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The Electrify Expo Industry Day in Long Beach, CA provided a fun learning experience for industry insiders and those interested in electrifying their transportation. Auto Futures spoke to exhibitors, speakers and attendees who provided insight into the future of electrification.
The event began with panels on relevant topics. Then there was a large outdoor exhibition.
The massive area was laid out more like a county fair or art festival than a car show with areas for picnic tables and food vendors as well as areas for exhibitors, test drives automobiles and micromobility.
“I created Electrify Expo to transform the way people experience and learn about electric vehicles of all types. I grew up around the automotive industry – I’m an automotive guy. Auto shows were the perfect place to experience the best of the industry. But times have changed. Watching vehicles behind a velvet rope isn’t going to convey the thrill and excitement of these new electric vehicles,” says BJ Birtwell, Electrify Expo, founder.
“I wanted to create more of a festival environment to experience these products. Make it fun, festive and social. We focus on the fun factor and the thrill of riding,” he adds.
Industry insiders came to network and learn about trends.
Agustin Garcia, senior director of business development at Motivo, an engineering firm that accelerates product development, was there to meet with customers. He sees the latest trends in electric mobility like the conversion of classic cars to electric, eVTOLs, battery swapping and the electrification of cranes.
Women entrepreneurs Babies and dogs
During a panel on “How to Stand Out in a Crowded Market“, Juls Bindi, founder of ZuGo Bike, stood out in the panel by being the only woman.
“Women are very intuitive. Our minds and bodies can handle a lot. I encourage women entrepreneurs to trust themselves. If you are passionate about something, nothing stops you. We give birth to babies and we are able to create equally powerful companies,” says Bindi.
“We have been selling ZuGo bikes since 2019. We really care about our customers and focus on them. We always care so much about you when you have the products. We follow up to make sure we are taking care of our customers.
She says the company is also offering new safety features such as tires with double-wall rims. Then, if a rider hits a pothole, the rim will not bend.
The ZuGo name sounded familiar. Bindi created the ZugGo pet carriers: the Jetsetter and the Rocketeer. Does she take her dog with her on her ZuGo e-bike, I asked?
“I ride a ZuGo e-bike every day with my three-year-old daughter and my dog in a Thule trailer,” Bindi says. “We are in the process of developing pet products which we will launch next year.”
Color and decorate your electric bike
Blake Garcia, director of sales and marketing at Electric Bike Company, stood next to a colorful e-bike with wooden fenders.
“The great thing about our company is that all of our bikes are custom made to order. You design it as you wish. We’ll build it to your specifications and ship it to you fully built, no assembly required. You can literally choose any color on our bikes. You can accessorize the bike however you want,” says Garcia.
“We have an online configurator where you can design the bike with all the accessories you want. We ship to USA and Hawaii.
Electric cars of all types and sizes on display
Seeing the vehicles in person provides a better design perspective and understanding of the products.
“At first glance, people are surprised by Aptera’s design. When we explain the amazing features and efficient design to them, that’s when their jaws really drop to the floor. You can drive it only on solar power. An Aptera actually travels up to forty miles a day,” says Quincy Hilla, digital marketing manager at Aptera Motors.
There was an exhibition of the Lucid Air and its technical components.
“We set out to create a captivating and compelling luxury electric vehicle. The response was positive, proving that we were successful in fulfilling this mission,” says Dave Buchko, Product PR Manager at Lucid Motors.
He says the handling of the Lucid Air is a unique balance. It can drive like a traditional luxury vehicle like a Mercedes S-Class or more like a very nimble sports car.
“Our engineers have achieved a very fine balance, where the car drives quite well. But if you’re on a twisty road and want to have fun, the car is extraordinarily responsive.
At the other end of the spectrum, GEM low-speed electric vehicles used on campuses and for local transportation were also on display. GEM (formerly owned by Polaris) is under the new ownership banner of Waev Inc.
Waev Inc. is an electric mobility provider founded in 2021 to manufacture, distribute, market and support the GEM, Taylor-Dunn and Tiger brands.
“We are thrilled and respect the heritage and legacy of these products. They have a prominent place in the market. Waev gives us a lot of flexibility to be nimble and keep innovating at the pace that suits the market. We have engineering. We have manufacturing. We have R&D. We have purchases. We have everything in one installation. This gives us a huge advantage to be able to design and innovate quickly and get new products to market faster,” says Carlos Acuna, product manager at Waev.
Clean tractors to go to the fields
Monarch electric tractors are a spin-off from Motiva. Praveen Penmetsa, Founder and President of Monarch, says, “One tractor equals the emissions of fourteen cars. So taking one diesel tractor off the farm is like taking fourteen cars off the road.
He says the Monarch tractor is electric and smart. The driver can manage the tractor without sitting on it. It can be driven or controlled by an app.
“You can also see everything the tractor sees at all times. He can tell you what’s going on on the farm,” says Penmetsa.
He says the Monarch tractor is currently used in vineyards, apple orchards and dairy farms.
Play games or make new relationships
Many would-be EV drivers worry that they won’t be able to fit a fast electric charger in their garage at home. The Splitvolt is an easy way to convert an electric dryer outlet in a garage into two outlets – one for the dryer and one for electric vehicle charging.
“The Splitvolt is a device that will save new EV owners thousands of dollars because it lets you share your existing dryer circuit with your EV automatically and safely. You can get fast charging, but you don’t. “You don’t have to spend $1,000 to install a dedicated circuit. Just plug it in and in 60 seconds you’ll be quickly charging your car,” says Daniel Liddle, CEO and Founder of Splitvolt Inc.
Test drive in many electric fun modes
In the parking lot was a test drive area. I was able to test a Lucid Air Touring, a BMW iX, a Polestar 2, a Volvo XC40 Recharge, a Volkswagen ID.4 and a Toyota Bz4X. Each vehicle had its own settings and driving styles. I experimented with new security features.
If someone is considering ordering, buying or leasing an electric vehicle, the experience could save them hours of research and days of testing at dealerships.
“Over 60,000 demo rides will take place at our festivals this year alone. These game-changing experiences convert consumers into electric vehicles of all types, often resulting in immediate on-site transactions. Last year, we We’ve held Electrify Expo in three cities, and this year we’re at five – ultimately to get more and more people educated, interested in and buying electric vehicles and contributing to cleaner, greener transportation effective is a big win,” says Birtwell.
Electrify Expo will travel to Seattle, Washington, July 23-24, Nassau, New York, August 27-28, Miami, Florida, October 8-9, and back to Austin, Texas, October 11-28. November 13.