By Michael Marx, Sierra Club Beyond Oil Campaign Director
This weekend the third annual National Plug in Day celebrates surging electric car sales at more than 90 events. Today, less than three years after electric vehicles arrived on the mass market, more than 130,000 Americans are driving EVs. With more than a dozen models now on the road, EV sales have been rising by about 200 percent a year.
Ever wondered what it's like to drive an electric car? Ever wanted to talk to someone who is not a car dealer about how these cars are charged, and which cars are the most reliable or lowest in emissions? Want to hear how 130,000 Americans like the electric cars they are already driving daily? National Plug In Day events will take place Saturday, September 28 and Sunday, September 29 across the United States, plus Amsterdam and Mexico City. The fact is, people who are already driving electric cars love them and want to show them off. More than 1,700 EV drivers have already signed up to participate at these events nationwide, and thousands more of the EV-curious will attend, too. You can register for an event near you here.
The events will vary. In Philadelphia, U.S. Congressman Chaka Fattah will speak to the crowd and test drive an electric car for himself. In Las Vegas, event participants will be treated to a solar EV charging canopy. In Seattle, speed enthusiasts will drag race their EVs. In Long Beach, CA, upwards of 200 electric vehicles are expected to be available for viewing and test drives, and the mayor will issue a proclamation in honor of the day and local EV leaders. In Amsterdam, the E-Challenge will roll out more than 250 EVs through its city center.
Heard buzz about BMW's i3 electric car scheduled to go on the market next spring? Organizers of the Tucson, Arizona, Plug In Day event have been selected to feature one of only a handful of these pre-production beauties at their event. The organizers of the Baltimore event will get to share information about EVs and raffle off an EV charger cord at a booth at Camden Yards during an Orioles-Red Sox game.
The Sierra Club has teamed up with Plug In America, the Electric Auto Association, and dozens of local groups to organize National Plug In Day. In addition to biking, public transit, and other greener transportation alternatives, the Sierra Club is committed to promoting a shift to electric vehicles as one important way to reduce emissions, slash our dependence on oil, and save families money at the fuel pump. The Sierra Club's new interactive online EV Guide allows visitors to type in their zip code and find how the EV of their choice compares in emissions to a comparable conventional vehicle (based on the region's electricity sources), what EV incentives exist in their state, how much money they will save in fuel, and what EVs are for sale in their area. It also includes regular newsy blog posts.
We hope to see you this weekend at a National Plug In Day event. Sooner than later, you may be showing off your electric car, too.