Sustainable America Blog

Test Drive an EV This Weekend

National Plug In Day

At some National Plug In Day events, you can learn how to incorporate solar into your energy plan so you can "drive on sunshine."

If you’re tired of ballooning gas costs, you’re curious about those nifty new electric car-charging stations installed at your grocery store or office — or you live in one of these 10 states, it might be time to get serious about plug-in electric vehicles. This weekend, Sept. 28 and 29, you can do just that at National Plug In Day, a series of free events happening in more than 90 cities around the country.

Now in its third year, National Plug In Day was created by by Plug In America to boost public awareness about the benefits of driving electric cars. The Sierra Club and the Electric Auto Association are partners in the events, which will include rallies, tailgate parties, charging-infrastructure demos, and EV-readiness awards, along with opportunities to test drive electric cars like the Tesla Model S, Nissan LEAF, Chevy Volt, and more.

Nissan gave away free gas in Atlanta yesterday to promote the event. The Oregon Tourism Board has created several range-anxiety-free scenic drives for EV owners — each route has public charging stations every 25 to 50 miles. And other cities are hosting events alongside other community events, giving away prizes and incorporating kids activities into the day. Here’s a complete list of events: pluginday.org/events.php

It’s been an encouraging year for electric vehicles — interest is growing, lower prices have spurred sales, the Tesla Model S was named Motor Trend Car of the Year — and National Plug In Day has grown as well. In 2011, it started with 26 events; it now boasts 93 events that span two days.

At Sustainable America, we’re working to reduce the country’s dependence on foreign oil for transportation, and fueling more cars on electricity is one piece of that puzzle. But aside from that, electric vehicles make a lot of sense for individual drivers, If you’re curious about how one could work for you, this is a great weekend to find out.

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By the Numbers

Currently 50 million households suffer from food insecurity, meaning that family members cannot always meet their basic food needs.

10 million people a year could be fed through the recovery of just one-fifth of food waste.

Only 2% of food waste is composted or otherwise recycled—62% of paper is recycled.

Consumers throw out about 40% of the fresh and frozen fish they buy.

The U.S. produced 208 pounds of meat per person in 2009—60% more than Europe.

Low income commuters spend a much higher proportion of their wages on gas—8.6% versus 2.1% at $4 per gallon.

Food prices rose 35-40 percentage points between 2002–2008.

Americans consume 25% of the world’s produced oil, but our nation holds less than 3% of the world’s proven oil reserves.

The International Energy Agency says greenhouse gas emissions rose 3.2% last year, with a 9.3% increase in China offsetting declines in the US and EU.


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