Monday, September 17, 2012

Join Us for National Plug In Day Sept. 23


Written by Ann Mesnikoff and Gina Coplon-Newfield

For the last few weeks, we have been celebrating the new vehicle fuel efficiency and greenhouse gas emissions standards that mark President Obama's biggest climate accomplishment yet. Tens of thousands of Americans have sent letters to the White House thanking the president for new policies that will ensure that automakers produce much more efficient vehicles as well as cars that run on little or no oil at all. Now there's another way to celebrate.

Sunday, September 23rd, is National Plug In Day, a nationwide celebration of electric vehicles (EVs). By turning their back on the pump, oil spills, and tailpipe emissions, these vehicles are a huge step toward moving America beyond oil. They are also a lot of fun to drive. On the 23rd, EV drivers and the EV-curious in over 60 cities across the country will be taking part in free events to test drive EVs, kick the tires, and check out solar-powered EV charging stations. Ten lucky people who register for and attend Plug In Day events will even win a new iPad.

You can see if there is an event near you and register today.

A switch to EVs is an important part of a future with greener transportation choices, domestic clean energy manufacturing jobs, and a healthier planet. Every year, we burn roughly 121 billion gallons of oil in our passenger cars and trucks -- and even after taking into account the electricity used to charge EVs, these are almost always the cleanest cars around and will only get cleaner as we shift to more renewable sources of power. You can't say that about a gasoline-powered vehicle!

Electricvehicle-plugThe Plug In Day events feature electric cars, trucks, and motorcycles in electric car parades, "tailpipe-free" tailgate parties, awards to leaders promoting EV-readiness, the launch of new public EV charging stations, and other educational events.
  • Event-goers in the Los Angeles area will be taking EV test-drives and checking out more than a dozen models of electric cars of the past and present at the Automobile Driving Museum.
  • In New York City, there will be electric delivery trucks on display from companies like Fed Ex, Coca Cola, and Duane Reade.
  • The mayor of Sarasota, FL, will be issuing a Plug In Day proclamation where participants in that city will enjoy test-rides, musical entertainment, and a silent and emission-free EV parade.
Whether or not you can make it to a Plug In Day event, you can take a moment to sign a petition showing your governor that you support EV-readiness programs in your state, such as more consumer education, public charging stations, and utility programs that provide off-peak electricity rates and improve infrastructure.

Sierra Club has teamed up with Plug In AmericaElectric Auto Association, and dozens of local groups to organize this second annual National Plug In Day. With double the number of events this year than last, the momentum is electric.

-- Ann Mesnikoff is the Sierra Club's Director of Green Transportation, and Gina Coplon-Newfield is the Sierra Club's Director of Green Fleets & Electric Vehicles Initiative