3.2 Use public fleet to hold demonstration days and events for the public
Reason for action
Getting consumers to drive or interact with an electric vehicle increases PEV awareness and is the best way to convey the unique driving experience that PEVs offer.
Implementing the action
- Identify feasibility of using the public fleet to demonstrate PEVs at special events.
- Determine the legal processes and procedures for holding a demonstration event for the public with fleet vehicles.
- Ensure that the purpose of the fleet demonstration is for education as opposed to selling vehicles.
- Consider allowing automakers or dealerships to bring their own demonstration vehicles to reduce perception that the DOT is a PEV advocate. When other entities bring demonstrating fleets, the DOT could take on a supportive role explaining how the agency uses the vehicles.
- Use larger events such as the opening of a new charging station to showcase the demonstration fleet. Demonstration events can also bring in VIPs to drive electric vehicles. Spotlight: Oregon used a Nissan LEAF to travel down the West Coast Green Highway when the first fast charging stations opened. The LEAF was present at various ribbon cutting ceremonies. Oregon Senator Jeff Merkley also completed an “oil free” road trip down Interstate 5 in an electric vehicle, stopping at various places to publicize PEVs.
- Clearly label the public fleet PEVs as electric vehicles so consumers can see them as they are driven around the area.
DOTs gain valuable expertise on how to stage demonstration events for alternative fuel vehicles and new transportation technologies, thus branding itself as an innovative agency. Consumers can also go to the DOT for a reliable and balanced view on PEV