Plug In America |

Plug-In Vehicle Sales Hit First Quarter-Million Mark in U.S. as Record Number of Cities Celebrate National Drive Electric Week, Sept. 15-21

Wed, 09/10/2014

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Media Contacts:
Zan Dubin-Scott (310) 383-0956 (Plug In America)
Mark Westlund (415) 977-5719 (Sierra Club)

Plug-In Vehicle Sales Hit First Quarter-Million Mark in U.S. as Record Number of Cities Celebrate National Drive Electric Week, Sept. 15-21
 EV Driver Nancy Cartwright, the Voice of Bart Simpson, Celebrates Along With Cities in Italy, Canada and the Netherlands

SAN FRANCISCO, Calif., Sept. 10, 2014—A record number of volunteers nationwide and beyond will ensure that others may discover the benefits of electric cars with National Drive Electric Week, Sept. 15-21, 2014. The fourth annual observance, bringing test-drives and related activities to more than 130 cities in 35 states and abroad--another record--comes just as EV sales reach their first quarter-million mark in the U.S. today.

"Clean energy prosperity is on the way and there's no turning back," said Sierra Club director Michael Brune. "National Drive Electric Week and the dramatic increase in the number of plug-in electric vehicles on the road are just the latest examples of how American consumers are demanding 21st-century solutions to energy and the climate crisis, and given the choice would leave dirty fossil fuels in the ground."  

You might say that even Bart Simpson is excited.

“I bought a Nissan Leaf about two years ago,” actor Nancy Cartwright, the voice of Bart on “The Simpsons,” told National Drive Electric Week founders, “and I shaved nearly an hour off my driving to “The Simpsons” set and back because I can drive in the carpool lane. Got lots of thumbs up on the freeway. That said, I am a HUGE fan of Tesla and can’t wait to ‘fly’ with my ‘falcon-doored’ bird, the Tesla Model X. I will be the 12th person to receive the car. Aesthetic, functional and sets a great example for safeguarding our environment.”    

Designed to highlight the fun, convenience, cost-savings and clean-air benefits of EVs, National Drive Electric Week is organized nationally by Plug In America, the Sierra Club and the Electric Auto Assn. These organizations team up with other local groups and volunteers staging local events from Hawaii to Vermont, where EV sales continue to be robust.

"Plug-in vehicles have had a good year,” said John O’Dell, senior editor, fuel efficiency and Green Vehicles at Edmunds.com. “Despite a slowdown in the conventional hybrid segment, battery-electric and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles are up about 39 percent over last year. They remain a tiny part of the market--less than a one-percent share--but more and more people seem to be considering them as they shop for fuel efficient transportation."

Sharing the message abroad, at least one city in the Netherlands, five in Italy and 10 in Canada will take part in National Drive Electric Week (formerly National Plug In Day). Events are collectively expected to draw at least 35,000 attendees, including elected officials. Proclamations will be plentiful.
But the main point is to have a good time, with seasoned EV drivers taking those new to the cars for a spin.

“Some like the high-tech efficiency of EVs. Some thrill at the instant torque. Others feel that the real fun comes in knowing that you’re keeping your carbon footprint small, especially if you charge your EV with renewable solar energy, like so many of us do,” said Plug In America spokeswoman Zan Dubin-Scott. “I mean, cowabunga, man!”

For details about individual events, visit the Events page. Examples:

  • Connecticut’s Dept. of Energy and Environmental Protection and the state’s Automotive Retailers Assn. will award the state dealership with highest plug-in sales.
  • The mayor of Huntington Beach is expected to appear at Surf City's seaside event. A number of mayors are issuing proclamations in honor of Drive Electric Week.
  • Stella, the world's first solar-powered, energy-positive car and winner of last year's World Solar Challenge, birthplace of the storied EV1, will kick off Drive Electric Week with a visit to Venice, CA. It will stop in Cupertino, where organizers will make a Guinness World Records attempt for most EVs assembled (500-plus), and culminate the celebration in Capitola.
  • An “EV bloc” of plug-in car drivers will gather at the People's Climate March on Sept 21 in New York City. The march is aimed at putting pressure on world leaders to address climate change.
  • Poolesville, Maryland's event could draw 10,000, staged next to an annual fest replete with a town parade and marching band.
  • Houston will celebrate EVs at a solar-powered IKEA store, which will trumpet the event on its electronic billboard, visible from a major freeway intersection. Attendant mini-events will take place at EV charging stations around the sprawling city.
  • Scottsdale, Arizona's event will bring EV efficiency to the site of one of nation’s longest running gasoline-car shows.
  • UCLA and Santa Monica High School will share the EV message with youth through lectures and other activities of the new National Drive Electric Week Ambassador School initiative.
  • 50 EVs in New Hampshire will scale Mount Washington, the northeast’s highest peak.

National Drive Electric Week has been directly linked to increased plug-in vehicle sales, which have jumped by as much as 23 percent the month after Drive Electric Week in every year it has been held. Plug In America produced this total cost of ownership analysis, showing that a typical U.S. driver can cut in half the monthly cost to lease and operate a car by choosing an EV over a gasoline car.
National sponsors include the Nissan LEAF, PlugShare and the Dent Agency. Take the EV quiz.

About Plug In America: Plug In America, a San Francisco-based national nonprofit organization, works to accelerate the shift to plug-in vehicles powered by clean, affordable, domestic electricity to reduce our nation's dependence on petroleum and improve the global environment. The organization conceived National Drive Electric Week (formerly National Plug In Day) and has advanced workplace charging by pioneering regular ride-and-drive events at such leading corporations as Google, Mattel and Paramount Pictures. It developed the world’s largest, most dedicated network of plug-in vehicle owners and drivers, many of whom have driven EVs for well over a decade. We drive electric. You can, too. www.pluginamerica.org.
About the Sierra Club: The Sierra Club is the nation’s oldest and largest grassroots environmental organization with more than 2.4 million members and supporters and chapters in all 50 states.  The Sierra Club’s national electric vehicles initiative advocates for a switch to EVs as one important way to reduce emissions and cut our addiction to oil.  www.sierraclub.org/EVGuide.
About the Electric Auto Association: The Electric Auto Association, formed in 1967, is a nonprofit educational organization with 75 chapters worldwide that promotes the advancement and widespread adoption of electric vehicles. www.electricauto.org.