By Stephanie Stuckey
Drive the Future Atlanta, an event that is part of the National Drive Electric Week series, was held Sept. 21 at Lenox Square in Buckhead. The goal of the event was to promote the widespread availability of plug-in vehicles, educate diverse communities and bring awareness to the availability of diverse electric and zero emission vehicle options. In addition, event organizers wanted to showcase electric vehicles (EVs) at a variety of price points and brands, as well as display related products and services. An array of EV owners were present to answer questions and address myths about EV adoption and ownership.
Drive the Future Atlanta earned the distinction of having the second largest Drive Electric Week turnout in the country, a notable achievement given that there were over 300 events in nine countries this year. Moreover, Atlanta also had the most diverse celebration in the country, thanks to EVHybridNoire, an organization dedicated to advancing EV ownership among diverse communities, serving as the key organizer.
National Drive Electric Week is intended to raise awareness of the many options available to consumers – from all-electric battery-powered vehicles to plug-in hybrids trucks, motorcycles and more. EVs are fun to drive, have lower overall lifecycle costs than most gas-powered cars, are better for the environment, promote local jobs and reduce our dependence on foreign oil.
The 2019 Drive the Future Atlanta event kicked off with a social mixer attended by EV influencers, fleet managers, manufacturers and drivers. Some of the notable attendees included Bill Hawthorne, Chief Equity and Resilience Officer for the City of Atlanta, and Atlanta Sustainability Director John R. Seydel. Attendees came from around metro Atlanta and beyond Georgia to engage and interact with EV enthusiasts.
A few quick highlights on Drive the Future Atlanta event:
- 36+ different makes and models of EVs, with vehicles at $6K and up, including electric buses, bikes etc
- Attended by consumer advocate and Nissan Leaf owner, Clark Howard
- National debut of the 2020 Porsche Taycan Turbo S. There were a large number of plug-in vehicles on display, including Tesla Model X and Roadster models, Jaguar I-PACE, VW e-Golf and the Audi e-Tron among others
- Displayed EVs had driven 6.8 million electric miles
- Ride and Drive results – 87% of participants are much more likely to consider an EV as their next purchase and 92% had a better overall opinion of EVs
Event partners and supporters included Clean Cities GA, Georgia Power, EV Car Club of the South, The Ray, City of Atlanta/Office of Resilience, Livable Buckhead, Simon Mall/Lenox Square and EVHybridNoire.
To get more involved in Atlanta’s thriving EV community, join EVHybridNoire.com,which holds monthly meetings every third Thursday, or the EV Car Club of the South, which meets at Manuel’s Tavern on the third Wednesday of every month at 6:30 p.m.
Stephanie Stuckey is the Director of Sustainability for Southface, a nonprofit organization that promotes sustainability policies and practices across homes, workplaces and communities throughout the Southeast.