OK kids, once again it’s National Drive Electric time of year, and this year they’ve gone for the whole week. I’ve been hearing about it through the EAA chatter, since they have a big role in it, but I recently found out about the efforts of one Darren Schurig, City Captain in Huntington Beach California, and the National Drive Electric Week-HB – Plug In To Excitement! event on the 20th. Those guys in CA think they’re going to set some world records for EV gatherings. I reckon they just might.
Here’s some of the stuff to expect:
Boasting 250,000 sq. ft. of event space, larger than 4 football fields, and already more than 40 corporate and company exhibitors, it is poised to be one of the largest Plug-in Electric Vehicle (PEV) events in the country, if not the world. Attendance is conservatively forecast at 20,000, it could easily be double that. There will be more than 20 automobiles to drive, there are even global debuts on tap!
But this is not just an automobile exhibit, there will also be electric bicycles and skateboards to ride, electric surfboard demos and exotics, trucks, motorcycles, boats, and buses will be showcased. Of course there will also be special guests.
We, of course, over on the Right Coast (a little to the Up) are having our own little event kicking of this Drive Electric week, oh, you know, on the Mount Washington Auto Road the weekend before the actual start of the “Week” on the 13th and 14th… where we’re going to set some records of our own. As of this moment, here’s the schedule and some of the participants:
- The New England Electric Auto Association will be holding their monthly meeting at the Summit, and will be kicking off the week of the National Drive Electric Week with us.
- Bill Buchholz, with his Dirigo front wheel drive, 90mpg diesel tadpole trike. Designed and built for the Automotive X Prize, she won the coast to coast “every guy’s X prize” in 2010.
- The MIT EVT team will be there with their electric Porsche, their latest electric motorcycle, and who knows what else? EVT’s mission is to demonstrate and research electric vehicle technologies, provide project-based educational opportunities for MIT students, and increase public awareness of electric and other advanced vehicle technologies.
- Zoombikes’ Larry Gilbert and crew are coming again this year with their really cool, really fun electric bikes!
- Robert Worobey of Black Sparrow Industries will be back with his unique, 3-wheeled board, the Tribey, for another attempt at the summit with a new, improved battery pack.
- Smart Energy of New England’s David Belanger will be there, showcasing their line of solar electric, solar thermal, pellet boilers and wind generation.
- Outrider USA’s Kevin Breslend will be showing off their line of three-wheeled electric/pedal power vehicles… and making their bid for the summit.
- Chargepoint’s John Gilbrook will be there answering your questions about charging stations and infrastructure.
- The ALT E Store will show you everything you need to know about renewable energy systems and supplies, with a vast resource of DIY help.
- Foxfire Energy will again be teaming up with SolarFest to bring you their Off Grid Solar Generator trailer – giving us all access to 100% carbon-free recharging, and conventional Solar Installation help as well.
- The NE chapter of the National Electric Drag Racing Assn is going to show with some pretty cool toys. FAST toys. That run on batteries.
- Finally, our Title Sponsor, the NH Electric Co-op, represented by Gary LeMay, has made much of this possible, and will be on hand to answer your NH renewable and sustainable energy questions.
We have a whole lot more in the works… just a hint: ever hear of a Bacon Bike?
Also, we’re putting some really informative workshops together. Here’s a bit of info on that:
Saturday, Sept 13
- 3:00 Presentation: Real-life Electric Vehicle Ownership
Join Dave Olivera of the New England Electric Auto Association, Ben Rich, longtime EV owner and cross-country electric motorcycle rider, Tim Letourneau of Twin State Ford and Mike Mercer of Banks Chevrolet to get the real story on the ins and outs of EV ownership – the driving experience, getting the most from incentives, dealing with charging and range – in a no-nonsense panel discussion. There will be plenty of other EV owners there to join in, too!
- 4:00 Workshop: Community-Sponsored Charging Stations
Want to get charging stations installed in your community? Ask our experts how – John Gilbrook, of Chargepoint, the world’s largest and most open EV charging network, Gary Lemay, of New Hampshire Energy CO-OP, our Title Sponsor, and Carl Vogel, Pres of the NY Electric Auto Association and National EAA Board member, moderated by Dolores Rebolledo of the NH Clean Cities Coalition. They’ve made it happen, and can help you make it happen for your community.
- 6:00: EV TV: KickGas and Charged
Join us on Saturday evening for under-the-stars screenings of two soon-to-be-classic EV films: KickGas, which is an “adventu-mentary” story of an epic 4,000-mile journey across America by eight strangers from different countries piloting an odd assortment of (mostly slow) electric vehicles in an effort to set a Guinness World Record. Charged is a 90-minute documentary from the Mark Neale (director of the MotoGP flick “Faster”) documenting the advent of the first electric motorcycle race—the TTXGP—at the venerated Isle of Man TT.
Sunday, Sept 14
- 10:00 Workshop: DIY Off-Grid Solar EV Charging
This is a unique, hands-on workshop that will not only show you the basics of any solar power system, but show you how to design and build your own off-grid solar EV charging station. Ted Dillard, electric motorcycle builder and Bevan Walker, an independent PV Solar installer will be joined by Jocelyn Angel and Mike Marchilli of the ALT E store to do a hands-on DIY demonstration. This is your chance to learn the basics of solar, and build your way to 100% carbon-free transportation.
There are over 200 events scheduled for the week, and tons of information available. Here are a few of the links:
- National Drive Electric Week Facebook Page
- National Drive Electric Event Finder
- National Drive Electric Home Page
- Mt Washington Auto Road ALT Energy Summit Home Page
- Mt Washington Auto Road ALT Energy Summit Facebook Page
- …and finally, once again, the Huntington Beach National Drive Electric Week-HB – Plug In To Excitement!
I’m thinking this will be the year we’ll all look back and say, yup. 2014 was the year EVs hit the road running, and never looked back.