Electric Vehicle Sociability Run Held in Washington, DC
Largest Gathering of EVs in 99 years.
On Monday, May 27, 2013, a total of 48 electric vehicles including many newly delivered from Tesla Motors, whispered through the streets of Washington to commemorate the 99th anniversary of a “Sociability Run” of electric cars first held in 1914.
The electric car owners started in Glen Echo, MD on a beautiful Memorial Day morning and they drove 15 miles down MacArthur Blvd and up Rock Creek Park to Joaquin Miller Cabin where the first Electric Sociability Run finished on May 27, 1914. Just like the original event, the EV owners and their families enjoyed a picnic lunch, played games and were awarded prizes.
“Many people don’t realize that the city of Washington had over 1,000 electric cars at the peak around 1915,” says Lanny Hartmann, one of the organizers of the event. Scott Wilson, another event organizer who drives a Nissan Leaf says, “People are discovering that electric cars are fun to drive and I think that’s reflected in the great number of enthusiastic folks driving electric vehicles that turned out for this event.”
Some of the EV owners stopped at locations around the area to charge up their vehicles and enjoy coffee before the Sociability Run started. Mark Czajka, Director of MD Volt Inc., says, “I’m seeing more people at our Meetup events due to the efforts of private businesses, like MOM’s Organic Market, an event sponsor that offers electric vehicle charging stations at most of their locations.” Mark believes infrastructure at all power levels is a key element to the success of electric cars and businesses should take note because people that charge their vehicles spend more time in stores.
The winner of the Electric Sociability Run was Chevy Volt owner Barry Larkin, who guessed nearest to the 451,974 total number of EV miles driven to date by the 48 vehicles. Barbara M. Gonzalez, Manager – Special Projects, NERC at Pepco Holdings, Inc. presented Barry with a beautiful engraved electric chafing dish, recreating the same prize Pepco presented in 1914.
Over $2,000 in prizes were awarded through raffles and contests. Sixteen year old Kevin was ecstatic when his number was called to win a GE Wattstation residential electric vehicle charging station. Kevin was also the winner of the award for the youngest EV driver to attend the event. He learned to drive in an EV and expects to never own a gasoline powered car.
Ken Barbour, who drove his Nissan Leaf from New Jersey to attend the event, won the award for most EV miles driven to date. Ken’s odometer read 35,244.
Special thanks to the following sponsors who donated prizes or services: GE Industrial Solutions, Bosch, Leviton, Pepco, MOM’s Organic Market, Detroit Electric, Autobahn Indoor Speedway, MDVolt.org and EVA/DC.