This month, Drive Electric Ohio partnered with Green Energy Ohio to host the 2021 EV Tour. Beginning on June 7th and running through the 11th, the tour spent a day in each region of the state and highlighted the ways communities in Ohio are embracing transportation electrification.  

The tour, which touted 26 events in 5 days, featured various modes of transportation and highlighted ways eMobility innovations are advancing clean energy, economic development, and health goals. 

Northeast Ohio

Drive Electric Ohio volunteers lead organizing efforts for events on 4 of the 5 days. On Monday, the tour kicked off in Northeast Ohio with a conversation under a local congregation’s solar canopy.  Various speakers, including elected officials and EV service providers discussed the importance that EVs can play in meeting community sustainability goals, achieving more affordable energy, and helping Ohio families get to work and school. There were also EVs on display courtesy of Drive Electric Northeast Ohio. The tour then headed to Warren, for a panel discussion on workforce development hosted by Brite Energy Innovators. Panelists spoke on the future of ‘new’ collar jobs and the role of businesses, education institutions, and the community in securing the jobs of the future.  

“Talent is one of our most important supply chains,” said Jennifer Oddo, Executive Director of Strategic Workforce Education and Innovation at Youngstown State University.
“When siting locations, businesses look for more than just community engagement,” said Sarah Boyarko, COO and VP of Economic Development for the Youngstown-Warren Regional Chamber, “they look for community excitement.

Southwest Ohio

On Wednesday, the tour visited Southwest Ohio, stopping first in Dayton. Drive Electric Dayton organized an EV showcase and tabling fair that featured 10 plug-in models and drew over 75 guests. The event featured local leaders from the municipal and county level, including remarks by Mayor Nan Whaley. The group stopped by Sinclair Community College for a tour of their Automotive Center Tesla START Program. The program is one of only 8 in the country that trains students on electric car maintenance and repair.

“Electrification is an issue that goes beyond environment and health,” said Mayor Whaley, “There is a very real economic impact that will affect Dayton and Ohio in the next 10 years.”

Drive Electric Cincinnati hosted one of the first ride and drives of the season at the zoo, with 8 electric models provided by volunteers and local dealerships.

Southeast Ohio

The tour traveled to Southeast Ohio on Thursday to visit the Logan Police Department and their new all-electric, Tesla patrol vehicles. Then the group headed down to Athens to visit some of the city’s groundbreaking clean energy initiatives, including the Water Treatment Plant and community center, where Mayor Steve Patterson spoke on the city’s sustainability efforts.

Central Ohio

The week ended with a full day of EV celebrations in Central Ohio. The day began with a tour at the Columbus Yellow Cab innovative headquarters to see electric taxi cabs in action. CEO Morgan Kaufman discussed CYC’s commitment to sustainable and equitable mobility. Next the group visited Ohio State’s Center for Automotive research to tour the facility and meet the EcoCar team and see their progress on redesigning a Chevrolet Camaro into a highly efficient plug-in hybrid.

The tour wrapped up with a reception at the Smart Columbus Experience Center where organizers and attendees heard from several speakers on the status of statewide transportation electrification projects. Throughout all the events, a focus on equity and work force development, rang clear.

“One lesson from the pandemic,” Said Sam Spofforth, Clean Fuels Ohio CEO, “is some members of our community face disproportionate health impacts from pollution. We need EVs and other clean transportation solutions to help all members of our community breath clean air.”

Green Energy Ohio

Green Energy Ohio is a statewide non-profit dedicated to advancing clean energy technologies and policies. Building on the success of their annual solar tour, this year they included the intersection of transportation to tell a wide-reaching story of a clean energy future.

Events from the 2021 EV Tour were recorded and can be found here!

Interested in EVs and how they help drive clean energy goals? Use this link to connect with a Drive Electric Ohio chapter in your area or reach out to Marie McConnell, Outreach and Organizing Manager for Clean Fuels Ohio.