Electric vehicles and other eco-friendly technologies showed their power Saturday, Sept. 20, during “Electrify the Island”: the Sarasota-based festival for the nationwide celebration National Drive Electric Week.
The event took place on the grounds of Mote Marine Laboratory and Aquarium — a world-class marine science and education institution that launched a Sustainable Energy Initiative in 2012 to enhance the Lab’s environmentally sound practices.
The event showcased plug-in electric vehicles owned by local residents, ride-and-drive sessions and displays of electric and hybrid vehicles from BMW of Sarasota, Coast Cadillac, Gettel Nissan, Sarasota Ford, Sunset Chevrolet and Tesla, along with vendors and educational booths focused on sustainability and energy efficiency. Florida Power & Light Company (FPL), partner in Electrify the Island and multiple Drive Electric Week events in Florida, presented its “Electric Avenue,” offering a photo op with the hybrid-electric Porsche Panamera and other activities while sharing its commitment to serve as a trusted source of information on electric vehicles for its customers.
During the event, special proclamations honoring Electrify the Island and National Drive Electric Week were presented by Thomas Harmer, Sarasota County Administrator, and Susan Chapman, Vice-Mayor for the City of Sarasota.
Saturday’s event was the third celebration in Sarasota for National Drive Electric Week (formerly called National Plug In Day), following previous successful events at Mote and St. Armands Circle. This year’s National Drive Electric Week involved more than 80 locations across the U.S. and aimed to draw global attention to the environmental and economic benefits of plug-in EVs.
Electrify the Island 2014 was made possible thanks to national partners Electric Auto Association, Plug In America and Sierra Club along with local partners Apollo Sunguard, Brilliant Harvest, Coast Cadillac, Eco-Smart, First Impression Premier Auto Detail, FPL, Freedom 4 Electric/Pedego, Gettel Nissan, Region Solar, Sarasota Ford, Sunset Auto Group, Tesla and Willis A. Smith Construction, Inc.
Sponsorships for this event support Mote's Sustainable Energy Initiative – the Lab’s effort to use solar power, electric car chargers and other eco-friendly technologies and practices to conserve energy, water and other natural resources. The general public can support this initiative by sending a donation check with "Mote Marine Laboratory's Sustainable Energy Initiative" as the recipient to: Mote Marine Laboratory, 1600 Ken Thompson Parkway, Sarasota, FL 34236.