October 27th, 2017
Smart Columbus Launches Ride And Drive Showroom To Encourage Columbus Commuters To Drive Electric And Drive Less
Columbus, OH, October 27, 2017 - Smart Columbus announced the launch of the 'Smart Columbus Ride and Drive Roadshow,' a touring educational event that will give Columbus residents the opportunity to get behind the wheel of available electric vehicles and explore alternative commuting options. The goal of the roadshow is to engage 20,000 residents of the seven-county central Ohio by the end of 2020 in an effort to increase the overall adoption rate of electric vehicles and decrease single-occupant vehicle commutes to large workplaces. Initially, these events will be hosted at large employment locations in the region and will evolve to make stops at community centers and academic campuses.
"More than 83 percent of our region's workforce gets to work alone in a car," said Mayor Andrew J. Ginther. "If our region grows by 1 million people in the coming decades as expected, we must change our mobility patterns to remain a sustainable, competitive city. Through the 'Ride and Drive Roadshow,' we seek to inspire our residents to think differently about how they commute - whether it be by electric vehicle, COTA bus or one of our many shared mobility services."
These immersive events will help achieve Smart Columbus' Vulcan, Inc. grant objectives of increasing central Ohio electric vehicle sales by 470 percent and realizing a 10 percent reduction in single occupant vehicle commutes to large workplaces by 2020. At each event, attendees will have the opportunity to test drive at least one of 12 different plug-in electric vehicle and plug-in hybrid electric vehicle models, learn how to charge an electric vehicle, experience an electric bike donated by Bosch, and learn about alternatives to driving, including car2go, CoGo, COTA and ride sharing options sponsored by Gohio commute, as well as ride sourcing services such as Lyft and Uber.
The Ride and Drive Roadshow would not be possible without the participation of automotive manufacturers BMW, Chevy, Honda, Mercedes, Mini, Nissan, Smart and Tesla and Electric Vehicle charging equipment providers Bosch and Greenlots.
"The Ride and Drive Roadshow is the private sector's opportunity to model the way for the behavior change that will usher in a new era of mobility in Columbus," said Alex Fischer, President and CEO of the Columbus Partnership. "More than 40 large Columbus corporations are leading the way as Acceleration Partners. These organizations are embracing Smart Columbus by installing electric vehicle charging stations, adding electric vehicles to corporate fleets and educating their workforce about smart mobility through the Roadshow. By rethinking how we get to and from work, we can further strengthen our infrastructure, our environmental impact and our economy."
Thirteen events will be hosted in 2017, with plans to host another 130 events by the end of 2020. The first site hosts of the roadshow series include Battelle, Columbus City Hall, Columbus State Community College, Grange Insurance, IGS Energy and White Castle System, Inc.
"We always strive to make an impact on the places where we work and live, and this is an opportunity to do just that," said Dominie Garcia, Senior Market Manager for Battelle's Transportation team. "Electric vehicles, whether they are driven or autonomous, are transforming the way we commute. They help the environment and are a key part of making Columbus a smart city."
The Smart Columbus 'Ride and Drive Roadshow' is funded by the $10 million Vulcan, Inc. grant awarded to Columbus as the winner of the 2016 Smart City Challenge sponsored by Vulcan and the U.S. Department of Transportation. One objective of the grant is to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in Franklin, Delaware, Union, Madison, Pickaway, Fairfield and Licking counties by promoting adoption of more efficient modes of transportation.
In 2015, 0.37 percent of cars sold in the seven-county region were electric vehicles, while 83 percent of the region's commutes were in single-occupant vehicles. Smart Columbus has set the goal of increasing electric vehicle adoption to at least 1.8 percent by 2020 - a four-fold increase that would put more than 3,200 electric vehicles on the road. Smart Columbus also seeks to decrease single occupant commutes by at least 10 percent by 2020. These effofts will together decrease greenhouse gas emissions while also reducing traffic congestion in the region.
"We're excited about the 'Ride and Drive Roadshow' and the start of this incredible journey for the Columbus region that's paving the path to a smart future," said Jamie Richardson, Vice President, White Castle. "Our White Castle team members are enthusiastic about experiencing different driving options firsthand."
The roadshow events are designed and produced by local experiential marketing company CivitasNow. "The Smart Columbus initiative is enabling Columbus-based businesses to come together to put the city at the forefront of innovative transportation solutions," CivitasNow Founder and CEO Jacob Taylor said of the company's efforts to design and produce the roadshow. "As one of those Columbus-based companies, we couldn't be more excited to support this work and help transport our city to the future."
About Smart Columbus
The City of Columbus' Smart Columbus plan won the U.S. Department of Transportation (U.S. DOT) $40 million Smart City Challenge in June 2016 after competing against 77 cities nationwide to become the country's first city to fully integrate innovative technologies - self-driving cars, connected vehicles and smart sensors - into its transportation network. Columbus was also awarded an additional $10 million grant from Paul G. Allen's Vulcan, Inc. to accelerate the transition to an electrified, low-emissions transportation system. Aligned investments totaling more than $500 million in commitments have been made by the private, public and academic institutions in the region to support technology and infrastructure investments that upgrade Columbus' transportation network and help make Columbus the model connected city of the future. Smart Columbus is a regional smart city initiative co-led by the City of Columbus and