Here’s how Electrify Expo will encourage you to buy an electric car

  • Electrify Expo is entering its fourth year as a new way to get customers into electric vehicles.
  • The show will stop in eight cities across the country through November, starting this weekend.
  • Admission costs $20, or $15 each for a family of four.

How do you decide whether or not to buy an electric car? One of the best ways may be to try one out. Or try 20. Then try out an electric bicycle and an electric skateboard. And while it’s hard to try out an electric surfboard in a parking lot, you can at least check it out.

Electrify Expo kicks off this weekend in Orlando, Florida and moves to a total of eight cities across the country through November. The goal is to ‘get butts in seats’.

“The best way to encourage EV adoption is to put seats on the seats,” says Electrify Expo founder BJ Birtwell. “And we really excel in that. We try to apply that whole philosophy not just to the cars, but to every demo experience we have there.”

tesla model s

Mark Vaughn

Tesla Tuner Unplugged Performance showed its Pikes Peak-adapted Model S at Electrify Expo.

And there are many demo experiences. Most locations span around a million square feet, packed with car manufacturer booths and test drive opportunities in vehicles from BMW to Volvo, not to mention the countless manufacturers of electric bicycles, scooters, motorcycles, skateboards and yes, even surfboards, and that little underwater world. tow hydro stuff that Mike Nelson used to use Sea yacht (anyone old enough to remember that?).

There are serious challenges to electric vehicle adoption. For example, people think they won’t like the charging times of an electric car (just takes a little planning!), or the idea of ​​range anxiety (more planning!), or the fact that government incentives exist (they exist). ​for beets and also kohlrabi).

But many of those people have never driven an electric vehicle. And the driving experience at Electrify Expo is different than at a traditional car show, Birtwell says.

“One thing that I think is really hurting EV adoption is the demo experiences that are done at car shows,” he said. “There are a few things that ensure that someone has that ‘light switch moment’ and knows at that moment that they are going to drive electric.”

It’s an important experience and needs to be curated more effectively, Birtwell says.

“It’s an intense moment, you just feel the excitement of an electric vehicle.” With longer test drives on real roads, Electrify Expo offers a better opportunity for profound moments than traditional car shows, says Birtwell.

electrification expo

Electrification Expo

Scooters are part of the show. And free demo rides!

“When people come to Electrify Expo, we put them in a real world. They can accelerate this vehicle in the real world, take it to the streets and really have a great demo experience, as opposed to being at a car show, and in many cases being in the basement of a convention center and having a demo experience that navigates around concrete pillars and generally makes the visitor feel uncomfortable about their first experience with an electric vehicle.”

Electrify Expo started four years ago with three shows across the country and now they’re up to eight, starting this weekend in Orlando. Here’s the entire 2024 season:

  • Orlando: March 16-17
  • Phoenix: May 4-5
  • Long Beach California: May 31 – June 2
  • Denver: July 13-14
  • San Francisco: August 24-25
  • Seattle: September 14-15
  • New York: October 12-13
  • Austin, TX: November 9-10

These are all cities that are compatible with EV ownership.

“We’re definitely driving around the country, so to speak, and starting to get into more of these popular electric handraiser markets,” Birtwell said.

What about the slowdown in EV sales?

“We’re not feeling the slowdown,” Birtwell said. “I understand that the other events or other platforms may feel a slowdown, but we just don’t feel it. That’s why Electrify Expo continues to grow, because we just have thousands and thousands of people coming through our box office who want to go electric, but they need a place where they can experience it all all in one place. And that is what we offer.”

What about the letter from 4,000 car dealers to the Biden administration asking it to slow the pace of electric vehicle adoption? Birtwell has a message for car dealers and car sellers.

“I want to offer every salesperson at any of those 4,000+ car dealerships free access to the Expo’s electrification so they can experience a festival and experience the world’s leading EV manufacturers all in one place. Learn some new sales techniques based on how you sell against the competition.

“And go back to your store and see if that experience at Electrify Expo helped you increase sales conversion, because you really need that kind of experience at Electrify Expo. It’s one thing to sell the features and benefits of a new electric car, but it’s another to answer questions like: ‘What’s happening with the infrastructure? How long does it take to charge this car? Where can I find a charger?’

“Often consumers go to these dealers and these salespeople do a great job talking about the features and benefits of the car. But they can’t close the loop on some of these other questions that consumers have. And someone needs to train these guys so they can get higher conversion rates on those calls.

So salespeople? Bring a business card to your local Electrify Expo and get free admission!

The rest of you will have to pay. Admission is $20, or $15 each if you purchase the Family of Four package. See

Are EVs just a bunch of hooey, or are they indeed the future? Let us know in the comments.

Portrait photo of Mark Vaughn

Mark Vaughn grew up in a Ford family and spent many hours holding a trouble light over an inline six-cylinder miraculously fed by a single-barrel carburetor, while his father Ford, all its products and everyone who had once worked there, cursed. This was his introduction to objective autocriticism. He started writing for City News Service in Los Angeles, then moved to Europe and became editor of a car magazine called Auto. He decided that Auto should include Formula 1, sports prototypes and touring cars – no one could stop him! From there he had an interview with Autoweek at the 1989 Frankfurt Motor Show and he has stayed with us ever since.

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