National Drive Electric Week, taking place Sept. 22-Oct. 1, is designed to spread the word about the many benefits of electric vehicles (EVs). And there’s a growing number of Alabama EV drivers who are happy to join the cheering section.
“Anyone who has ever driven an EV can tell you about pressing the accelerator and immediately being pushed back into your seat like you’re riding a rollercoaster,” said Dale Holden, a Mobile resident and co-leader of the Bay Area Chapter of Drive Electric Alabama.
“That fun factor often overshadows the real-world economic benefits that EV owners enjoy. You save money and have fun at the same time,” Holden said.
Still, many drivers have lingering questions about EVs, from how much savings they provide compared to traditional combustion-engine vehicles, to the availability of public chargers.
Four events across the state in the coming days provide an opportunity for Alabamians to get those questions – and others – answered by the experts: the folks who are driving EVs in Alabama every day. The events are sponsored by Drive Electric Alabama, the state’s EV public education campaign.
Upcoming events give Alabamians a chance to kick the tires on a range of electric vehicles. (Drive Electric Alabama)
Here are the Alabama events coming up that are part of National Drive Electric Week:
Drive Electric Alabama, Auburn-area Showcase – Friday, Sept. 22, from 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. at the Jay and Susie Gogue Performing Arts Center, 910 S. College St., Auburn.
Drive Electric Alabama, Bay-area Showcase – Monday, Sept. 25, from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. at Mardi Gras Park, 109 Government St., Mobile,
Drive Electric Alabama, Birmingham-area Showcase – Saturday, Sept. 30, 8 a.m. to noon at The Market at Pepper Place, 2930 Third Ave. S., Birmingham
Drive Electric Alabama North Alabama-area Showcase – Saturday, Sept. 30, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at MidCity District, 5909 University Drive, Huntsville
The events are free and will feature multiple models of EVs on display with their owners on hand for one-on-one conversations. Indeed, EV owners who want to showcase their vehicles at one of the events can register online at driveelectricalabama.com, where separate links to each showcase can be found on the “Resources & Events” page.
This year’s showcase event come on the heels of other recent developments related to EVs and Alabama.
Officials gather to celebrate a new electric vehicle charging station in downtown Montevallo. (Payton Cato / Alabama News Center)
Montevallo Mayor Rusty Nix cuts the ribbon at the public EV charging station in the heart of the city’s business district. (Payton Cato / Alabama News Center)
Last week, the city of Montevallo unveiled a public EV charging station in the heart of its downtown business district. It is among a growing number of municipalities adding charging facilities.
Last month, the Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs announced a third round of grants to fund construction of EV charging stations across the state. And in July, seven global car manufacturers, including Alabama automakers Mercedes-Benz, Honda and Hyundai, announced they are joining forces to install at least 30,000 fast chargers for electric vehicles across North America.
“A large percentage of Alabamians have still never driven an EV,” said Michael Staley, president of the Alabama Clean Fuels Coalition. “The EV owners who participate in these showcases have made the transition to electric and use their vehicles to get their kids to school, or take them to soccer practice, or to make a quick run to the grocery store. Who else would you want to ask about EVs? These Alabamians are using them every day.”
Alabama Power is a member of the Alabama Clean Fuels Coalition and among the multiple local partners who are closely involved in efforts to build awareness about electric transportation. The company offers a discounted electricity rate for customers with electric vehicles and a rebate for the purchase and installation of a home EV charger. Rebates also are offered to businesses with EV fleets.
To learn more about Alabama Power and electric transportation, click here.