Mount Spokane Summit at dawn,” said organizers of the Mount Spokane EV Rally, who also want to “prove the power of regenerative braking” on their way back down.
About an hour northeast of the city of Spokane, this rally will take EVs on a 3,504-foot climb to the summit. Organizers say fresh coffee and donuts will be on hand to reward the early risers.
To learn more about the NDEW events near your zip code, check out the event’s website.