Above: Empire Clean Cities supports the City of White Plains and its opening 10 new public charging stations
By: Christian Okolski
Last week marked the first National Drive Electric Week, an expanded celebration of electric vehicles that has replaced National Plugin Day. As reported by this blog, National Drive Electric Week was organized in the United States by the Electric Auto Association, Plug In America, and the Sierra Club, but events also spilled over into Canada, Italy, and the Netherlands. Even Mission Electric’s parent organization, Empire Clean Cities, participated in New York by supporting the City of White Plains’ installation of 10 new public charging stations, as reported by The Examiner.
According to the Huffington Post, more than 90,000 Americans across 152 cities and 39 states showed strong support for electric vehicles and their benefits by attending parades, test rides, showcase events, and more. Plus, hundreds of volunteers gave their time to make National Drive Electric Week a true success. Some lucky electric vehicle enthusiasts were a part of record-breaking moments.
While Cupertino, California is most commonly known as home of the computer and electronics supergiant, Apple, it is now home of the most plug-in electric vehicles in a parade as well. As Plug In America has announced, the parade was organized by the San Francisco BayLEAFs and the Silicon Valley chapter of the Electric Auto Association, hosted by Cupertino’s De Anza College, and featured 507 electric vehicles. The gathering of both electric cars and motorcycles was ultimately confirmed to be the largest ever by Guinness World Records, beating the prior record set in Stuttgart Germany in May 2014 by 26 vehicles. Considering that the prior record of 481 electric vehicles only lasted for about 5 months, Cupertino’s glory may not go uncontested for long.
One day after Cupertino’s big achievement, the People’s Climate March in New York City set the record for the largest public climate change protest ever, as reported by the Christian Science Monitor and numerous other media outlets. While estimates of how many people actually attended the parade vary, it seems that somewhere between 300,000 and 400,000 people took part. While many familiar faces took part in the parade, some of the most notable attendees included UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, former U.S. Vice President and climate activist Al Gore, and recently appointed UN Messenger of Peace Leonardo DiCaprio. The incredible turnout and appearance of high-profile individuals surely benefited from the fact that the march took place only two days before the 2014 UN Climate Summit, which was also hosted in New York City on September 23rd. While the People’s Climate March was a demonstration advocating actions to mitigate climate change and not only support electric vehicles, it did feature an “EV Bloc” of electric vehicle supporters, which was organized by National Drive Electric Week.
After all the great National Drive Electric Week events held last week, the public support of electric vehicles and their role in reducing climate-altering pollution certainly proved to be strong and growing. As the Huffington Post notes, 180 national and local media outlets provided unprecedented coverage of the nationwide support of electric vehicles. Hopefully, heightened public awareness of electric vehicles will translate into greater consumer interest and continued growth of the electric vehicle market.