National Drive Electric Week Sept. 12-20

Even as the number of electric vehicle charging stations increase across the country, as many as eight out of 10 drivers are still unsure if electric vehicles are right for them. According to AAA, 30 percent of those surveyed cite mileage limitations, availability of charging stations and just the lack of education.

The week of Sept. 12-20 has been set aside as National Drive Electric Week to educate drivers in Northwest Florida about the environmental and economical benefits of plug-in electric vehicles. The goal is to encourage the use of these clean vehicles powered by electricity.

As part of the week’s events, Gulf Power and the Florida Emerald Coast Clean Cities Coalition (FECCCC) will host “Drive Electric Pensacola” Saturday, Sept. 19 at 9 a.m. at the Maritime Park. The event will coincide with the 2015 Northwest Florida Heart Walk.

“There is an electric vehicle available to suit virtually any lifestyle and budget today with more makes and models becoming available every year,” said Rick DelaHaya, spokesperson for Gulf Power.

In comparison to gas powered cars, electric vehicles are more affordable and environmentally friendly, they reduce oil-dependence, and they offer the latest features and technologies that today’s driver desires. Plus, electric vehicles or EVs, require less maintenance.

“Beyond wiper blades and tires, all-electric vehicles require little maintenance, saving consumers money over the life of the car,” said DelaHaya. “Even the brake pads last longer in electric vehicles because they use regenerative braking to slow down -- a method of converting the energy used to reduce the car’s speed into power that is stored in the car’s battery.”

Once a high-tech novelty, electric cars are becoming increasingly common, as several models from mainstream brands have now been sold for years. Gulf Power will have several plug-in electric vehicles on display including the Chevrolet Volt, Nissan Leaf and BMWi3.

“Most consumers have limited exposure to electric vehicles and may have many questions regarding whether an electric car might fit into their lives,” said DelaHaya. “We want people to come out, participate in the Heart Walk and learn about the financial and environmental benefits of electric vehicles.”

Started in 2011 as a day in September to promote plug-in vehicles at simultaneous events across the country, National Drive Electric Week has grown into a weeklong event. Through Mayoral proclamation and the involvement of the FECCCC and Gulf Power, Pensacola will participate in the event for the first time this year. Other cities in Florida celebrating the week include Tampa, Tallahassee, Miami, Orlando and Jacksonville.

There also will be more than 170 events in 165 cities coast-to-coast, in Canada and Hong Kong.

Gulf Power has been involved in electric transportation research since the early 1990s and working with electric vehicle manufacturers and the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) to bring economically and technologically viable on-road electric transportation technologies to the marketplace.

Since 1996, Gulf Power also has been demonstrating, promoting and researching plug-in electric vehicles, including plug-in hybrid and battery electric. 

Learn more about electric vehicles here.


Want to go?

Saturday, Sept. 19, 9 a.m.
Community Maritime Park
301 West Main Street
Pensacola, Florida




Gulf Power is an investor-owned electric utility with all of its common stock owned by Atlanta-based Southern Company. Gulf Power serves more than 447,000 customers in eight counties throughout Northwest Florida. The company’s mission is to safely provide exceptional customer value by delivering reliable, affordable and environmentally responsible electricity while strengthening our communities. Visit online at or on the company’s Facebook page. News information can be found at