These days, electric vehicle activists want to see more public events like EV ride-and-drives and plenty of time for education and socializing. The annual National Plug In Day brings out a lot of fans, but it's certainly not the first time such an event has taken place. On Memorial Day – May 27, 2013 – drivers and fans will show up in Washington, DC, to celebrate the 99th anniversary of the Electric Sociability Run of 1914.
On May 27, 1914, a group known as the Electric Vehicle Association of America gathered 54 electric vehicle owners to rally in a caravan down a 14-mile stretch. It took the group more than an hour and 15 minutes to travel that distance and reach Rock Creek Park in Washington, DC.
The current group of EV drivers will arrive at the same destination as the original gathering. Just like the first group, they'll have a picnic, participate in contests and try for prizes for their achievements. They're hoping this year's event will be biggest gathering of EV owners in the nation's capital since 1914.
EV activists want to see more gatherings where EV owners meet and talk shop about their experiences. They'd like the public to understand that electric vehicles were mass market EVs 100 years ago, before affordable and prolific gasoline and internal combustion engines bumped them out of the mainstream.
The Electric Vehicle Association of America was led by a group of auto dealers who wanted to educate people and spark enthusiasm to purchase EVs. They were able to do that in 1914, but it's taken a century for EVs fans to witness a real comeback. As the Electric Sociability Run states on its Meetup page: "We are witnessing the rebirth of mass market electric cars with thousands of people getting new EVs each month. The automobile is finally being brought back to its electric roots."