Drive Electric Earth Day (DEED), a nationwide celebration of electric vehicles (EVs), is quickly approaching, with online and socially distant in-person events taking place throughout April. During this national campaign, attendees will have the opportunity to experience EVs in a fun, interactive environment. Events are produced locally by volunteers and groups, often including EV showcases, parades, and more. Online events will address a number of topics, including EV basics, charging, electric school buses, EVs and solar, and more.
EVs are widely considered the future of transportation, yet they only comprise roughly 2% of the new-vehicle market. A recent Consumer Reports survey showed that only 30% of Americans have a deeper knowledge of EVs, indicating that more education is necessary. Drive Electric Earth Day is a valuable opportunity for Americans to learn about EVs first-hand from the drivers who love their EVs.
DEED is an opportunity for Americans to learn about EVs with online and socially distant events throughout April.
In a recent Plug In America survey of EV consumers, people who intend to purchase an EV indicated that ride-and-drive events, like those during DEED, are the third most valuable source of EV information, after EV-specific websites and online or print news articles. Additionally, 85% of respondents say they have seen an EV on display, 71% have ridden in an EV, and 55% have driven an EV. Having the chance to interact with EVs makes attendees more likely to consider one for their next vehicle purchase.
While DEED’s primary focus is on light-duty cars and trucks for individual drivers, many in-person events include medium- and heavy-duty vehicles, including trucks and buses. Additionally, some online events will focus on commercial transportation, including Planning for Fleet Electrification, EV Permit Streamlining, and EV Charging Infrastructure Planning.
Celebrating 10 Years of EV Events
Plug In America, the Sierra Club, and the Electric Auto Association teamed up to launch the first national campaign of EV events, then called National Plug-In Day, in 2011, with events in 29 cities. Since then, National Plug-In Day has grown exponentially to become National Drive Electric Week (NDEW), held each September annually. DEED launched in 2019 as a companion campaign each April. In 2019, NDEW included nearly 170,000 attendees at 324 events in all 50 states and eight countries worldwide, making it the world’s largest electric transportation celebration. That event also had an astounding 10,000 test drives, allowing many to get behind the wheel of an EV for the first time.
While DEED’s primary focus is on light-duty cars and trucks, many in-person events include medium- and heavy-duty vehicles.
As with all events, COVID has impacted our plans. We transitioned both DEED and NDEW into mostly online events in 2020, ensuring safety while remaining committed to EV education. As we approach DEED 2021, we see more local event organizers planning safe outdoor events, incorporating masks and social distancing. We hope that, by September, we will be able to hold even more safe in-person events, allowing attendees to test drive these clean vehicles and experience the thrill of driving electric.