From September 26 to October 4, electric vehicle enthusiasts and groups hosted events across the country as part of the 10th annual National Drive Electric Week. While this year’s Drive Electric Week looked different than past years’, Drive Electric Ohio and its regional chapters were a part of 4 virtual and 4 socially distanced in-person events.
Outdoor events were hosted in Northeast, Northwest, and Central Ohio where organizers required masks and social distancing at all times. Drive Electric Columbus held a charging demo and informational fair with over ten different electric vehicle models present. Volunteers at a Columbus event distributed handouts about the benefits of driving electric and even held drawings for door prizes. In Perrysburg, the Electric Auto Association of Northwest Ohio held an event with fifteen electric vehicles available for socially distanced test drives, and owners shared their experiences with curious attendees and a local reporter.
Drive Electric Northeast Ohio partnered with a local fire department to help instruct 20 first responders on how to safely disengage an electric vehicle battery in the event of a serious accident. Despite poor weather, the group also hosted an outdoor electric vehicle ice-cream social to celebrate the week. Drive Electric Northeast Ohio and Sway Mobility hosted a live virtual session to educate attendees about a carsharing program at an apartment complex in a low- to moderate-income Columbus neighborhood.
Drive Electric Columbus event organizer, Mryia Williams reflected on the events. “Despite this year’s circumstances, we saw safe and successful in-person events across the state,” said Williams. “We also had the opportunity to reach new audiences through several unique virtual events, including the letter writing event.”
Clean Fuels Ohio staff organized and participated in several events and activities, as well. Outreach and Organizing Manager Marie McConnell and Policy Director Tyler Fehrman held a virtual event where attendees wrote letters to their State Senators and Representatives in opposition to Ohio’s burdensome electric vehicle registration fee. Participants were encouraged to share their email templates with other electric vehicle owners and across social media. Generation 180, a national clean energy advocacy group, featured Drive Electric Ohio Director Brendan Kelley in a panel of electric vehicle experts to discuss the policies driving electric vehicle adoption.
Events and Communications Coordinator Malerie Holte shared her first electric vehicle road trip with a large audience on Twitter, Facebook, and Tiktok with #HolteInTheBolt as she navigated Ohio’s charging network.
While this year’s National Drive Electric Week looked markedly different than past years, Clean Fuels Ohio staff and volunteers still educated and celebrated, spreading awareness of electric vehicles across the Buckeye state.