National Drive Electric Week
Sep 21, 2019
|Day:||Saturday, September 21, 2019 NOTE: this event has already happened, find current-year events on the Attend page.|
The morning sun was revealing a beautiful blue sky when we arrived at the Chattanooga Choo Choo. The Choo Choo is the historic train station located in the heart of the city. The police were closing Station Street which is a brick paved lane next to the Choo Choo. Workers were erecting the barriers and street closed signs at each end of the street. As we were assembling our Chattanooga Drive Electric tent and erecting our show boards explaining the advantages of driving electric, a 2019 Tesla S arrived and was directed into position by a Police Officer. Soon after, another Tesla S arrived and was directed to its location followed in quick succession by five Tesla Model 3s. More tents were being raised and displays were being erected. A Chevrolet Bolt, followed by three Nissan LEAFs and a Zero Motorcycle, entered the street and took up their positions.
The more than forty people that had signed up on the National Drive Electric Week web site and many additional visitors were starting to trickle in. The 10am time to start the event had arrived. The vehicle owners were showing off the attributes of their EVs and explaining the advantages of driving electric to the visitors. On our Chattanooga Drive Electric show boards were examples of the many attributes of EVs. As an example, I posted the cost analysis for my LEAF over the last seven years. I average 6000 miles of driving per year with an average cost for the electricity of $180 per year. That is about $0.03 per mile. There is also no cost for oil changes, engine tune ups, transmission fluid replacements etc. There is essentially no maintenance. I also showed visitors the posted tables from the IRS web site showing the tax credits available sorted by vehicle maker and model. I also passed out the literature that had been supplied by the National Drive Electric Week organization. Every visitor would say “WOW!” with each new morsel of information. I urged each visitor to take a look at the electric vehicles and talk to the enthusiastic owners about their experience driving electric. To culminate the experience of attending our event, it is a must that the visitors drive an electric vehicle. We were fortunate to have a Jaguar I PACE to “Ride and Drive.” With each returning group from their ride and drive, the look of “WOW” on their faces showed their excitement and amazement.
With the time approaching noon, the pizza and soft drinks had arrived so we all took a break and had a tailgate party. At around twelve thirty, our city’s mayor, Andy Berke, arrived to join the party. He posed for pictures with our vehicle owners, vendors and visitors. We all gathered around for him to formally address the group. He praised our efforts and dedication to electrify transportation and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. He spoke about the many green accomplishments of the city, like all electric buses downtown, free electric charging stations throughout the city, the solar share program and the totally solar international airport. He also announced that electric vehicles were being purchased for city police cruisers. He finished his presentation by presenting Chattanooga Drive Electric with a framed City Proclamation declaring September 14-22, 2019 as Chattanooga Drive Electric Week.
As 2pm approached, the temperature started climbing into the low nineties. The temperatures in Chattanooga have broken records almost every day throughout the summer with highs reaching into the 100s on some days. Global warming is a fact, and we must stop the emission of greenhouse gases now! It is of the utmost importance that we embrace electrification of transportation.
As the number of visitors diminished, the tents started to come down. Old and newly found friends said their goodbyes and pledged to do it again next year. The barriers came down and the electric vehicles started to blend into the passing traffic. Charge On!
photo by: Lourdes M. Dillard
Chattanooga Mayor Andy Berke presenting a City of Chattanooga Proclamation to Dr. James W. Dillard, City Captain of Chattanooga Drive Electric The proclamation declares September 14-22, 2019 as Chattanooga Drive Electric Week
The event is pending. Please visit the Attend page to find other National Drive Electric Week events.