The number one action needed to tackle the State of California’s greenhouse gas emissions is the electrification of transportation. Hands down, fossil fuel vehicles are the greatest source of emissions – and that number continues to grow.

This is why electric vehicle (EV) adoption is one of several approaches to emissions reductions adopted by the City of Davis in the 2010 Climate Action and Adaptation Plan. This is also why our city, UC Davis, and other jurisdictions in the region are working hard to establish real options for local and regional transit and last-mile solutions, like bikes and micro transit. For households and businesses that need individual vehicles, EVs are an essential solution for reducing emissions.

Davis sells more EVs in past nine months than all previous full years

In 2010, the total number of residential vehicles of all types in Davis was 37,000, and this included only a handful of EVs and less than 2,000 hybrids.

One year later, Cool Davis partnered with local EV owners and SacEV to begin hosting exciting EV events, and, in 2017, helped with the formation of the Davis Electric Vehicle Association (DEVA). Together, we have hosted over 10 years of events and activities resulting in thousands of enlightening conversations, hundreds of test drives, many resulting in EV purchases, and a notable increase in the number of happy, gas-free drivers.

With these voluntary actions, Davis may be reaching a tipping point. Local adoption of EVs and hybrids was double the state average in 2020. The City of Davis now counts nearly 2,100 zero emissions vehicles (ZEVs) registered locally out of a total of 39,000 vehicles. And this year, despite the lack of available dealer vehicles, Davis has already surpassed its top annual EV sales with 393 vehicles sold in the first nine months of 2021.

NDEW 2021 a huge success

This October 3, it was Cool Davis’s pleasure to partner with SacEV and DEVA for our first in-person EV show and tell event — for National Drive Electric Week 2021 — since COVID precautions were implemented in Spring 2020.

Over 300 participants chatted under the Pavilion canopy in Central Park Davis with 23 excited, local owners who are singularly proud of their bikes, cars, and motorcycles.. Vehicles on site included:

  • Cars (17): Bolt, Volt, Tesla Model 3, Volvo XC40 Recharge, Leaf, Prius PHEV, Kia Niro PHEV, VW ID.4, Tesla Model Y, Jaguar iPace, Tesla Model S Plaid, Toyota RAV4 EV, SOLO, Tesla Model S, Hyundai Kona, Ford Mustang Mach-E, Tesla Model 3, and Tesla Roadster
  • Motorcycles: Zero DS motorcycle, Zero SR E-motorcycle
  • e-bikes: 3 “Ride1Up!” electric bikes for people to test ride, 2 personal e-bikes, and a “Chat” Rickshaw

Volunteers tracked over 700 conversations about the various vehicles. There were also special stations featuring e-bikes, a trishaw, e-motorcycles, basic EV information, tips on buying used EVs, and materials about current rebates, grants, and financial support for buying an EV. The new electric assist trishaw will be used as part of (Cool Davis Coalition member) The Bike Campaign’s new Cycling Without Age (CWA) program, which will be available in the community for elderly and disabled excursions.

Peer-to-peer sharing and personal storytelling is an important tool in bridging the trust and information gap for the EV curious. Some veteran EV volunteers reported their best ever conversations with local EV curious folks. With increased urgency, new models, and more promotion by manufacturers, people are coming to events with excitement and interest and asking great questions.

EV owners Julie Haney (Cool Davis board member) and Bill Dakin had just returned from a crosscountry trip with their new Tesla Y. John Johnston and Eugen Dunlap were both on hand to describe approaches to buying used vehicles. Katrina Sutton and friends from the UC Davis Plug-In Hybird & Electric Vehicle Research Center had lots of information about how to choose the right vehicle for your needs. Local owners showed up with the newest vehicles like the Ford Mustang Mach E. And, just for fun, a local Tesla owner trailered his e-motorcycle to the event using his electric car.

Organizers could not provide test drives for participants due to the lack of available vehicles, but Cool Davis is working with local dealers to set up test drive experiences as more EVs come online this year.

National Drive Electric Week 2021 was presented nationally by Plug In America, the Electric Auto Association, the Sierra Club, and EVHybridNoire, and sponsored by Nissan, Electrify America, and Wells Fargo Bank.

Chris Granger is the Executive Director of Cool Davis. See our Leadership page for more about Chris and the people of Cool Davis.

Opportunities and resources

If you want more information about local test drive opportunities, or just want to connect with DEVA, email with your inquiry. Join them for their next bi-monthly meeting to be held December 8, 2021!

Visit our Drive Electric webpage for more information and resources including buying guides in the Resources section.

Plug In America EV Guide

Electric Auto Association QR Code Card

Sierra Club Clean Transportation for All


ClipperCreek Charging Station Safety

Electrify America