Record Number of National Drive Electric Week Events to be Held in the Midwest

SAINT PAUL, Minn., Aug. 29, 2017 – A new seven-state partnership in the Midwest led by the American Lung Association is helping to get people behind the wheel of plug-in electric and hybrid vehicles during National Drive Electric Week, Sept. 9-17.

The program, called Midwest EVOLVE, emphasizes the clean-air benefits, cost-savings and fun of plug-in electric cars. The vehicles are being showcased and provided to consumers for ride and drives in seven Midwestern states: Ohio, Michigan, Indiana, Illinois, Wisconsin, Minnesota, and North Dakota.

Nearly three dozen National Drive Electric Week events are being held in states that are a part of Midwest EVOLVE – which stands for Electric Vehicle Opportunities: Learning, eVents, Experience – a three-year partnership between the American Lung Association and eight Clean Cities coalitions throughout the Midwest to demonstrate the performance and environmental benefits of plug-in electric and hybrid vehicles.

At Midwest EVOLVE events, consumers, government officials, fleet administrators and dealership personnel have an opportunity to learn about the environmental benefits of electric and hybrid vehicles, and the ease of charging vehicles at home, at work or at public charging stations.

“Plug-in electric and hybrid vehicles are becoming increasingly popular, due to their better batteries, decrease in cost, an increase in choice, and more charging stations,” said Lisa Thurstin, senior manager, environmental programs for the American Lung Association in Minnesota and coordinator of the Twin Cities Clean Cities Coalition. “There’s no better way to experience the performance and clean-air advantages of plug-in vehicles than to get behind the wheel and experience them for yourself.”

As a part of the three-year project, the Lung Association and the eight Clean Cities coalitions are hosting more than 200 large and small Midwest EVOLVE events, including ride and drives, workplace-charging seminars, and other events, at brand-neutral settings throughout the Midwest. The first events were held in the spring of 2017.

During National Drive Electric Week, dozens of events are being held in the Midwest, both related to the Midwest EVOLVE project and unrelated, including:

“The Midwest has often been overlooked as a market for electric cars,” said Thurstin, who oversees Midwest EVOLVE. “Sometimes new enviro-friendly vehicles are first available in California or New York, so as a consumer you have to be vocal that you want the latest and greatest technology to be available at the dealership near you.

“As a part of EVOLVE, we’re working with automakers and local dealerships to line up vehicles for test drives, to make sure that consumers in the Midwest get a chance to learn about their advantages and figure out what best fits their needs,” Thurstin said.

Overall, more than 200 National Drive Electric Week events are taking place this year throughout the U.S. Plug In America, the Sierra Club and the Electric Auto Association team up with local groups to organize events. For a complete list of National Drive Electric Week events, visit: driveelectricweek.org.

The Midwest EVOLVE project is based upon work supported by the U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE), under Award Number DE-EE0007743. To learn more or locate Midwest EVOLVE events, visit MidwestEVOLVE.org or follow EVOLVE via TwitterFacebook or LinkedIn.