October 1st this year was another successful National Drive Electric Week for the Davis community.  Since 2017 Cool Davis, the Davis Electric Vehicle Association and SacEV have been bringing together the region’s biggest electric vehicle (EV) event featuring the most diverse collection of vehicles offered anywhere by local owners and dealers. 

The EVs@thePavilion Showcase and and Transportation Fair included an electric vehicle show and tell as well as as information on EV models on the market, choosing the best EV, buying a used EV, rebates and incentives, and benefits of solar and driving an EV. Additionally, a “Meet an Expert” table was set up to answer questions from EV curious folks.

What really makes these show and tell events so effective is the EV owners who volunteer to showcase their vehicles and answer a multitude of questions from attendees, such as the fun in driving an EV, how to charge, the range of EVs and how much is enough, the cost to drive and charge, and lots of other questions.

By the numbers

The Davis Farmer’s Market Pavilion provides a fantastic walk by/walk in experience for the public. Of course Cool Davis and DEVA sent out direct email invitations as well as promotions and publicity in the local newspaper, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and local calendar and events sites.  

The event attracted over 250 attendees counting staff and volunteers on site. Walk in/walk by attendees pushed those numbers over 300.  Just about 1381 conversations by volunteer owners or experts with attendees were recorded, all about the electric vehicles on site and other information. We counted 55 volunteers, staff, and vendors who either showed vehicles, answered expert questions, or managed registration, prizes, surveys, and set up and take down. Three dealers were on site offering Ride & Drives from Rocklin Tesla, Davis Hanlees (Nissan and Chevy). Also attending were representatives of Ken’s Bike & Ski Board, HMP Bikes, AAA Davis Auto Repair, and Valley Clean Energy.

Volunteer owners brought myriad electric vehicles to show! The Showcase was the most diverse and complete collection of EVs seen in Northern California this year, including:

  • 34 total electric vehicles
  • 23 battery electric or plug-in hybrid cars
  • 3 electric trucks, including Rivian, and the Ford e-Transit
  • 5 electric bikes
  • 3 electric motorbikes/mopeds and
  • 27 different electric vehicle models

Makes/models included

  • Newest and interesting EV models: Genesis GV60, Hyundai IONIQ 5, Tesla Model 3, Tesla Model X, Kia Niro EV, Chevrolet Bolt EUV, Volvo XC40 Recharge and VW ID.4, Porsche Taycan Turbo S
  • New electric trucks: Rivian R1T, and Ford e-Transit
  • Exotic EVs: Tesla Model S Plaid, Tesla Roadster and e-converted Triumph Spitfire
  • Affordable EVs: Chevrolet Bolt EV, Nissan Leaf
  • Great used EVs: Chevrolet Volt, Nissan Leaf, Toyota RAV4 EV, and Chevrolet Bolt EV
  • Electric bikes and mopeds: Many!

Check out the full NDEW2023 photo album on our Facebook page! Like us while you’re there!

Read our other NDEW2023 article by Communications Intern Brittney Nial with great interviews of car owners, Valley Clean Energy folks, and other experts and vendors:

Read interviews: “EVs@thePavilion Rides Again”

The follow up

At least one person for every group or household who signed up took a presurvey (119 this year). All are offered a post survey as well (14 post event surveys to date–please take yours!). Every year Cool Davis follows up to answer questions, help with the decision making process, and find out what actions people took related to EVs.  We also post the quarterly numbers for the whole community on how many EVs are purchased and registered in our community.

Single occupancy vehicles must be electrified

Cool Davis is often asked why it engages households in understanding and experiencing electric vehicles? How does this make a difference? 

Last April, the Davis community completed its Climate Action and Adaptation Plan.  The plan lays out the #1 challenge for our community: reducing our transportation related greenhouse gases (GHG) which are 70% of the total, primarily from single occupancy car trips (SOV). 

Due to our community density, the high number of UC Davis students, staff and faculty that live in town, and our bikeable, walkable, and transit-oriented resources, Davis already does a good job getting out of our cars. We have half the single occupany vehicle (SOV) trips of any other community in our region. But it’s not enough, because our biggest problem is when we move ourselves out of town, which isn’t included in this data. 

While the answer in the long run is a system of fully connected and integrated transit and rail and last mile resources, individual vehicles will alalways be a part of the mix. This is why ensuring that those vehicles are electrified is so important. It’s the only way fossil fuels can be easily removed from the community SOV “fleet.” 

So how are we doing?

Like Davis’s success in bikes, scooters, walking, and transit use, adoption of EVs is going strong! In the last data summary from the California Energy Commission,  Light-Duty Vehicle Population and Sales Data summaries we now know that Davis is on track for another record year of EV sales with over 439 sales in just the first half of the year.  Even better Davis continues to beat the state share of EVs in the total car fleet: 6.35% of Davis motor vehicles are zero emission vehicles (ZEV) while across the state, the fleet is only 3.8% ZEVs. Also from this data we can see that total cars in the community is flattening and more gas cars are hybrids as well.

What does this mean for GHG reduction

Davis seems to be bending the curve on the number of SOVs in our community as well as reducing fossil fuel presence in those vehicles. However, we don’t know what is happening with vehicle miles travelled (VMT): are we reducing those as well? When the state starts to track VMT, we will have a more accurate picture of how far we have to go.  We do know the number one action we can take is to limit how much we drive our cars as much as we can. 

Cool EV data

Energy Commission Dashboard: Light Duty Vehicle Population

Energy Commission Dashboard: New ZEV Sales of Light Duty Vehicles