Drive Electric Event: Day of EV Learning in Florida

Dory Larsen | March 6, 2018 | Clean Transportation, Electric Vehicles

We were pleased to host the first 2018 Palm Harbor National Drive Electric Week event at the Palm Harbor United Methodist Church on Saturday, March 3, 2018. It was a tremendous success full of learning and driving electric!  It included ‘Ride and Drives’ from two dealerships: The RBC Group, Inc. and Fitzgerald Chrysler, where participants had the chance to drive electric for the very first time.  Additionally, there were nearly 20 electric drivers with their cars talking to guests and sharing their personal driving experience.  The vehicles on display included Tesla, Nissan, Chevy, BMW, and Ford.  We also had participation from three municipalities that have EVs in their fleet or are interested in electrification. 

The City of Largo brought their wrapped Nissan LEAF to display and Vice Mayor Michael Smith and Sustainability Coordinator Laura Thomas shared information about the sustainable initiatives their city is doing. Additionally, Rob Marlowe, Mayor of New Port Richey was on hand to talk about the new charging stations that his city is installing.  City of Tarpon Springs Commissioner Susan Kitka also attended. Peter King, Electric Transportation Project Manager at Duke Energy and the Chairman of Drive Electric Florida, was also on hand to discuss upcoming ways to engage with policymakers regarding the VW Settlement funds, specifically highlighting the need for Florida’s environmental mitigation plan to include the 15% maximum carve out for EV infrastructure as well as electrification of our public transportation systems. Phil Compton of the Suncoast Sierra Club highlighted how EVs are a necessary component for cities to reach their commitments to 100% clean energy.

The event also offered the opportunity to learn about how going solar with rooftop solar is a logical connection for EV drivers.  Alan Brand with The Solar Shepherd, Inc., had a demonstration of solar panels and talked with guests about installation and how his system supports his home and two electric vehicles. Brevard Solar shared information about their company and solar installations. Additionally, participants could also learn about upcoming solar co-op programs in St. Petersburg through Solar United Neighbors of Florida.

Other demonstrators at the event shared information with participants about the unique aspects of driving electric.  For example, Greenlots, shared information on how to charge electric vehicles, and the SWFL EV Owners group helped to connect current and future drivers.  We even had street legal carts and electric bikes on hand from SmartCart EVs.  Truly, the day was filled with all aspects of driving electric and fostering relationships that will grow the EV movement.  We also encouraged participants to show their support for EVs and to learn more by taking the NextCar Pledge, and to use the day as a springboard to make their next car electric! For more photos from the event, click here.

If you missed the event, there are many upcoming chances to learn more about EVs in Florida.  On Tuesday, March, 20 Electrify the South, a campaign of the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy, will be hosting a Webinar:  ‘How EVs Drive us to 100% Clean Energy’. Register here.  Also, on Saturday, March 31, the City of Oldsmar will be hosting a Sustain the Bay event featuring electric vehicles and their drivers.  Register here.

Dory Larsen
Dory joined the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy in 2017 and was named Senior Electric Transportation Program Manager in 2023. She is working to accelerate the transition to electric transportation…
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