National Plug In Day draws record attendance

National Plug In Day draws record attendance

Posted 10.2.2013 in News by Christopher

National Plug In Day, a nationwide gathering of electric car drivers, advocates and industry promoters drew record attendance at events held Saturday and Sunday throughout North America and in Amsterdam. The San Diego event which Electric Car Insider attended had more than 700 participants, almost three times the previous years record, according to the meet-up organizers.

The San Diego event, dubbed Electric Vehicle Day, was held at Liberty Station in Point Loma, a site popular among local EV drivers because of two large groups of charge stations on the arts and commerce campus. 

Visitors mingled with EV owners and heard the drivers' perspective in the parking area set aside for the approximated 150 privately owned vehicles that turned out for the celebration. Adjacent to the EV contingent, two rows of canopies provided shade for visitors and industry participants.  On display from manufacturers were charging stations from Clipper Creek, Bosch, EVo Charge and a DC fast charger from Efacec. 

The booth area also featured the electric vehicles from corporate sponsors Nissan Leaf, Cadillac ELR and Chevy Spark EV. Also on display was a VIA electric truck. 

Freedom Station charge network provider eVgo was on hand to introduce the first SAE Combo charger, which will charge the new BMW i3 and Combo-equipped Chevy Spark to 80% in 30 minutes.  The Freedom Station also supports the Nissan Leaf's CHAdeMO fast charge standard and the conventional Level 2 J1772 connector common to all North American EVs.

In a first for the meet-up, two lanes were set up as queues for the ride-n-drive hosted by manufacturers. BMW gave rides in the new i3, which will be available in North America in the second quarter of 2014.  VIA gave rides in their electric truck, and Chevy allowed visitors behind the wheel of the new Spark EV and the Chevy Volt. Visitors also drove the popular Toyota Prius Plug-in and RAV4.  On the other side of the field, owners gave demo rides in their cars, which included a pair of Tesla Model S sedans. 

National coordination of National Plug In Day was performed by advocacy organizations Plug In America, the Sierra Club and the Electric Auto Association. The event was sponsored by the Nissan Leaf and Schneider EVlink. San Diego's event was organized by the the California Center for Sustainable Energy and presented by the Plug-In 2013 Conference & Exposition and National Plug In Day. Regional Sponsors included California Center for Sustainable Energy, San Diego Gas & Electric and the San Diego Regional Clean Cities Coalition. 

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