National Plug-In Day Gives Public Chance to Experience An Electric Car World
By EV World Editorial Staff
September 28-29 are 'National Plug In Day' across America with some 50 communities planning to showcase the latest in electric vehicle technology. Find out if your community plans to participate.
Call them EVangelists, call them advocates, you can even call them 'EV nuts', but don't ever question their passion for the technology that has freed them from our mutual "addiction" - a previous US President's word, not ours - to petroleum and the multiple ills it brings: pollution, oppression, poverty and war, as well as benefits.
Once a year for the last three years, Plug In America, a California-based advocacy group founded by some of the people featured in Chris Paine's incredibly popular documentary, Who Killed the Electric Car?, along with the Sierra Club and the Electric Auto Association, have organized a growing series of events to raise public awareness of EV technology.
This year, with the sponsorship of Nissan and SchneiderEV, the electric charging station manufacturer, National Plug In Day will see events held in some 50 U.S. cities. Scheduled for this weekend, September 28-29, local organizers will host electric car Ride&Drive opportunities - including in some locations the Tesla Model S - electric car parades, demonstrations and EV tailgate parties.
Besides giving the public a closer look at EVs, National Plug In Day also serves as a vehicle to raise national awareness through the numerous news reports that get written about it, like this one. A good example is the story being carried by the Chicago Tribune, entitled, "6 reasons to celebrate National Plug-In Day." And what are the reasons they list? Here they are:
• A fast charge infrastructure - including Tesla's proprietary Supercharger network - is be deployed nationally.
• The cost of producing an electric car, as well as operating them continues to drop ever close to the point where they are now competitive, over their comparative lifecycles, to their gasoline equivalents.
• The number of available models and options are exploding with as many as 20 new models slated for release in 2014. Volkswagen Group is talking about 40 models by 2017 alone.
• Electric car rental fleets are expanding from the smart electric car-based Car2Go system in San Diego to various carshare systems to the inclusion of electric cars into major rental car fleets like Hertz and Enterprise.
• Electric car sales - both all-electric and electric hybrids - are booming with GM and Nissan recording record sales, the latter announcing just today that it has now sold accumulatively more than 35,000 LEAF electric cars in the United States since the official launch in late 2010.
• When you think of electric car sales by megacity region, Los Angeles or San Francisco are usually first to come to mind, but in fact, the number one city for Nissan LEAF sales in August was Atlanta, Georgia, indicating EVs are growing in popularity outside their early launch markets.
PIA features an interactive map on its website pinpointing the locations of the various cities holding EVents, including two in Hawaii, the one state in the Union that probably has the highest per capita concentration of electric cars in the nation. Outside the United States, the Dutch city of Amsterdam is planning to participate with an EV Challenge.
Of course, the industry and the movement still has a lot of growing to do. There are plenty of cities yet to be added to the list just in the United States, including EV World's hometown of Omaha. We will know that EVs have truly arrived when National Plug In Day becomes World Plug In Day. At the pace of adoption, we could see that happening easily sometime in the next decade, if not sooner.
Originally published: 28 Sep 2013
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