Over the past three years, nearly 175,000 people have participated in the American Lung Association’s Midwest EVOLVE project, a seven-state program to promote the performance and clean-air advantages of electric vehicles.
Midwest EVOLVE and its partners have held or participated in more than 250 events across the Midwest, and more than 7,000 people have taken a test drive of plug-in electric vehicles at Midwest EVOLVE events.
Midwest EVOLVE is a collaborative effort between the American Lung Association and Clean Cities coalitions in seven Midwestern states.
Dozens of electric vehicle events are planned for National Drive Electric Week, Sept. 14-22.
“In working with our partners and participating Clean Cities coalitions, we have many upcoming events planned in a Midwestern city near you,” said Lisa Thurstin, coordinator of the Twin Cities Clean Cities Coalition, which oversees Midwest EVOLVE. “Not only are we hosting events during National Drive Electric Week, but we’re holding events throughout the entire month of September. We’re calling it ‘National Drive Electric Month’.”
“At Midwest EVOLVE events, we get people behind the wheel of electric vehicles to experience them for themselves,” Thurstin said. “That’s the first step for many people to consider driving electric, letting them take one for a test drive. Once they do that the lightbulb goes off, and they realize that EVs can be a great fit for their daily driving needs.
“EVs have outstanding performance and require less maintenance,” Thurstin said. “They also are better for the environment, clean-air, and lung health, and that’s what’s driving this for us, to help make the air we breathe cleaner and to help make this a better world.”
According to Thurstin, Midwest EVOLVE’s data shows that more than 20 percent of consumers who attend an electric vehicle ride and drive hosted by one of the projects’ partners purchases a plug-in electric or hybrid-electric vehicle within months.
As a part of the program, electric vehicles are showcased at community events, auto shows, workplace-charging seminars, and ride-and-drives in Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, North Dakota, Ohio, and Wisconsin. The events help to educate consumers about finding a vehicle that fits their needs and provide information about the ease of charging vehicles at home, at work, or at public charging stations.
Midwest EVOLVE, which stands for Electric Vehicle Opportunities: Learning, eVents, Experience, has more than 60 partners, including Argonne National Laboratory, PlugInConnect, automakers, utilities, state agencies, municipalities, dealerships, and dealer associations.
Clean Cities coalitions working together on the program include: Chicago Area Clean Cities, Greater Lansing Area Clean Cities, North Dakota Clean Cities, Twin Cities Clean Cities, South Shore Clean Cities, and Wisconsin Clean Cities.
The Midwest EVOLVE project is based upon work supported by the U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE), under Award Number DE-EE0007743.