July and August were exciting months for Drive Electric Ohio! Members of the Drive Electric Columbus (DEC) and Dayton took to the roads to host their first public EV ride and drive events since the onset of the global pandemic.  

From an employee-focused event at the Ohio Electric Cooperatives’ (OEC) headquarters in Northland, Columbus, Ohio, to a member and community open house in Kenton at Mid-Ohio Energy Cooperative, Inc., and back again to the EcoFest hosted by Grove City, our volunteers have been all over central Ohio getting people energized about electric vehicles (EV).  

We worked with OEC to set up the ride and drive event on July 28th for their dedicated employees from around the state! Members of the public were also welcome, and we were honored to have Ohio State Representative Mary Lightbody in attendance. She already drives an EV, so she spent her time encouraging people to get behind the wheel of a Tesla Model 3, Kia Niro, and even a Ford Mustang Mach-E straight from the Reineke Family dealership in Tiffin, Ohio! 55 people zipped around Northern Columbus, ate snacks, and talked about all the great features of driving electric, such as the one-pedal driving. A fan-favorite was the Whoopee-cushion feature in the Tesla’s digital toybox! We’d also like to recognize Path Master, Blink, and ChargePoint for coming out and showcasing their EVSE charging technology with the OEC crew.  

The following week on August 5th, our volunteers ventured about 50 miles to Kenton, Ohio to bring an electrifying experience to local residents and members of the Mid-Ohio Energy Cooperative! At this annual event, community members came and ate delicious barbecue and Mexican food, demoed electric tools, and test drove a Telsa Model X and Y, the 2021 Nissan Leaf, and the Chevy Bolt. We were even lucky enough to have a new VW ID.4 on display to highlight the growing electric cross-over and SUV market! Attendees seemed very interested and excited about deploying EVs for their agricultural responsibilities. Impressed with the safety, speed, charging time, and the Cooperative’s dedication to charging infrastructure, 94% of test riders said they would consider buying an EV at some point in the future. Even a diesel salesman brought his whole family to the event, sharing rides with mom, wife, and children! 

To round out our recent central Ohio EV events, our new Drive Electric Ohio Organizing and Outreach Manager Vashitta Johnson joined DEC volunteers for the EcoFest in Grove City. The event featured many other sustainable organizations from the surrounding area, providing an excellent opportunity to network and form new partnerships. While parents were learning about EVs and checking out the vehicles, their children were getting their EcoFest “passport” stamped at our booth to earn a free ice cream voucher! For the ride and drive, DEC brought a Kia Niro, Nissan Leaf, VW ID.4, and a Chevy Bolt. In addition, Grove City showcased their municipal Chevy Bolt, and the Tesla Easton dealership provided a Tesla Model Y and an enthusiastic staff member for test drives!  

It was a pleasure to be back working with our volunteers and showing the people of Ohio how bright our EV future is! With 129 rides under our SEATBELTS, we aim to continue hosting these events in a safe and accessible way across the state!