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Published on September 22nd, 2019 | by Johnna Crider

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Another Fun Louisiana National Drive Electric Week Event

September 22nd, 2019 by  


Louisiana hosted several National Drive Electric Week events, and I got to go to two of them, the Abita Springs one last week and the Gonzales one today. In Gonzales, Plugin Louisiana and Louisiana Clean Fuels teamed up with Tanger Outlet Mall to help bring awareness about electric vehicles and clean energy.

I got to tag along with Karen Rudisil, owner of a Tesla Model X. We started the trip by stopping at the Baton Rouge Supercharger to charge the Red Dragon and help scrub the mosquitoes off of it. Unfortunately, Teslas are just as susceptible to Louisiana’s mosquitoes as people.

Many of the EV owners were also at last week’s Abita Springs event, but I did get to meet a few new faces who were happy to take our survey on electric vehicles. In the video below, you can see a few interviews, a Model X dancing, and the folks of Commuter Krewe getting pranked with Tesla’s Fart Mode while enjoying a test ride in the Model X. You can also see an Acura NSX and a couple of Jaguar I-PACEs. Jaguar, Tesla, and Nissan were cited as partners of the event. Tanger Outlet even brought the volunteers and EV owners (and a CleanTechnica writer) lunch.

I also got to link up with Clint Blane from our local newspaper, The Advocate, who was there covering National Drive Electric Week. It was great seeing a member of our local media out and exploring all the electric vehicles that were there. Among the Tesla vehicles, there were a couple of Chevy Volts, two Jaguar I-PACEs, a Nissan LEAF, and even a unique hybrid: an Acura NSX, which even though it isn’t fully electric or even a plug-in hybrid, it is a hybrid (“electrified”).


Entergy Louisiana was also there, since I was late on my electric bill — just kidding! The utility was actually there because it has a partnership with SWEPCO and a few other electric and energy companies that are pushing an initiative for clean power. In fact, they are giving away rebates to Tesla and EV owners who install chargers in their homes.

Commuter Krewe was also there. Commuter Krewe is part of the Capital Region Planning Commission, which works with the Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development. The goal is to reduce vehicular congestion and vehicle emissions through a reduction in the number of single-occupant vehicle commuter trips in and around the Baton Rouge area. They focus on the needs of Baton Rouge area workers and their employers.

When I first moved to Baton Rouge, I was told by a friend that the capital area was hit hard after Katrina, with evacuees choosing to stay here and, unfortunately, it is a large city with a smaller city’s road infrastructure. So it’s great to see initiatives like Commuter Krewe trying to help educate people about commuting options.

Tesla Mobile Service was also at the event. Rob, one of the rangers, told me that he services the entire state for Tesla. It was exciting to see Tesla have a presence at this event in an official capacity (the owner vehicles there were also mostly Teslas). It was especially interesting seeing the rangers in action as they answered questions.

One of the Model X owners demonstrated the Tesla’s ability to dance — many people enjoyed that. Although the crowd wasn’t as large as the Abita Springs one, that could have been due to the LSU game going on. We were in a mall and the crowds weren’t out shopping today. However, those who did come and explore all the EVs there were in for a treat, especially those playing Atari in Karen’s Model X.

One family had two young boys who said goodbye to every Tesla they saw. We even had the Gonzales police stop in for a quick visit. All in all, it was a fun event in the intense sun — and at the very end, we were refreshed with a short rainstorm. Best of all, I didn’t burn my nose this time! 
 
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About the Author

Johnna Crider is a Baton Rouge artist, gem and mineral collector, and Tesla shareholder who believes in Elon Musk and Tesla. Elon Musk advised her in 2018 to “Believe in Good.” Tesla is one of many good things to believe in. You can find Johnna on Twitter



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