Electric vehicle showcase events are one of the best platforms to raise awareness about the wonderful world of electric mobility. Demo drives, the opportunity to interact with product managers, and seeing all the latest EVs and associated tech all in one central location are some of the major draws for festival goers. I have had the opportunity to attend several of these types of events in different parts of the world, including in South Africa, Kenya, and the United Kingdom. Some of these events included the Smarter Mobility Expo in South Africa and the Fully Charged Live Show in the United Kingdom.
Last month, I had another great opportunity to attend the largest electric vehicle showcase event in North America, the Electrify Expo. I happened to be on the East coast of the USA for a conference linked to optics and photonics and then I was invited to attend the Washington, DC, Edition of the Electrify Expo. The DC edition of Electrify Expo is part of the 7 events that the organizers have on the roster for 2023. The DC event was held on July 22nd and 23rd, and it provided another awesome opportunity for people of all ages to see some of the coolest developments in the world of electric mobility. The Expo was held at RFK Stadium Festival Grounds.
Attendees at Electrify Expo got to ride, drive, and demo the world’s leading electric cars and trucks alongside electric motorcycles, e-bikes, e-scooters, e-skateboards, and more. The organizers said the attendance for the inaugural Washington, DC, edition surpassed their expectations. However, the number that impressed me the most was that they had nearly 13,000 test rides over the weekend in DC!
13,000 test drives over the inaugural weekend was pretty awesome. Most of the major firms that sell EVs in the USA provided several of their models for people to test drive. Tesla had its whole S3XY lineup, including the Model S Plaid. BMW had the iX, i4, and several other plug-in hybrid X5s. Mitsubishi had the plug-in Hybrid Outlander, and Volvo had the XC40 and C40 BEVs ,as well as the Polestar 2. Ford had the F-150 Lightning and Mustang Mach E. Several other brands, like Lexus, Toyota, and many others also had vehicles for demo drives.
Personally, I got to drive the BMW iX and i4M50, the new Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV, the Volvo C40, and the Tesla Model S Long Range. I got a good chance to really test drive these cars around the festival grounds as well as in the nearby suburban areas, with several roads closed for real thrilling drive experiences in some of the zones. The driving route was long enough to get a really good feel of the cars in mixed environments. I could have driven more cars, but I also spent a lot of time at the other sections of the Expo, such as the Auto Displays. In the Auto Display section, people attending the Expo got to see the following vehicles:
- BMW: i7, iX xDrive50, iX M60, i4 eDrive 35, i4 eDrive 40, i4 M50, and the new i5 sedan
- Ford: Mach-E, F-150 Lightning
- Kia: EV9, EV6, Niro EV, Sportage
- Lexus: RZ
- Mitsubishi: Outlander PHEV
- Polestar: 2, 3
- Tesla: Models S, 3, X, Y
- Toyota: Prius Prime, Prius, Rav4 Prime, Sequoia Hybrid, Corolla Cross HV, BZ4X
- Volvo: EX90, All-electric XC40 Recharge and C40 Recharge; Plug-in Hybrid XC60 Recharge and XC90 Recharge
- Volkswagen: ID.Buzz, ID.4
There were also exciting e-bike, e-scooter, and other micromobility products on two and four wheels from top brands, including:
- Riese & Mueller
- and many more
One of the highlights in the Auto Display section at the upcoming New York edition this weekend will be the highly anticipated Volvo EX30! The next event is being held in Long Island, New York, at the Nassau Coliseum on August 12-13.
The other sections I really enjoyed at the Washington, DC, edition last month were the Showoff Section, which was referred to as “The Epicenter of EV Customization.” It is the epicenter of EV personalization and the breeding ground for customization trends. Showoff features the world’s most radical customized EVs and inspires Electrify Expo attendees with ideas of how they can customize their own rides. It is kind of like an Xzibit style “Pimp my ride” exhibition, but for EVs.
One of the other major highlights for me was the Ford Auto Display Section where they had a team making sliders using a grill powered by the vehicle-to-load (V2L) function of the Ford F-150 Lightning Platinum Edition. This is an excellent way of showing raising awareness on the benefits of EVs with bidirectional charging capabilities.
Here is a video of the F-150 Lightning Platinum Edition at the Expo:
Images courtesy of Electrify Expo
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