Driving Today

U.S. Goes Electric on National Plug In Day

Electric vehicles are celebrated with parades and tailgating.

You might have missed the parade because it didn’t create a lot of noise, but electric-vehicle drivers from coast to coast just made merry at gatherings marking the first National Plug In Day. The rejoicing (OK, mild-mannered rejoicing) took place in 26 cities with one goal: informing Americans about the goodness of electric power for their automobiles. EV owners, enthusiasts and interested locals from cities across the U.S. -- including Honolulu, New York City, Austin and Detroit -- participated in electric-car parades, tailpipe-free tailgate parties, lectures, a ceremonial plugging-in and other grassroots events.

Many of the events featured new plug-in vehicles manufactured by Nissan, General Motors, Mitsubishi, Toyota, smart, Ford, CODA and others. Several cars were available for ride-and-drives, and electric-vehicle chargers and other products were on display at the events. In addition to the aforementioned cities, other cities and towns that hosted events include Washington, D.C.; Phoenix; Denver; Addison, Texas; Seattle; Atlanta; Portland, Ore.; Indianapolis; Nashville, Knoxville and Kingsport, Tenn.; Concord, N.H.; Tucson, Ariz.; Kissimmee, Fla.; and Springfield, Mo. California was heavily represented; the Golden State locales included Orange County, San Diego, Davis, Santa Cruz, San Francisco and Santa Monica.

“Electric vehicles are here now, and demand is exploding,” says Michael Brune, executive director of the Sierra Club. “National Plug In Day is a chance for Americans to see how they can make the change to oil-free transportation. This switch will play a critical role in breaking our addiction to oil, slashing carbon pollution and saving Americans money at the gas pump.”

National organizers of the event -- Plug In America, the Sierra Club and the Electric Auto Association -- teamed up with local groups across the country to host the events. Movie director Chris Paine, whose film Revenge of the Electric Car will hit theaters across the country on October 21, spoke in Santa Monica before the country’s largest-ever electric-vehicle parade, which featured hundreds of plug-in vehicles.



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