The 2016 National Drive Electric Week – Poolesville Day event was a resounding success!
The final registered electric vehicle count was 91 vehicles, 22 Models. We had a few cars not show up and a few that showed up, but never registered. The final count made this the largest National Drive Electric Week event on the east coast and the 5th largest event worldwide. That is 5th out of the 235 events registered. Not bad for a small town in Maryland. We are still waiting on the final people count from the Town of Poolesville, but we expect it to be well over 10,000 people. We started organizing our event shortly after our 2015 event completed. In 2015 we had just over 40 vehicles, so this year, we more than doubled that. And, yes, we have already started planning for 2017.
It was an amazing record-making event. Electric vehicle owners came from all over the area and a number of dealerships participated and supported our event.
For some of the Virginia resident vehicle owners, the day started early with a MD Volt Meetup and ferry crossing to get some great photo ops as they crossed the Potomac River on the Civil War era White’s Ferry car transport. It was quite a site, seeing the historic White’s Ferry loaded with modern electric vehicles.
For the rest of Poolesville, the day started with a parade, which included a few of the electric cars, two all-electric motorcycles and two Star Wars Stormtroopers from the Old Line Garrison, the Maryland chapter of the worldwide 501st Legion. The Tesla Model X in the parade was driven and owned by local physician, Dr. Amar Duggirala, of Poolesville Family Practice. Another parade participant, a new KIA Soul EV was brought by Jim Alvis, Manager at Government Affairs for KIA Motors America Corporation, Washington Office.
KIA Motors America put on a first class operation. They brought 3 of the all new Electric KIA Souls. They provided more than 30 demo drives and rides and gave out a variety of KIA goodies that helped to entice people to give the Soul a look and a test drive. Their energetic team of people was a welcome addition to our event.
BMW of Rockville, back for another year, brought their i3 and the crowd-pleasing i8. People loved the very sporty look of the i8 with its swan or butterfly doors that open upwards and outwards. And the i3 with its equally unique doors and look drew a lot of attention as well. Next year we hope to feature the i8 as one of the parade cars.
Sheehy Ford of Gaithersburg, who has attended our event for a number of years, brought the new Ford Fusion Energi (a plug-in electric hybrid) and the all-electric Ford Focus. To the delight of the audience, Sheehy Ford of Gaithersburg‘s Mike Engelmann demonstrated hands free, the self-parking ability of the Ford Fusion Energi.
King Volkswagen of Gaithersburg, a first-time participant at our event, brought a beautiful 2016 Volkswagen e-Golf.
DARCARS Nissan Rockville brought their well known and respected LEAF. Nissan is one of the National sponsors of the National Drive Electric Week and we were delighted to have DARCARS of Rockville represent Nissan.
We had 6 Zero Motorcycles, some were proud owners, but a number were from Cyclemax in Gaithersburg. Cyclemax also brought a display tent, their expertise and information on the Zeros.
Loved seeing the wide variety of vehicles, from the Chevy Volts to Nissan LEAFs to Honda Fit to Zero Motorcycles. But the unusual is always a cool draw, like the little “Smart fortwo electric drive” and the self made electric conversions, like the “E-Pacer”.
But for this author, my true love is the Ford Fusion Energi (I think it is one of the best-looking plug-ins out there, Okay, I may be bias, I own one), and the Tesla Model X (my ultimate dream car).
I loved seeing all of the amazing Teslas at our event. We had 2 Tesla Roadsters, 14 of the Tesla Model S and 7 of the show-stopping Model X. A number of the owners provided demo drives and rides.
Tesla owners attending our National Drive Electric Week Poolesville Day event showed off their stuff. The ludicrous 0-60 in 2.5 second Tesla Model S to the Falcon Wing doors of the Model X are always a big hit at any car show. And all of the added accessories.
We had a visit by honest Abe and the Washington National’s George Washington. George seems to have a real head for electric cars.
We also loved having a couple members of the Old Line Garrison, the Maryland chapter of the worldwide 501st Legion. They represented their Garrison well and provided wonderful photo opportunities for car owners and show attendees alike. We would love to see them and their Rebel counterparts back next year, maybe in a larger force. Wouldn’t it be amazing to see 30 or more Star Wars StormTroopers marching in the parade?!
This year, Genovation Cars Inc. co-founder Andrew Saul, CEO, came with his Tesla Model S and talked to people about the company’s High-Performance All-Electric Corvette, the GXE. This is the car that made The Kessel Run in 12 parsecs…no wait that’s Star Wars… the GXE broke the EV speed record for a production electric car. It hit 205.6 mph, breaking their own world land speed record at NASA’s Johnny Bohmer Proving Grounds, Kennedy Space Center-Shuttle Landing Facility shuttle runway. A record that is sure to be broken again by the GXE before long. Andrew plans to bring the GXE Corvette to our 2017 event. We hope to include it in the parade.
Also for our 2017 event, we are working to entice Local Motors of National Harbor to bring their 3D printed car and their amazing Olli.
Next year we hope to again use the parking areas of Anytime Fitness Poolesville and that of the Bassett’s Fine Food & Spirits. This area proved to be a great location and will allow us to continue to expand and remain a major part of the Town of Poolesville and Poolesville Day.
Photos and Video Credits in this article: JD Taylor (Poolesville.Green), Mark Czajka (MD Volt), Mike Engelmann, Terri Pitts, Jeffrey Cadman, Joyce Brehner, Rachel Epperty, Tony Juan, and Rick Hesel.
The National Drive Electric Week Poolesville Day event was hosted by Poolesville.Green with help from local Electric Vehicle user groups like MD Volt and supported by individuals and local and national businesses. We also appreciate the participation of the local and national car dealerships and manufacturers.
This 2016 event was supported by donated products and monetary support from the following (and you can still donate/sponsor us at: https://poolesville.green/support-us/):
We thank all of the above sponsors for their support and could not have hosted on an event of this magnitude without it. We are already looking for support for an even better 2017 event and want to thank MD Volt for its early donation.
We also could not have done this without the continued national organizational input from Nissan LEAF, Plug In America, Sierra Club, and the Electric Auto Association, who serve as the national team providing support to the events throughout the country.
For more information, visit:
- Poolesville.Green’s Website:: https://poolesville.green/
- Poolesville.Green’s Facebook Site: https://www.facebook.com/poolesvillegreen/
- Donation Page: https://poolesville.green/support-us/
- NDEW Public – Poolesville Group Site: https://www.facebook.com/groups/PoolesvilleNDEW/
- Poolesville Day Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Poolesville-Day-193955987304291
- Poolesville Day Website: http://www.poolesvilleday.com/
- MD Volt: http://www.meetup.com/MDVolt/events/232890298/
- The National Drive Electric Week page: https://driveelectricweek.org/
- NDEW – Poolesville Day 2017 Event Registration Site: https://driveelectricweek.org/event.php?eventid=881 (Now open for early Registration!)