LA Hosts EV Ride-and-Drive, Promotes EVs at National Drive Electric Week Celebration in Exposition Park
|LOS ANGELES – State and local officials, and representatives of the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP) kicked off the 2016 National Drive Electric Week (NDEW) in Los Angeles today at Exposition Park. In its sixth year, NDEW LA is an annual ride-and-drive event that promotes the cost, environmental and fun benefits of plug-in hybrid-electric cars, trucks, motorcycles, bikes, and more. Eight automakers including BMW, Chevrolet, Fiat, Kia, Nissan Volvo and Volkswagen offered the latest plug-in electric vehicles for test drives. As the largest NDEW event in the U.S., the festivities in LA demonstrate the City of Los Angeles’ commitment to grow EV use in the city, as outlined in Mayor Eric Garcetti’s Sustainable City pLAn.
“Los Angeles continues to lead the fight against the threat of climate change,” said Mayor Eric Garcetti. “Electric cars improve our air quality and reduce our carbon footprint. With the most publicly available charging stations in the country and the largest municipal electric vehicle fleet, no city is doing more to accelerate this overdue shift to clean transportation than Los Angeles.”
NDEW LA also highlights what California and Los Angeles are doing to lead the way in EV infrastructure and purchases, including municipal fleets, as well as making EVs accessible and affordable for low-income communities.
“I’m particularly excited about this next generation of electric vehicles which will make them far more affordable to Angelenos and help improve our air quality across the city,” said Councilmember Paul Koretz.
LADWP, the largest municipal utility in the nation, was on hand to promote EVs and EV charger rebates. LADWP’s Chief Sustainability and Economic Development Officer Nancy Sutley said, “The electrification of LA’s transportation is of utmost importance to LADWP because it helps us integrate renewable energy into the power grid. LADWP’s ‘Charge Up LA!’ EV Charger Rebate Program, along with growing city EV infrastructure, are key to supporting our customers in the adoption of this new technology.”
‘Charge Up LA’ offers rebates of up to $500 to residential customers and $4,000 for commercial customers towards the purchase of EV charger equipment. From June 2013 through November 2015, the Department paid over $2.8 million in EV charger rebates for 1,970 chargers under the program. In addition, LADWP has helped install over 300 publicly accessible chargers at various locations throughout the city to support EV infrastructure. Widespread charging opportunities can help build confidence among EV drivers so that they can travel farther from home without fear of running out power.
“Today’s event is an important opportunity for Californians to take the wheel and experience how fast, fun, fabulous and reliable these cars can be,” said Mary Nichols, Commissioner of the California Air Resources Board.
Peggy Vadillo Orenstein, a public health analyst at UCLA purchased an EV after attending a drive electric event in 2014. “I got to look at and test-drove a broad spectrum of electric vehicles without any car dealership pressure,” said Vadillo Orenstein. “I love my new car, nothing beats electric!”
Joining Councilmember Koretz, Nancy Sutley and Mary Nichols in support of NDEW LA were LA Chief Sustainability Officer Matt Petersen, and Film Director Chris Paine celebrating the 10 year anniversary of the documentary “Who Killed the Electric Car.”
Today’s free, family-friendly event was hosted by LADWP and supported by the Office of Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti and non-profit organization Adopt-A-Charger. NDEW events are happening in over 200 cities worldwide, organized by Plug In America, the Sierra Club, and the Electric Auto Association, with Los Angeles Event at Exposition Park being the largest. For more information on NDEW please visit www.ndewla.org.
About Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP): LADWP is the nation’s largest municipal utility, having provided reliable water and power to Los Angeles residents and businesses for over 100 years. LADWP’s power system supplies more than 25 million megawatt-hour (MWh) of electricity a year for the City of Los Angeles’ 1.4 million residential and business customers. LADWP’s water system serves a population of 3.9 million people within 473 square miles by delivering 191 billion gallons of water to 674,000 residential and business water service connections annually. www.ladwp.com. The utility offers EV charger rebate programs, and provides power and EV infrastructure across Los Angeles.
About Adopt a Charger, Inc.
Adopt a Charger is a 501(c) 3 organization that promotes the adoption of electric vehicles by installing EV charging stations at popular destination locations including The Los Angeles Zoo, Will Rogers State
Historic Park, The Getty Center and Getty Villa, The Natural History Museum of LA County, and LACMA. Contact Kitty.Adams@adoptacharger.org
About Plug In America: Plug In America, a San Francisco-based national nonprofit organization, works to accelerate the shift to plug-in vehicles powered by clean, affordable, domestic electricity to reduce our nation’s dependence on petroleum and improve the global environment. The organization conceived National Drive Electric Week and has advanced workplace charging by pioneering ride-and-drive events at such leading corporations as Google, Mattel and Paramount Pictures. It developed the world’s largest, most dedicated network of plug-in vehicle owners and drivers, many of whom have driven EVs for well over a decade. We drive electric. You can too. www.pluginamerica.org.
About the Sierra Club: The Sierra Club is the nation’s oldest and largest grassroots environmental organization with more than 2.4 million members and supporters and chapters in all 50 states. The Sierra Club’s national electric vehicles initiative advocates for a switch to EVs as one important way to reduce emissions and cut oil consumption. Sierra Club is proud to have been one of the three national groups organizing National Drive Electric Week since its inception in 2011. www.sierraclub.org/EVGuide.
About the Electric Auto Association: The Electric Auto Association, formed in 1967, is a nonprofit educational organization with 75 chapters worldwide that promotes the advancement and widespread adoption of electric vehicles. www.electricauto.org.
For More Information:
LADWP Public Affairs
Susana Reyes, Senior Analyst