Drive Electric Orlando: Using America’s Premier Vacation Destination As A Mechanism For Change
Securing America’s Future Energy (SAFE) is an action-oriented policy organization committed to combating the economic and national security threats posed by America's dependence on oil.
It’s partner organization, the Electrification Coalition (EC), is a nonpartisan, not-for-profit group of business leaders committed to promoting policies and actions that facilitate the deployment of electric vehicles across the United States on a mass scale. The leadership of these organizations features top executives from some of America’s biggest brands (FedEx, GE, Enterprise Rent-A-Car, GM, Nissan, Waste Management and others) and some of the most well respected “thought leaders” and experts in the energy security and alternative energy policy universe.
Along with cutting edge research and policy work, SAFE and the EC are active in creating “deployment communities.” Research clearly shows that when it comes to electric cars, Americans are far more inclined to consider purchasing them after they experience driving the vehicles. Thus, deployment communities aim to expose people to this new breed of cars, along with showcasing the real world benefits (Enhancing energy and national security, reducing the use of foreign oil, saving people money and helping to protect the environment) that electric cars provide.
SAFE and EC leadership sought to create a strategy to dramatically increase the number of Americans that could be exposed to electric cars via this deployment community model in a single city/market. They tapped Align Public Affairs to help build a program that leveraged the world’s top tourism destination to accomplish that mission.
The ALIGN Solution:
The ALIGN team worked with SAFE and the Electrification Coalition with the goal of creating a nationally transformative initiative to expose Americans to electric cars. The result of this effort is Drive Electric Orlando, America’s first large-scale initiative to rent plug-in electric vehicles.
The program uses Orlando’s tourism industry (and largest rental car market on earth) as a mechanism to encourage more Americans to “try out” electric cars with the idea that unique first-hand experiences with electric vehicles will ultimately help speed up mass adoption of the technology nationwide. To fulfill this mission, the ALIGN team helped forge groundbreaking partnerships between Orlando’s top elected officials, leaders in the hospitality industry, rental car agencies, its major hotels, and world renowned theme parks and tourism attractions in support of the effort.
Research clearly shows that when it comes to electric cars, Americans are far more inclined to consider purchasing them after they experience driving the vehicles.
Align also coordinated a high-profile launch event for the program, which resulted in more than 300 individual national media placements. The Align team continues to serve as the “on the ground” manager for Drive Electric Orlando as the program grows in both vehicle offerings and its ability to expose a broad cross section of Americans to electric car technology.