Car Enthusiasts Flock to Knoxville Auto Show and Test Drive Electric Vehicles

Jennifer Rennicks and Kate Tracy | February 27, 2020 | Clean Transportation, Electric Vehicles, Tennessee

This past weekend car enthusiasts convened at the 32nd annual Knox Auto Show held in the Knoxville Convention Center to check out the latest car models. What many attendees didn’t expect was a fleet of electric vehicles available for test drives as part of the Ride and Drive EV Experience: a statewide program that organizes electric vehicle (EV) events that are fun, engaging, educational and inclusive.

Old friends pose in front of Cool Azul and the Scruffy City’s iconic Sunsphere.

Coordinated by Drive Electric TN and East TN Clean Fuels, events like last weekend’s ride and drive provide the chance for people to:

Big smiles before a test drive with Jen, even bigger smiles after!

The Southern Alliance for Clean Energy [SACE] attended to offer free test rides in an all-electric fleet vehicle, a Tesla Model 3. In addition to SACE and a Model 3, other participants included Knoxville Electric Vehicle Association members, East TN Clean Fuels, Knoxville-based Harper Audi Knoxville dealership, and the Beaty Chevrolet dealership, which made an Audi e-Tron, a Chevrolet Bolt and Volt, and a two-seater Smart car available for rides and drives.

You’d be surprised at how much capacity an EV trunk can hold. Check it out for yourself on a ride and drive with us: DrivingOnSunshine.org.

Our goal for Friday and Saturday’s Ride & Drive Experience, as well as other ride and drive events we participate in or lead around the region, was to engage diverse audiences in order to accelerate the transition to electric transportation in the Southeast

DriveElectricTN (DET) Coordinator, Virginia Salazar Buda, noted that “We’re incredibly fortunate to kick off our 2020 statewide DET Ride and Drive EV Experience events with a strong team of business leaders, EV enthusiasts, and volunteers.”

And we couldn’t agree more! Based on the 88 ride and drives SACE staff conducted in just two days, we’d say there is considerable interest in electric vehicles in Knoxville and many more opportunities to engage with curious or interested consumers and encourage this transition!

SACE staff Jen and Kate helped facilitate 88 Tesla ride and drives!

If you’d like more information about our efforts to promote transportation electrification in Tennessee and throughout the Southeast, visit Electrify The South. If you live in the Sunshine State, join us at an upcoming Driving On Sunshine event to test drive a solar-powered electric vehicle!

Jennifer Rennicks
Since 2006 Jennifer has worked with the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy and the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy Action Fund to to advance stronger federal, state, and utility clean…
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