This Ohio city’s plan to get more people to buy electric cars worked

Enlarge / Giving someone a short test drive in a plug-in vehicle is the quickest way to get them to consider buying one. (credit: Monty Rakusen/Getty Images)
In 2016, the city of Columbus, Ohio, won a nationwide Department of Transportation challenge and was named America’s first smart city. This contest was not just for bragging rights, like some kind of Mensa for municipalities; the award came with $40 million in DOT funding for testing better transportation policies, with an additional $10 million from the Paul G. Allen Family Foundation. As part of Smart Columbus’ plans to make moving around more safely more sustainable, the foundation asked the city to increase adoption of battery electric cars and plug-in hybrids through an electrification program. And it succeeded.
The electrification program, which we wrote about last year, involved several different approaches to getting more local residents to switch to BEVs. The city assembled a fleet of 12 BEVs and PHEVs for a “ride and drive” roadshow, visiting communities and places of work to give people an opportunity to try out an EV—something that just under 12,000 people did over the course of two years.
The city created an experience center with a second fleet of test-drive plug-ins. This provided another 400 people with test drives from 2018 but also entertained more than 30,000 visitors from opening, educating them about alternative powertrains as well as shared mobility. On top of that, Smart Columbus conducted an online education campaign and worked with 35 area car dealerships, training staff so they could sell EVs. And finally, it worked with the local utility, AEP Ohio, to build out public level 2 and DC fast charging infrastructure in the region.Read 3 remaining paragraphs | Comments
Source: Car news one

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