If the 75 or so cars that pulled into a massive Cypress parking lot Sunday seemed unusually quiet, that was by design.
Electric car drivers, makers and enthusiasts gathered at the Mitsubishi Motors North America headquarters for Orange County's National Plug In Day celebration.
Cars that participated in the second annual event displayed their respective “Oil-Free Miles Driven” on their back windows. Among them were Mitsubishi i-MiEVs, General Motors Volts, Nissan Leafs, Toyota RAV4 EVs and Prius Plug-ins, Tesla Motors roadsters, Coda sedans, Fisker Karma sedans, BMW Active Es, Honda Electric Fits and several conversions.
The car world has indeed gone electric, and to facilitate the transition drivers experienced Mitsubishi's fast-charging stations powered by overhead solar. The Japanese automaker joined the nonprofit Sierra Club, Plug In America and the Electric Auto Association in presenting the Orange County event, one of 60 Sunday from Maui to New York City. Attendees here drove or rode in Mitsubishi electrics provided by the company.
“Electricity is not a rare or limited resource in our country,” Jim McCarthy, the Electric Vehicle Association's Southern California chapter president, told attendees. “Electric cars can plug into that American resource to help free us all from the gas pump and rising gasoline prices today. . . . Remember that every EV on the road means cleaner air along with the reduction of oil dependence, related geo-political entanglements and health costs.”
Other speakers included David Patterson, Mitsubishi Motors' chief engineer of Mobile Emissions, and state Sen. Alan Lowenthal (D-Long Beach), who spoke about his legislative efforts to encourage EV driving and clean up emissions at the Port of Long Beach. Doug Kind, manager of Engineering and Sustainability at Cal State Fullerton, addressed the crowd and received a certificate for helping lead OC's “Greenest Business/Entity” for championing a 1.16 megawatt solar system and seven charging stations on campus.
Learn more about Plug In Day HERE.
Matt Coker has been engaging, enraging and entertaining readers of newspapers, magazines and websites for decades. He spent the first 13 years of his career in journalism at daily newspapers before “graduating” to OC Weekly in 1995 as the paper’s first calendar editor. He went on to be managing editor, executive editor and is now senior staff writer.