Arlington, Texas – You probably have seen electric cars and chargers around town. But how close have you gotten to them? Are you curious about driving one?
Electric vehicles have been around for many years, and they continue to become more widespread. There are currently nearly 13,000 EVs registered in North Texas, an exponential increase since 2011, when there were only a little more than 200.
Last year alone, the number of EVs on the roads increased approximately 50 percent.
The Dallas-Fort Worth area’s annual National Drive Electric Week celebration on Sept. 21 will give you an opportunity to have your questions answered in a low-pressure environment, directly from owners of electric vehicles.
Sponsored by the Dallas-Fort Worth Clean Cities Coalition, the event is scheduled for 10 a.m.-2 p.m. at the North Irving Transit Center. This new location will allow people to access the event via public transportation, from the nearby Irving Convention Center Station. Being close to light rail has an added advantage for those who want to travel to the event without their own vehicles. DART allows bicycles on its buses and trains, opening the option of “zero-emissions” trips to an event showcasing an emissions-free technology. Afterward, there are many entertainment and dining options to enjoy in the nearby Las Colinas area of Irving.
The event represents the largest showcase of EVs in Texas each year and the second largest in the country, behind California. And this year is no different. Organizers expect up to 200 electric vehicles, representing numerous makes and models, as well as a variety of price points. The entire family is welcome to attend to experience the silent, clean and fun technology. There will be no sales pitches and no pressure, just real owners and enthusiasts sharing what it's like to drive an EV every day.
More than 200 events are planned across the US, Canada and Mexico during NDEW, which starts Sept. 14 and concludes Sept. 22. The goal of the national celebration of electric vehicles is to provide people the opportunity to learn more about the availability and benefits of these innovative and environmentally friendly options.
As EVs continue to grow in popularity, it is also becoming easier to charge them in public. There are currently over 200 public charging stations throughout Dallas-Fort Worth. Together with improved battery life, this is increasing the range EVs can be driven. Although NDEW is a low-pressure environment where attendees can simply learn about the technology without feeling compelled to buy vehicles, assistance is available for anyone who wishes to purchase one.
The Light Duty Vehicle Purchase or Lease Incentive Program, administered through the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality’s Texas Emissions Reduction Plan, will provide rebates of up to $2,500 for a limited time to people who purchase or lease eligible new light-duty hybrid or plug-in vehicles. Combined with the federal tax incentive for up to $7,500 for EVs, potential buyers could get up to $10,000 off new vehicles.
NDEW started as a one-day celebration in 2011 to recognize this new idea of plug-in vehicles and then developed into an entire week highlighting the state-of-the-art features of EVs.
For more information on NDEW, how to register a vehicle and why North Texans should be involved, visit www.driveelectricdfw.org
.If you come, you will have the opportunity to win your own vehicle charger. A representative from Plug-In America, which is organizing the national event, will be in attendance to raffle off a Level 2 home charger. Level 2 devices can charge vehicles more quickly than their Level 1 counterparts (e.g., typical wall outlets) and are considered better for drivers who travel more than just a few miles on a single change.
About the North Central Texas Council of Governments:
NCTCOG is a voluntary association of local governments established in 1966 to assist local governments in planning for common needs, cooperating for mutual benefit and coordinating for sound regional development. NCTCOG's purpose is to strengthen both the individual and collective power of local governments and to help them recognize regional opportunities, eliminate unnecessary duplication and make joint decisions.
NCTCOG serves a 16-county region of North Central Texas, which is centered on the two urban centers of Dallas and Fort Worth. Currently, NCTCOG has 238 member governments including 16 counties, 169 cities, 22 school districts and 31 special districts. For more information on the NCTCOG Transportation Department, visit www.nctcog.org/trans
About Clean Cities:
In 1995, the Dallas-Fort Worth (DFW) Clean Cities became one of the first Clean Cities under the Energy Policy Act’s provision for an organization that promotes the use of alternative fuels to lessen America’s dependence on foreign sources of petroleum. Dallas-Fort Worth Clean Cities is a locally- based, public/private partnership that seeks to advance energy security, protect environmental and public health, and stimulate economic development by promoting practices and decisions to reduce petroleum consumption and improve air quality, primarily in the transportation sector.