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National Plug In Day Supercharges Electric Cars

Sunday, September 25 saw the electrification of autos in 65 U.S. cities as National Plug In Day gave people from Boston to San Francisco a chance to distance themselves from gas-guzzlers and find out more about the latest wave of electric vehicles.  The events were sponsored by the non-profit organization Plug In America, an advocacy group for electric vehicles.  This is the second year of the annual event.

In El Segundo, California, the celebration was held at the Automobile Driving Museum, where thousands of people were able to test drive electric vehicles, some of them charged up by Mitsubishi’s new solar powered battery charger.  The EVs at the El Segundo event included BMW’s ActiveEs, Nissan’s Leaf and Mitsubishi’s i-MiEVs. An array of electric motorcycles from the company Zero S was available for driver tryouts and homemade electric powered cars designed and built by do-it-yourself auto enthusiasts were also on hand.

Reps from Ford, Mitsubishi, Nissan, Cadillac and Toyota showcased their latest electric models in Boston, giving hundreds of inquisitive attendees a chance to look over and test drive their offerings. Vermont governor Pete Shumlin supported EVs by declaring September 22 through 23 ‘Vermont Plug In Weekend’. In Sarasota, Florida, they supercharged their Plug In Day with a ‘silent parade’ of 47 electric vehicles quietly humming around city. Sarasota currently supports the EV industry with nine electric charging stations.  In New York City, the event drew roughly 6,000 EV enthusiasts to Times Square to peruse a variety of vehicles, including Coca Cola’s and Duane Reade’s electric delivery trucks.

Skyrocketing gas prices, increased public awareness about climate change, and government subsidies have helped propel electric cars to the forefront of the auto market. According to statistics by the US Energy Information Administration, the number of electric cars on the road in the US has quadrupled between 2000 and 2010. To meet the power demand for the cars, the number of charging stations has increased by over 500% in the past year alone.