On Sunday, October 1, thousands of people walked along Somerville’s Main Street and marveled at the long line of parked electric vehicles, their hoods open and showing batteries and storage space instead of engines. The scene was part of Somerville’s Street Fair and National Drive Electric Week, an annual, nationwide celebration to raise awareness of the many benefits of all-electric and plug-in hybrid cars, trucks, motorcycles, and more.
Nineteen volunteers from the New Jersey Electric Vehicle Association (NJEVA) showed off their EVs, explaining to viewers the benefits of EVs (such as cleaner air, less costs on maintenance and not having to buy gas), how to purchase one, how to charge, and sharing stories on the most exciting parts of switching electric. Vehicles ranged from the most affordable Chevy Bolt to the most premium Tesla Model X Plaid, so visitors could browse and find exactly the type of EV that would fit their needs. Somerset County also had two electric county vehicles on display: the new Ford Transit electric (one of 3), which serves as Paratransit vehicle and the 2019 Chevy Bolt, which is from the county’s five-car fleet.
Members of NJEVA, the Somerville Environmental Commission and RideWise, Somerset County’s Transportation Management Association, were also at tables, alongside PSE&G and the NJ Clean Energy Program, explaining New Jersey’s EV incentives and rebates for vehicles and for chargers. These which makes the switch to EVs easier and more affordable to families all across the state.
Somerset County Commissioners Melonie Marano, Paul Drake, Douglas Singleterry and Sara Sooy were also in attendance. “We have been honored by a visit of not one, not two, but FOUR public officials,” said Stan Jaracz, President of NJEVA. “They really enjoyed the EV display.”
“So many people have stopped by to ask us about switching to an EV, which is great! As people switch from gas to electric, they’re making a change that will benefit the environment, air quality and their wallets,” said Sara Catherine Lichon from RideWise. “Somerset County is becoming one of the most EV-friendly counties, with new chargers popping up everywhere, and even the County itself switching some of their vehicles over to electric. It’s a great time to think about getting an EV.”
“The Somerville Environmental Commission thoroughly enjoyed the NDEW event in the Borough and what it brought to the public: accessibility, options and in-person testimonials,” said Jeff Lamborn, Chair of the Somerville Environmental Commission. “The face-to-face interaction with knowledgeable folks from NJEVA, RideWise, PSE&G and Somerset County undoubtedly made a lasting impact on the thousands who attended the street fair for how to make public and private electric vehicles fit into their lives. We appreciate the thorough organization and efforts our partners put forth to make this event a success.”
New Jersey Electric Vehicle Association, the Borough of Somerville, the Somerville Environmental Commission, and RideWise organized the car show, and the Downtown Somerville Alliance organized the Street Fair. NDEW is presented by national organizers Plug In America, the Electric Vehicle Association, the Sierra Club, and EVHybridNoire. Nissan LEAF® and Nissan ARIYA® are Platinum level automotive sponsor of NDEW 2023 and Wells Fargo is the Platinum level exclusive banking sponsor of NDEW 2023. Edison International is the Bronze level sponsors.
For more information about Somerville’s NDEW, visit: https://driveelectricweek.org/event?eventid=4000
For a complete list of National Drive Electric Week events, visit: DriveElectricWeek.org