National Drive Electric Week Event Highlights
September 25, 2019 | Carly Gelderman | Events
From September 14 to the 22, Minnesota was busy celebrating electric vehicles (EVs). What started in 2011 as Plug-In Day has turned into a week-long celebration for EVs. Across the country, communities celebrate, educate, and spread awareness of the benefits of driving electric. This year’s National Drive Electric Week is reflective of the hard work and outreach that has happened since 2011.
In the past, Drive Electric Minnesota has helped support and host a handful of events in the state. This year was different: we promoted 14 events in Minnesota (and saw more than 300 events take place nation-wide), launched a toolkit for cities to use to switch to electric, supported our partners at the Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT) as they released their Pathways to Decarbonizing Transportation report, and were interviewed by WCCO! You can catch up on all these exciting endeavors and resources.
We can say that 2019 is by far the most celebrated National Drive Electric Week that we have ever seen!
Not only were there more events this year, but the types of events were more varied and ranged from EV showcases, Ride and Drives, panel discussions, EV Expos, fairs, presentations, ribbon-cutting ceremonies, and bike rides.
These events took place across the state in Bemidji, Duluth, Elk River, North Mankato, Northfield, Rochester, Wadena, and the Twin Cities. Events were hosted by utilities, universities, cities, nonprofits, and grass-root organizations. It’s an exciting time to watch the growth, popularity, and diversity of events increase in Minnesota! Some event highlights include:
Tried and True EV Celebrations
Connexus Energy, an electric cooperative in Ramsey, Minnesota hosted an EV showcase event in conjunction with the Ramsey Happy Day Festival. Dedicated EV owners volunteered their time to showcase their cars, answer questions, and show off the bells and whistles.
The Sierra Club Minnesota North Star Chapter celebrated clean transportation during their annual bike ride event that started and ended at Lake Monster Brewery, where a line-up of EVs and owners were ready to answer questions. Over 250 people attended this event.
The Second Annual EV Expo in Bloomington, MN not only had electric vehicles, bikes, and power tools on display, but also offered test drives and topical panel discussions that covered everything about buying, charging, and commuting. A highlight was the Women + EV panel.
New Events this Year
The City of Northfield and the Northfield Rotary Club teed up a jam-packed day of EV fun on September 19. They threw a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the new public EV charger, hosted an EV tailgate party, and invited participants to the Climate Action Plan presentation.
Lake Country Power, East Central Energy, Cooperative Light & Power, Arrowhead Electric, Great River Energy, and ZEF Energy coordinated an EV showcase and panel discussion in Duluth. Panelists discussed, among other things, the symbiotic relationship that electric cooperatives can have with EV charging. Panelist David Ranallo from Great River Energy shared information about off-peak charging rates and the Revolt program, which offers customers 100 percent renewable energy for their EV charging. Attendees enjoyed complimentary ice cream from Love Creamery, which featured an “electric blue” flavor.
These highlights only encompass a few of the celebrations that took place during National Drive Electric Week! Drive Electric Minnesota is excited about all the events, partnerships, and education that catalyzed EV champions and the EV-interest in Minnesota this year and are already looking forward to next year.