** First, a request to the moderators: Perhaps this topic thread could be re-titled with a “2016” after “National Drive Electric Week” and moved into the “News” section? It might get more notice there.
Yes to this.
Several weeks before it occurred, I suddenly found myself acting as Tucson City Captain for the first National Plug In Day (NPID,) which took place on October 16, 2011. I think there were something like 39 cities involved that year. As the annual event grew in scope over the years and witnessed a name change in 2014 to National Drive Electric Week (NDEW,) our local Electric Auto Association (EAA) chapter became more engaged with this and other local opportunities to display electric cars to the public.
One of the pitfalls of latching onto a multi-city event - which is now international in scope - is that the weather may be marvelous in some locales but constantly miserable where you happen to live. The original 2011 presentation in mid October was nearly ideal for us here in the Sonoran Desert. But folks who were staging NPID events that first year in the northwest US were already dodging snowflakes. Consequently, the event started to move to late September in 2012 and finally to mid September in 2015. It’s still pretty hot here then (daytime highs in the 100 degree range is not uncommon) and the humidity is fairly intense, compared to the rest of the year. So, we’ve increasingly found ourselves emphasizing either indoor or nighttime activities. For 2016, we’re doing a combination of both.
We’ll be presenting the Chris Paine documentary film “Revenge of The Electric Car” on Saturday, September 10th, 12:00 Noon, at the (main downtown) Joel D. Valdez Public Library in the (inside and air conditioned) meeting room. Following the film, in the same room, we’ll be presenting a panel discussion with local electric vehicle owners and other special guests. Later that evening (much cooler then,) from 7:00PM to 10:00PM, the downtown comes alive with the monthly 2nd Saturday Downtown street fair and we’ll have our EVs displayed as part of that.
I’ll have my i-MiEV there as part of the Tucson Electric Vehicle Association’s (TEVA’s) contribution, along with other cars belonging to club members, which will include at least one home converted vehicle. Guests will include a representative from the Pima Association of Government’s Clean Cities program, who has a factory loaner of a Chinese-made BYD sedan (complete with a Mennekes plug,) a Tesla Model X (owned by the CEO of regional EV charging service, GoE3,) and an electric Zero motorcycle (from local dealer, On Any Moto LLC.)
Our tie-in with Nissan’s national partnership occurs with a display starting on Sunday, September 11 and continuing through Sunday the 18th at the Tucson Mall (yup . . . indoors and air conditioned!) We may have a couple other dealers - and brands - represented. But, as I write this, it’s going to be local Nissan Dealer (Thoroughbred) with an assortment of Leafs.
As far as i-MiEVs, we’ve actually had a presence with these cars each year at our local NPID/NDEW since 2013. TEVA member Ray Rogers was the first to lease one of these (from the Phoenix dealer) beginning in the winter of 2012. He was out of town the following fall, but loaned me his car for a couple of weeks (this is when the i-MiEV won me over) and I was able to bring it to NPID 2013 . . .
Ray brought it back himself in 2014 and in 2015. Just days following the latter event, his lease was up and it went back to the Phoenix dealer. So, with my used i-MiEV purchase taking place in late 2015, I'll carry on the tradition of displaying one in Tucson this year. I should also mention that the TEVA membership currently has (including mine) 4 i-MiEVs.