Group launches Driving on Sunshine electric vehicle roadshow, offers Floridians free Tesla test drives

July 18, 2019
Contact: Kelsey Grentzer, SACE, 865-235-1448, kelsey@cleanenergy.org

Press Kit: www.drivingonsunshine.org/press

The Driving on Sunshine roadshow’s Tesla Model X tows a Nissan LEAF. Both vehicles are fully electric and will be available for test drives at electric vehicle roadshow events across Florida.

STATEWIDE, Fla. —  Nonprofit advocacy group Southern Alliance for Clean Energy is hitting the road this summer to educate Floridians across the state about the many benefits of electric vehicles by offering firsthand driving experiences. Launching this week, the Driving on Sunshine electric vehicle roadshow will bring a variety of electric vehicles to Floridians across the state through a series of ride and drive events.

The roadshow’s first official event will be held Saturday, July 20, and will offer test drives as part of the e4 Life: Green Health & Wellness Expo in partnership with the West Palm Beach Mayor’s Office of Sustainability. Attendees at Driving on Sunshine roadshow events will have the opportunity to test drive a Nissan LEAF hatchback, a Tesla Model 3 sedan and a custom-wrapped Tesla Model X (photos available here).

“The best way to see how fun, easy and practical an electric vehicle can be is to drive one for yourself,” said Dory Larsen, the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy’s Electric Vehicle Program Coordinator.

But the roadshow is about more than test drives; it’s about consumer education. After conducting a series of focus groups with Floridians across the state, the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy discovered a variety of misconceptions and a lack of knowledge about electric vehicles among the general public. Most focus group participants had never been in an electric vehicle before.

“After discussions with Floridians across the state, we were surprised to discover how little experience the average person has had with electric vehicles,” Larsen said. “We realized there is a huge knowledge gap about electric vehicles and how they benefit consumers and Florida’s economy and environment, and we wanted to offer the opportunity for Floridians to learn more through firsthand experiences.”

Through its Electrify the South campaign, the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy promotes electric vehicles as a clean, affordable transportation option and a key solution for reducing greenhouse gas emissions that cause climate change. The organization chose to focus its efforts for the Driving on Sunshine roadshow on Florida due to its position as the third most populous state in the U.S. and one of the largest markets for electric vehicles. The state is also one of the most vulnerable to the dangers of offshore drilling and the impacts of climate change, such as sea level rise and intensifying hurricanes.

The Driving on Sunshine roadshow will work to help Floridians understand that electric cars provide real economic benefits to drivers in lower fuel cost, significantly less maintenance cost, and better overall safety and performance.

Dr. Stephen A. Smith, Executive Director of the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy, hopes to see Florida rise up as a national leader in the transition to clean transportation and clean energy.

“Electric transportation is a ‘win-win’ for drivers, the environment and public health. Electric vehicles (EVs) save consumers money on gasoline and maintenance such as oil changes, and also reduce the need for offshore drilling, thus protecting our treasured coastlines. With zero tailpipe emissions, EVs dramatically reduce carbon pollution and promote cleaner air for our communities,” Smith said. “Plus, with their quiet, instantaneous acceleration, they’re a lot more fun to drive!”

“Electric vehicles make Driving on Sunshine possible as the electric power grid continues to become cleaner,” Smith added. “Our vision is to accelerate this transition in the Sunshine State with more solar power deployment and more drivers fueling their cars with our most abundant natural resource: sunshine.”

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Southern Alliance for Clean Energy is a nonprofit organization, founded in 1985, that promotes responsible energy choices to ensure clean, safe, and healthy communities throughout the Southeast. Learn more at www.cleanenergy.org.

Electrify the South is a Southern Alliance for Clean Energy campaign that  offers education and resources to empower individuals and communities to transition to clean, electric transportation throughout the Southeast. The Driving on Sunshine electric vehicle roadshow is a newly launched component of this work. Learn more at www.electrifythesouth.org.