|Nat’l Drive Electric Week
in St. George, Utah
Mark D Larsen
(Click to enlarge)
Once again it was that time of the year for EV’angelists to host National Drive Electric Week EV’ents in various cities. Since 2012 I have participated practically every fall, with the sole exception of 2020 because of the COVID pandemic. The vast majority of those I have attended took place in Las Vegas, one was in Salt Lake City, and I even organized one in this area 6 year ago in my suburb of Kayenta. This year I again participated in another local NDEW, as I will describe below with my usual show-and-tell narrative.
NOTE: You can click on the following photos to enlarge them, and the movies to play them.
This EV’ent took place from 10:00-to-2:00 in the southwest parking lot of the Staybridge Suites in St. George.
The City Captain who arranged and hosted the gathering was Mike Kruse, an active EV proponent and community organizer in southern Utah. He must have run across my name when first inquiring about NDEW celebrations, and contacted me to help provide some suggestions and insights.
Mike truly went all out to create a memorable occasion. He arranged for speakers, gathered commitments from owners to display their cars, and even scheduled a band to play music for the festivities.
I was happy to provide the canopy, tables, and chairs that I had used previously for NDEW and Earth Day celebrations, so that Mike's helpers could welcome and register guests and EV owners as they arrived.
Shortly before the EV'ent kicked off, several EV owners arrived to show off their vehicles. Here you can see Mike's RAV-4 EV hybrid, his wife's 2nd generation Nissan LEAF, a white Tesla Model 3, and even a Fiat 500e that an owner had imported here from CA.
Before too long, all the parking spaces were full alongside the rear patio of the motel where the EV'ent was taking place. You can see my Model 3 farther down the line with its hood open (explained below).
There were even several CAKE electric cyles on the opposite side of the lot.
I had decided to repeat my usual "Got’cha, ha ha!" display in my frunk.
And here's a video with a closer look of what passersby would see as they approached the car.
Mike had asked me give one of the talks at the EV'ent, to tell folks about my interest in EVs and the benefits of owning them. You can open a slide show of my remarks by clicking on this image of the first slide.
After the speeches had ended, the band shut down, owners retrieved their vehicles, and attendees started to dissipate.
By the time I managed to take down the canopy, table, and chairs, my Model 3 was one of only two EVs left, so I loaded it up and headed home. En route, I received a kind phone call from Mike, thanking me for my participation —which, of course, I was more than happy to provide. I only wish I could have done more!
I can conclude that this NDEW gathering was pretty much what one would expect, especially since it was the first one to take place in St. George. More than 100 people had registered to attend, but I seriously doubt that such a number showed up. We had hoped to give “Ride-&-Drive” opportunities to attendees interested in EVs, but I suspect that only a handful of them actually got their “butts-in-seats.” And once the speeches started, I was unaware of what additional activities were happening outside in the parking lot. I do hope, however, that at least a few people are now committed to making their next car an electric vehicle.