Santa Monica, Calif., was the site of the largest plug-in collection for 2011's National Plug In Day

While US plug-in vehicle sales have doubled from a year earlier through the first eight months of the year, the number of cities celebrating National Plug In Day is up just 20 percent. But that's no reason to fret, say the organizers. Plug In America, Sierra Club and the Electric Auto Association say the third annual event, which will take place September 28 or 29 (depending on the city), will include 75 US cities ranging from Seattle in the northwest to West Palm Beach to the southeast.

Additionally, Amsterdam and Mexico City will be joining the party, which the organizers say will include "tens of thousands" of people. Test drives, tailgate parties and recharging demonstrations will all be part of the shindig, which will include models such as the Nissan Leaf, Tesla Model S and the Honda Fit EV in addition to Brammo electric motorcycles.

The first National Plug In Day took place in October 2011, where the event's largest collection of plug-in vehicles (about 200 of them) paraded very quietly through Santa Monica, CA. The 2011 event totaled about 29 cities and last year's event branched out to locales like Baltimore, Dallas and Salt Lake City to bring that total to 60 cities. Check out the press release on the festivities below.

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NATIONAL PLUG IN DAY: FREE ELECTRIC CAR EVENTS IN 75+ CITIES ACROSS U.S.

FOCUS OF 3RD AND LARGEST ANNUAL CELEBRATION: INTRODUCING FIRST-TIMERS TO EVS

WHAT: Tens of thousands of people in some 75 U.S. cities will rally to raise awareness of plug-in vehicles for the third annual National Plug In Day, with Mexico and Amsterdam taking part for the first time. The goal of events from West Palm Beach to Seattle to Reno will be to give consumer information and test-drives to more EV newcomers than ever. These gasoline-car drivers will be able to experience the quiet, clean thrill of plug-in vehicles first-hand while learning about their cost-savings, national security and clean-air benefits.

"Thanks to the continued drop in prices, plug-in vehicles are now within the reach of millions of Americans. Many are now driving 'for free' because their car payments are equal to or even less than they paid for gasoline," said Plug In America president Richard Kelly. "Our aim is to raise awareness of this affordability and the many other benefits of EVs."

National Plug In Day activities will vary by city. In addition to test drives, they will include rallies, tailgate parties, charging-infrastructure demos, EV-readiness awards, and more. Among the plug-in vehicles expected for public ride-n-drives:

Tesla Model S, Nissan LEAF, Chevy Volt, Mitsubishi iMiEV, Plug-in Prius, Ford Focus EV, Honda Fit EV, BMW ActiveE, Zero and Brammo motorcycles and such earlier models as the Tesla Roadster, Fisker Karma, Coda and Toyota RAV4 EV.

WHEN: Saturday or Sunday, Sept. 28 or 29, 2013. Date and times will vary by city: http://pluginday.org/events.php

WHERE: Visit the National Plug In Day website for city-by-city locations and details (still being updated): pluginday.org

WHO: Plug In America, the Sierra Club and the Electric Auto Association are national organizers teaming up with local groups across the country and abroad to organize events. National sponsors include the Nissan LEAF and Schneider EVlink.

ADVANCE COVERAGE PHOTOS AVAILABLE: EVs, onlookers gathered in Times Square; Tesla Model S & other EVs.

DAY-OF PHOTO OPPS: Test drives; consumer reaction.

About Plug In America: Plug In America is leading the nation's plug-in vehicle movement. The nonprofit organization works to accelerate the shift to plug-in vehicles powered by clean, affordable, domestic electricity to reduce our nation's dependence on petroleum and improve the global environment. We drive electric. You can, too. www.pluginamerica.org.

About the Sierra Club: The Sierra Club is the nation's oldest and largest grassroots environmental organization with more than 2.3 million members and supporters and chapters in all 50 states. The Sierra Club's national electric vehicles campaign advocates for a switch to EVs as one important way to reduce emissions and cut our addiction to oil. www.sierraclub.org/EVGuide.

About the Electric Auto Association: The Electric Auto Association, formed in 1967, is a nonprofit educational organization with 75 chapters worldwide that promotes the advancement and widespread adoption of electric vehicles. www.electricauto.org.