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1,500 miles, zero gallons of gas: International electric-vehicle rally kicks off Saturday, June 29

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Date:  Thursday, June 27, 2013

Contact: Lars Erickson, WSDOT communications director, 360-705-7076 (Olympia)
Tonia Buell, WSDOT public-private partnerships, 360-705-7439 (Olympia)

Washington, British Columbia dignitaries host “Golden Plug” celebration


BLAINE – Nearly 150 years ago, the driving of the ceremonial “Golden Spike” signaled the completion of the first transcontinental railroad across North America. This weekend, electric-vehicle (EV) owners will converge near the USA/Canada border to symbolically connect the charging networks along the West Coast Electric Highway, before unplugging and departing on an unprecedented international adventure.

This Saturday, June 29, the public is invited to attend a “Golden Plug” celebration at the Peace Arch State Park, where a dozen EV drivers will begin the journey from Canada to Mexico powered solely by electricity. Drivers will make the 1,500-mile, nine-day road trip – called the BC2BC (British Columbia to Baja California) – without using a drop of gas.

Washington Secretary of Transportation Lynn Peterson, Parliamentary Secretary to the British Columbia Premier for Intergovernmental Affairs Norm Letnick and other dignitaries will lead the celebration for the EV rally at 11 a.m. Guests at the event will have opportunities to test-drive EVs and speak with rally drivers before they set out on the trip south.

After the ceremony, the vehicles will make their departures in five-minute intervals. Guests are encouraged to wave flags and cheer for the drivers as they take to the road.

The BC2BC is the brainchild of event organizer Tony Williams who, along with his 10-year-old daughter, completed the same nine-day voyage in an EV in June 2012. That experience led to the newly created BC2BC, an invitational rally which Williams hopes will turn into an annual event.

International Golden Plug ceremony and launch of BC2BC 2013

When: 10 a.m. Saturday, June 29

Where: Peace Arch State Park, Blaine, Wash. (I-5 Exit 276 at USA/Canada border)

Directions: Traveling north - Take I-5 north to Exit 276, the last exit before the Canadian border. Take second right at the roundabout on 2nd Street and follow the signs to the park. At the entrance, a parking attendant will direct guests to the event.

Traveling south - Take BC 99 south through the border crossing and follow the signs to the park. At the entrance, a parking attendant will direct guests to the event.

Schedule:

10 a.m. – 1 p.m.: Public display of electric vehicles; show-and-tell with EV drivers.
11 a.m.: International “Golden Plug” ceremony.
Noon:  Launch of all-electric vehicle rally. Crowds wave flags and cheer EV drivers leaving every five minutes.

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