This year’s National Drive Electric Week took place during the week of September 14-22. The annual event focused on bringing awareness to the economic, environmental, and lifestyle benefits of driving electric and was celebrated by more than a thousand across the state of Ohio.
From its humble beginnings in 2011 as “National Plug In Day,” National Drive Electric Week has expanded to include 324 events across all 50 states plus Puerto Rico as well as seven other countries.
In Ohio volunteers organized an impressive total of eleven events in ten different cities throughout the week. Facilitated by more than 150 volunteers, these events saw an estimated 1,500 visitors, with more than 150 electric vehicles (EVs) showcased. The vehicles represented a cumulative total of over 3,850,000 electric miles driven.
National Drive Electric Week celebrates electric vehicles to heighten awareness of their benefits across the country. Ohio’s celebrations took place in urban, suburban, and rural communities throughout the state.
In Southeast Ohio, Sarah Conley-Ballew organized an electric vehicle showcase at the Pawpaw Festival in Albany. She, like so many in the area, is excited about the potential for spreading the benefits of electric vehicle adoption to rural, Appalachian Ohio. “Hosting an EV Showcase fuels interest and drives demand for this innovative technology and helps to bridge the knowledge gap for rural Ohioans," said Conley-Ballew.
Michael Hall of the Electric Auto Association of NW Ohio, newly affiliated with Drive Electric Ohio, led a “ride-and-drive” event in Perrysburg, just outside of Toledo. Attendees at this and other ride-and-drives experienced the thrill of driving electric first-hand by taking test drives and speaking to owners about their experiences. Worries about the range of EVs is often the first thing that comes to mind for interested potential EV owners, which makes having engaging and passionate volunteers present at events all the more valuable.
Hall recalled, “It was common to hear stories of these Ohio EV owners who have traveled throughout the east coast and southern states using their apps to help them find charging locations.” He hopes that the visits from over 200 attendees will go a long way to increase electric vehicle adoption across the greater Toledo area.
Volunteer organizer, Patrick McCullough, planned a “ride-and-drive” event in Cincinnati this week too. Cincinnati’s electric vehicle celebration was highlighted by Mayor John Cranley’s proclamation of “Electric Vehicle Week” in the city. The proclamation also reaffirmed the City’s commitment to convert 100% of its City fleet to electric by 2035 as well as to continue its policy of free parking for electric vehicle drivers in the city. Through these actions and others, Cincinnati hopes to continue to lead the region and nation in electric vehicle-ready policies.
Clean Fuels Ohio would like to relay a special thanks to all of the amazing volunteers and specifically the organizers: Jim Kelly (Dayton), Patrick McCullough (Cincinnati), Michael Hall (Toledo), Sarah Conley-Ballew (Southeast Ohio), Mryia Williams (Columbus), Joe Myers (Columbus), Michael Peters (Cleveland), and all others who organize events throughout the year.