With National Drive Electric Week fast approaching, electric vehicle enthusiasts and others interested in learning more about driving green will have an opportunity to explore the latest in the EV market at Unitil’s 2nd Annual “Ride and Drive” event to be held on Saturday, Sept. 23.
In partnership with the Exeter Energy Committee and Clean Energy NH, Unitil will once again host the event at its electric operations facility, 30 Energy Way in Exeter, N.H., from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. In case of rain, the event will be moved to Sunday, Sept. 24.
The “Ride and Drive” is free, open to the public, and is being held during National Drive Electric Week, which runs from Sept. 22 to Oct. 1 and promotes the many benefits of all-electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles.
“After the success of our first ‘Ride and Drive’ held here last year in conjunction with Clean Energy NH, we’re excited to offer another unique opportunity for people to check out a variety of EV makes and models, ask questions, and even take one out for a spin to experience what it’s really like to drive electric,” said Unitil External Affairs Manager Alec O’Meara.
The event is one way to help educate consumers about the growing EV market. Attendees will find several electric vehicles from local dealerships, some of which will be available for a test drive. Personally owned vehicles will also be on display with owners available to answer questions and share their experiences.
Renay Allen, chairwoman of the Exeter Energy Committee, has been driving an electric vehicle for the last seven years. “The pep of the electric pedal is very exciting for the driver,” she said.
This is the first time that Unitil has teamed up with the Exeter Energy Committee, which has held similar events in the past.
“This is the sixth annual electric car showcase the Energy Committee has put on. We are thrilled this year to partner with Unitil and move it to their larger location. Every year we get more and more people coming by to check out the cars and take test drives. It seems we've just about reached the tipping point, and electric cars are no longer a curiosity,” Allen said.
With demand for electric vehicles continuing to increase, the number of EV registrations in Maine, Massachusetts and New Hampshire have more than doubled since 2020. According to the U.S. Department of Energy’s Alternative Fuels Data Center, the latest statistics for 2022 show there were 7,000 electric vehicles registered in New Hampshire, 49,400 in Massachusetts, and 5,000 in Maine.
“Electric vehicles are mainstream now. Globally, they’re expected to account for nearly 1 in 5 new cars sold in 2023,” said Sam Evans-Brown, Executive Director of Clean Energy NH. “Anyone who attends this Unitil ‘Ride and Drive’ event will understand why: the experience of driving one of these cars is simply fantastic. Driving electric is just a better way to get around.”
Scott Sebastian of Durham, N.H., was among those who checked out the electric vehicles on display at Unitil's first "Ride and Drive" held in 2022. The company will hold its 2nd Annual electric vehicle event on Sept. 23 at its electric operations facility in Exeter in partnership with Clean Energy NH and the Exeter Energy Committee.