- Helping you drive happy

Try an EV at the NY show!

Automotive expert , Updated:
New York – Recent auto shows have been dedicating a lot of space to new hybrid and electric models. And New York is no exception. However, in the Big Apple visitors can do more than simply admire the newcomers – they can drive them too.

Photo: Luc Gagné/

To help consumers appreciate the virtues of the EVs, for a second year in a row the show’s organizers have built the EV Pavilion in collaboration with Green Car Journal magazine. Located inside the Jakob K. Javits Convention Center where the show is held, the Pavilion consists of an oval track the size of a football field where visitors can briefly slip behind the wheel of a Nissan Leaf, Mitsubishi i-MiEV or Chevrolet Volt.

“With this event we’re trying to overcome the bias against EVs,” says Ron Cogan, who is responsible for the EV Pavilion and also the editor in chief of Green Car Journal.

“Too many people still think an electric car can’t go fast, isn’t comfortable and doesn’t have a decent range. Our event proves exactly the opposite,” says Cogan.

In 2010 over 10,000 showgoers tried out an EV. For most of them, it was the first time they’d ever encountered one. “Today, these drivers know that an EV can accelerate as fast as a normal car. They also know what it means to drive a car that is completely silent,” he explains. “All these consumers where thrilled by their experience and the word ‘fun’ kept coming up. Even more significant is the fact that they told their friends and neighbours about it, exposing them to the EV phenomenon as well.”

The EV Pavilion also helps demonstrate that electric cars are here to stay, believes Cogan. “The EVs we saw in the 90s were strictly experimental. The current crop, however, is made up of production models whose development and manufacturing have been integrated into the industrial architecture of the major manufacturers. That’s serious stuff.”

Photo: Luc Gagné/