Here’s How Electrify Expo Will Get You to Buy an Electric Vehicle

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How Electrify Expo Will Get You to Buy an EVElectrify Expo
  • Electrify Expo enters its fourth year as a new way to get customers into EVs.

  • The show will stop in eight cities across the country through November, starting this weekend.

  • Entry is $20, or $15 each for a family of four.

How do you make the decision about whether or not to buy an electric vehicle? One of the best ways may be to try one out. Or try out 20 of them. Then try out an electric bicycle and an electric skateboard. And while it’s hard to try an electric surfboard in a parking lot, you can at least have a look at one.

Starting in Orlando, Florida, this weekend and moving to a total of eight cities across the country through November, Electrify Expo is aimed at “getting butts in seats.”


“The best way to drive EV adoption is butts in seats,” said Electrify Expo founder BJ Birtwell. “And so that’s where we really excel. We try to apply that whole philosophy to not just the autos, but every demo experience we have there.”

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Tesla Tuner Unplugged Performance showed off its Pikes Peak-ready modified Model S at Electrify Expo.Mark Vaughn

And there are a lot of demo experiences. Most venues cover around a million square feet, packed with carmakers’ stands and test-drive opportunities in vehicles from BMW to Volvo, not to mention numerous manufacturers of electric bicycles, scooters, motorcycles, skateboards and yes, even surfboards, and those little underwater tow hydro things that Mike Nelson used to use on Sea Hunt (anybody old enough to remember that?).

There are serious challenges to EV adoption. People think they won’t like the recharge times of an electric car, for instance (just takes a little planning!), or the notion of range anxiety (more planning!), or the fact that government incentives exist (they exist for beets and rutabagas, too).

But a lot of those people have never actually driven an electric car. And the drive experience is different at Electrify Expo than at a traditional auto show, Birtwell says.

“One thing that I think is really hurting EV adoption are the demo experiences that are being done at auto shows,” he said. “There are a few things that factor into somebody having that ‘light switch moment,’ and knowing at that time that they’re going to go electric.”

It’s an important experience and must be curated more effectively, Birtwell says.

“It’s a visceral moment, just feeling the thrill of an electric vehicle.” With longer test drives on real roads, Electrify Expo offers a better chance for visceral moments than traditional auto shows, Birtwell contends.

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Scooters are part of the show. And free demo rides!Electrify Expo

“When people come to Electrify Expo, we put them in a real-world environment. They’re able to have real-world acceleration in this vehicle, get it on the streets and really have a great demo experience, versus being at an auto show, and in many cases, being in the basement of a convention center and having a demo experience that navigates around concrete pillars and just overall leaves that attendee feeling underwhelmed about their first electric vehicle experience.”

Electrify Expo started four years ago with three shows around the country and now they’re at eight, starting this weekend in Orlando. Here’s the whole 2024 season:

  • Orlando: March 16-17

  • Phoenix: May 4-5

  • Long Beach California: May 31 – June 2

  • Denver: July 13-14

  • San Francisco: August 24-25

  • Seattle: Sept. 14-15

  • New York: Oct. 12-13

  • Austin, Texas: Nov. 9-10

Those are all cities that are compatible with EV ownership.

“We’re definitely trucking our way around the country, so to speak, and starting to pop into more of these hot EV hand-raiser markets,” Birtwell said.

What about the slowdown of EV sales?

“We don’t feel the slowdown,” Birtwell said. “I understand maybe the other events or other platforms are feeling a slowdown, but we’re just not feeling it. That’s why Electrify Expo kind of continues to grow is because there’s just thousands and thousands of people who come through our box office who are looking to go electric, but they need a place where they can experience everything all in one place. And that’s what we offer.”

What about the letter from 4000 car dealers to the Biden Administration asking to slow down the rate of EV adoption? Birtwell has a message for car dealers and car sales professionals.

“Any sales rep at any of those 4000+ auto dealers, I want to offer them free admission to electrify Expo to come experience a festival, to experience the world’s leading EV manufacturers all in one place. Pick up some new sales techniques based upon how you sell against the competition.

“And go back to your store and see if that experience at Electrify Expo helped you increase sales conversion, because you really need an experience like that at Electrify Expo. It’s one thing to sell features and benefits of a new EV, but it’s another thing to address questions like, ‘What's happening with the infrastructure? How long does this car take to charge? Where can I find a charger?’

“A lot of times consumers are going into these dealers, and these sales reps are doing a great job talking about the features and benefits of the car. But they can’t close the loop on some of these other questions that consumers have. And somebody needs to train these guys so they are able to have higher conversion rates on those conversations.”

So sales reps? Bring a business card to your local Electrify Expo and get in free!

The rest of you will have to pay. Admission is $20, or $15 each if you buy the Family of Four pack. See

Are EVs just a bunch of hooey, or are they indeed the future? Let us know in the comments.