The Department of Energy reported that U.S. drivers have bought 40,000 Electric Vehicles (EV) in the first half of 2013, doubling sales of such clean vehicles over the last year (only 17,000 models were sold in 2011). Many of those sales can be attributed to the popularity of Tesla, whose Model S was named Motor Trend Car of the Year.
On Saturday, Sept. 28, dozens of electric vehicles will be on display alongside vehicle ride-and-drives sessions in Temple Terrace as part of National Plug In Day, an event that will take place in dozens of other cities throughout the country.
"We're really trying to push the necessary infrastructure in the Tampa Bay area," said Britten Cleveland, a conservation organizer with the Sierra Club.
This is the second National Plug In Day celebration held in Temple Terrace, and the third held nationally. The event will begin with a city proclamation delivered by the mayor of Temple Terrace, Frank Chillura.
Cleveland said it's quite a statement that Florida is fourth in the nation in the number of used electric vehicles, considering that the state offers no financial rebates for such purchases. She said she can't believe that even Georgia offers a rebate ($5,000) for purchasing an EV, while Florida offers nothing.
"We are definitely behind," she said (you can still qualify for a federal rebate of $7,500, however).
The event takes place on the Southeast corner of Busch Blvd and 56th Street, the ultimate site of where Temple Terrace is scheduled to develop its much heralded downtown area. The location was recommended by Sierra Club volunteer Tom Krumreich when the city hosted its first event of the kind last year. A little known fact about the City to Tampa's immediate east is that it was the first Multimodal Transportation District by the state of Florida.
"We estimated 200 to 300 people showed up," Krumreich said about last year's event. He said approximately 50 people took test drives. This year's ride-and-drive sessions will be provided by Daniels Chevrolet, and there will be a dozen vendors focused on sustainability, energy efficiency, and electric vehicle charging.
Temple Terrace's National Plug In Day even takes place Saturday, Sept. 28, at 11 a.m. at 8799 N. 56th St., Temple Terrace.