2016 Nissan Leaf, Chevy Bolt EV at Drive Electric Week event, Los Angeles [photo: Zan Dubin Scott]Enlarge Photo
More than 100 cities across the U.S. will take part in the sixth annual National Drive Electric Week during the week of September 10 to 18, 2016.
What started in 2011 as National Plug-In Day has expanded to become scores of local gatherings to promote plug-in electric cars.
Since then, it has actually outgrown its "National," designation, with past events also held in several European countries, Canada, Hong Kong, and New Zealand.
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The massive undertaking is a collaboration between advocacy group Plug In America, the Sierra Club, the Electric Auto Association, and various smaller local groups.
Individual events typically include electric-car rallies, test drives, and information sessions meant to familiarize the public with plug-in vehicles.
National Drive Electric Week's backers believe there is no better way to switch to electric cars than to experience them firsthand.
National Drive Electric Week 2014: Eyeing a Tesla in Ottawa. Photo by Ottawa Centre EcoDistrict.Enlarge Photo
Last year, more than 130,000 people did just that at 196 events, which included some 9,000 test rides.
At the time of publication, 141 2016 events were confirmed, with 45 more finalizing specifics.
Many of those events include test drives and vehicle displays where owners can discuss their experiences.
One such display will be on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. to help close out National Drive Electric Week on September 18.
The Columbia, South Carolina, event on September 10 is billed as "part car show, part science fair, part tailgate party."
It will include current electric-car models like the Nissan Leaf and Tesla Model S, and even a Proterra electric bus—manufactured locally in Greenville, South Carolina.
National Drive Electric Week 2014: Charging in Austin. Photo by Aaron Choate.Enlarge Photo
National Drive Electric Week isn't limited to modern electric cars, either.
In Morristown, New Jersey, a 1917 Detroit Electric Model 68 (previous featured on Green Car Reports) will be on display, while a local dealer will offer test drives of the BMW i3.
National Drive Electric Week does have a tangible impact on electric-car sales, says Plug In America, noting that sales have increased as much as 23 percent in the month after an event.
It's also a great opportunity to get up close with electric cars, and to have any lingering questions answered.
A full list of events (searchable by ZIP code) is available on the National Drive Electric Week website. Take a look and see if there's anything going on in your area.