National Plug-In Day 2012: San Francisco, with 60 Nissan Leafs in front of the Golden Gate BridgeEnlarge Photo
In its second year, National Plug-In Day this past Sunday certainly avoided sophomore slump.
In 65 cities all over the U.S., tens of thousands of electric-car owners, potential buyers, and just curious onlookers pored over, rode in, and drove plug-in vehicles from more than a dozen makers.
Our favorite factoid: In Nashville, Tennessee, about 70 cars--almost all of them Leaf electric cars from nearby employer Nissan--were encouraged to honk every time they passed a gas station. No fewer than 10 different gas stations were passed by a parade of honking Leafs during the drive event.
Here's a brief rundown of just a few of the other major events across the country.
NEW YORK CITY
In Times Square, more than 5,000 people ogled Tesla and Fisker plug-in luxury cars, Nissan Leafs, several different businesses' electric delivery trucks, and a Chevrolet Volt in the livery of the New York City Parks Department.
"We had a terrific turn out from both domestic and international crowds," said Julie Migliacci of the New York City & Lower Hudson Valley Clean Communities.
"Most of them had never seen an electric vehicle before."
Not only did 500 people visit the Plug-In Day event in Los Angeles, but organizers logged more than 300 test drives in just four hours.
National Plug-In Day 2012: 1915 Milburn Electric in Los Angeles [photo: Fernand Bos]Enlarge Photo
At least half the vehicles at the event were driven there on sunshine, having fueled up with solar power, including a Tesla Model S and three Roadsters.
A remarkable collection of electric cars, both new and old, included the Nissan Leaf, a Tesla Model S and several Roadsters, Chevrolet Volt, Coda, Mitsubishi i-MiEV, Honda Fit EV, Ford Focus EV, BMW ActiveE, a Toyota Prius Plug-In Hybrid, a 2012 Toyota RAV4 EV, a Volkswagen e-Golf, and a 2012 Fisker Karma.
There were also an old-model Toyota RAV4 EV, Ford Ranger EV, a 1915 Milburn electric car, and electric motorcycles from both Zero and Brammo.
Representative Janice Hahn [D-CA] drove her own white Nissan Leaf to the event.
National Plug-In Day 2012: Washingoton, D.C. [panorama by Joseph Lado]Enlarge Photo
As part of the ceremonies, she awarded Congressional Recognition certificates to the event organizers--Plug In America, the Sierra Club, and the Electric Auto Association--and other plug-in proponent organizations.
More than 4,000 people left contact information or collected literature on plug-in vehicles. Those displaying the most interest received free-drink cards for the Food Court at the outlet mall where Plug-In Day held its event.
Attendees were encouraged to visit all the different electric-car exhibits by getting stamps on their "passports," which entered them in a drawing for a free weekend rental at Enterprise.
National Plug-In Day 2012: San FranciscoEnlarge Photo
"We probably had 10 conversations an hour of extended duration that educated the uninformed," said George Parrott, Green Car Reports author and emeritus professor at California State University-Sacramento.
More than 750 visitors attended the Plug-In Day event in Washington, D.C. San Antonio, Texas, logged 600 visitors, and Maui saw 500 over two days of events.
Denver also registered about 500 interested attendees; Annapolis, Maryland, logged 400...and that still leaves more than 50 cities.