National Drive Electric Week

National Drive Electric Week
South Paris, ME
Sep 16, 2017

Day: Saturday, September 16, 2017 NOTE: this event has already happened, find current-year events on the Attend page.
Time: 12-4
Location: Oxford Hills Comprehensive High School
256 Main St
South Paris, ME 04281
Contact the event organizers, which took place in 2017.

Event Report

We had close to 40 EVs show up, 4 times more than just two years ago. 8 were available for test drives, thanks to William from Ripley & Fletcher, Emerson Toyota and Chevy, and Lee Nissan in Auburn. We also had individual’s cars to test drive from Michael at WJ Wheeler Insurance with his Chevy Bolt, Mike Dunn’s eGolf, Don Maclean’s Nissan Leaf and Zizi’s Leaf.

We had 5 Teslas for viewing and riding in, a highlight for many! Thank you to Bharat for so graciously driving people around the area with air conditioning and showing us almost what the Ludicrous option feels like. Once we were able to detach our heads from the head rest, we were able to help pick up some easter eggs.

We had 8 electric bikes available for riding and more people show up on their own eBikes. In 2015 we had 2.

We had 2 local eBike sellers represented with Green Machine Bike Shop and Paris Autobarn, and were happy to be able to send customers their way.

We had at least 278 people show up that we managed to count. Thanks to Darryl and John’s continuous tracking of people as visitors rolled in. And we had 25 kids show up, thanks to Jasper for clicking them.

We had a generous donation of $250 from the Natural Resources Council of Maine (NRCM) that allowed us to reward EV and eBike test-drivers and -riders with a slice of that awesome pizza.

We also had a generous $1,500 challenge grant from Sarah at 350 Maine to further PV2EV within our EV charger infrastructure project that CEBE has just started. It was immediately matched by our good friends at Paris Autobarn, so we now have an additional $3,000 for the project. Thanks to Nancy from 350 Maine for representing and helping to make this happen.

We had 2 solid presentations about EVs that helped educate potential EV owners and answer their questions. Thank you to Travis and Tony for their South Paris (and Sierra Club Climate Conference) debut of EVs 101. And thank you to Brian Kent and his dad for relaying a real-life experience with EVs.

photo by: Natural Resources Council of Maine
Ribbon cutting ceremony for the new solar powered EV charging stations at Oxford Hills High School. Photo taken during the EV Expo on September 16.

Event Description


Thanks to an outpouring of community support, the Oxford Hills Comprehensive High School has three new electric vehicle charging stations powered by the sun. To celebrate the dedication of the system, the Center for an Ecology-Based Economy (CEBE) will be holding its third annual Electric Vehicle Expo in the high school’s parking lot on September 16th from 12-4pm. The EV Expo is part of National Drive Electric Week and Maine Drive Electric Weekend in conjunction with a Sunday evening event in South Portland. 

Visitors to the EV Expo will have the opportunity to drive the latest in EV cars, including the all-electric, high-range Bolt and plug-in hybrid Volt from Chevrolet, Nissan Leaf, eGolf from Volkswagon, and more. Additional privately-owned EVs will be at the Expo to view and ride in. All area EV owners are encouraged to bring their cars to show and share their knowledge with the community. Electric-assist bicycles will also be featured at the event, provided by the Green Machine Bike Shop and local eBike enthusiasts. Thanks to the Natural Resources Council of Maine, test drivers and riders will be offered free artisan pizza from Riverside Lodge & Pub, who will also have plenty of food and refreshments for sale at the event. Speakers at the event will include Barry Woods of ReVision Energy, Sophie Janeway from the Natural Resources Council of Maine, Sarah LaChance of 350 Maine, and others.

The solar-powered EV and eBike charging stations were donated to the MSAD 17 school district by the Center for an Ecology-Based Economy. CEBE would like to thank the MSAD 17 school board for taking the time to work with them on the project, and especially Superintendent Rick Colpitts for shepherding the project through the system. Educational programing around solar power and electric mobility will be developed for school students to learn more about the project, solar power, and electric vehicles.

The installation of the EV chargers and solar array is a collaboration between CEBE’s Transportation and Energy Working Groups with generous support from area businesses and locals who donated time and materials to the project. Excavation work for the project was provided by Jason Shiers of Pleasant Hill Property Services in Norway, with gravel supplied by ECI Materials from South Paris, and a utility poles and posts provided at cost and set by Mark Shaw of Western Maine Line, Inc. in Albany Twp. The 20-panel solar tracker was provided at cost and installed for free by Garbo-Kane Integrated Solar Builders of Norway and Otisfield with help of other volunteers, and the two Clipper Creek and one Tesla Level 2 Chargers were installed by Paris Autobarn in South Paris. Master Electrician Guy Merrill was assisted by Adam Baril who provided their time and expertise to safely wire the chargers and solar array, which is connected to the regional power grid. Their employer, Electrical Solutions, Inc. of Auburn donated use of a boom truck to run the wiring up the utility pole. Area residents Travis Ritchie, John Cates, Darryl Collins and Jasper Vlaun also volunteered time on the project. An estimated 300 volunteer hours brought the project to fruition.

“This project Is part of a larger initiative to build out charging infrastructure to promote clean and sustainable transportation in Western Maine,“ said Tony Giambro, the Chairperson of CEBE’s Transportation Working Group. “This system adds to the public chargers that we’ve already installed in Norway at Longley Square on Main Street and in South Paris at the Police Department behind the South Paris Library, making this area an easy destination for EV drivers. By this time next year, we hope to have projects completed in Bethel and other area towns to make the Western Foothills area attractive to electric vehicle drivers from around the state and beyond,” he added.

To learn more about the project or to volunteer your time at the EV Expo, please call CEBE at 739-2101 or contact them at

Paris Autobarn has donated a a set of four Nokian Hakkapeliitta 9 snow tires and they will be auctioned off at this year's EV expo, with the proceeds going to CEBE. You can choose your tire size and installation is included at Paris Autobarn. To watch a quick video about these highly advanced tires go here.

On Saturday September 16, 2017 from 12pm to 4pm, The Center for an Ecology-Based Economy will host an electric vehicle expo at the Oxford Hills Comprehensive High School (OHCHS), as part of National Drive Electric Week. The event will feature a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the newly installed solar-powered EV chargers at the high school, guest speakers, and test drives of electric cars such as a VW e-Golf, Nissan Leaf, Kia Soul EV, and others.

We are looking for volunteers to help with the expo, electric vehicle owners to display their vehicles, and anyone with an interest in electrified transportation to attend. Please RSVP and let us know if you would like to participate and in what role.

Presented by Plug In America, Electric Auto Association and Sierra Club, National Drive Electric Week, September 9-17, 2017, is a nationwide celebration to heighten awareness of today's widespread availability of plug-in vehicles and highlight the benefits of all-electric and plug-in hybrid-electric cars, trucks, motorcycles, and more. They are fun to drive, are less expensive and more convenient to fuel than gasoline vehicles, are better for the environment, promote local jobs, and reduce our dependence on foreign oil. Are you considering going electric? Come talk to owners who have successfully done so.

Started in 2011 as National Plug In Day with the simple idea to hold simultaneous events across the country on the same day, by popular demand they have expanded to an entire week of events and changed the name to emphasize the thing we all want to do: drive electric. We expect National Drive Electric Week 2017 will again grow to include more events in more cities with more drivers reaching out to share the many advantages of driving electric with the public.

Our EV EXPO event at OHCHS will also feature local food vendors, music, and test rides of electric bikes. More information can be found at

This year's expo is co-sponsored by The Center for an Ecology Based Economy and The Natural Resources Council of Maine.


Registered Attendees

There are currently 21 attendees registered.

Owners of These Vehicles Have Registered To Attend

Vehicle Registered
Chevrolet Bolt 2
Nissan Leaf (2011-2017) 2
Tesla Model S 2
Fiat 500e 1
Kia Soul EV 1
Tesla Model X 1
Volkswagen e-Golf 1
7 Models 10

Registered attendees report 208,648 electric miles driven.

In the News…

Presented By

Plugin America logo
Electric Vehicle Association logo
Sierra Club logo
EVHybridNoire logo
Drive Electric USA logo

Platinum Level Sponsors

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Green Level Sponsor

All NDEW 2024 sponsors support Plug In America's coordination of National Drive Electric Week.

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