Electrify Expo: Unveiling the Future

The Electrify Expo is an event series celebrating electric cars. We plugged into the event, and came away with lots of inspiration for the future.

Electrify Expo
Wearing comfortable shoes is a must for the Electrify Expo; my trusty Birkenstocks came in handy! Photo: Kim Smith

Exploring this Electric Car Festival and its Cutting-Edge Innovations

I recently made my way to North America’s largest electric car festival: The Electrify Expo. This two-day Expo spans seven states, offering car buyers a chance to immerse themselves in over 1 million square feet of pure electric wonder, with appearances from iconic brands like BMW, Ford, Kia, and Tesla to the cutting-edge offerings of Lexus, Mitsubishi, Toyota, Volvo, VW, and more.

The fourth stop of the Electrify Expo tour took place in our hometown of New York. While the Expo extends over two days, we chose to take part in day two’s excitement. The setting: the renowned Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum on Long Island.

With my husband, our 12-year-old explorer, and our three-year-old, we set out to explore, learn, and enjoy this electrified haven. 

Related: Electric Car Dreams Can Come True; These Are Our Favorites 

A Girls Guide To Cars | Electrify Expo: Unveiling The Future - My Husband Checking Out The Stylish Interior Of The Volvo Ex30

My husband checking out the stylish interior of the Volvo EX30 at the Electrify Expo. Photo: Kim S.

What Did We See and Drive at the Electrify Expo?

At Electrify Expo New York, we were front-row witnesses of two exciting premieres: the Volvo EX30 and the Kia EV9. Notably, the Volvo EX30 SUV took center stage. The anticipation for the EX30 was palpable – a first look in the US at this compact SUV that boasts versatility and power.

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The gorgeous 7-passenger Volvo EX90 seen at the Electrify Expo. Photo: Kim S.

The Volvo EX30 and EX90

Offering a single motor option with 298 miles of range and 268 horsepower or a twin motor system with AWD, 422 horsepower 275 miles of electric range, the EX30 stands out as an affordable option starting at just under $35,000. But I can’t move on from Volvo without talking about the EX90.

We loved the EX90, the electric version of the cherished XC90; its family-friendly 7-seat design caught our eye. While we didn’t experience the interior firsthand, a peek revealed its potential – up to 300 miles of electric range, 496 horsepower, and a brisk 0-60 mph in 4.7 seconds. Its well-equipped features under $80,000 make it an irresistible choice, especially for XC90 fans like us.

Related: Why We Loved the Volvo EX90

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Electrify Expo first looks at the Kia EV9, available later in 2023. Photo: Kim S.

The Kia EV9

We also got a chance to dive into Kia’s all-electric three-row SUV, the EV9. This spacious, fully-electric SUV mirrors the size of its gas-powered counterpart, the Kia Telluride, while embracing Kia’s signature abundance of features. The EV9 offers a variety of configurations: choose between rear-wheel drive or all-wheel drive, and opt for either a standard or long-range battery pack.

With seating for six or seven passengers, you can customize your interior with captain’s chairs or a second-row bench. The RWD long-range model provides around 300 miles of range. Inside, you’ll find dual 12.3-inch screens for information and entertainment, crafted with a sleek touch-sensitive interface to navigate menus and HVAC controls. The anticipated starting price for the standard RWD model is approximately $56,000, while the top-tier GT-Line trim with AWD is expected to come in at around $76,000.

Related: Everything You Want to Know about the Kia EV9

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Just taking the 2023 Ford Mach-E for a spin at the Electrify Expo. Photo: Kim S.

Thrilling Performances at Electrify Expo

The Mustang Mach-E

The Ford Thrill Zone pushed the boundaries of excitement. The Mustang Mach-E 1400 prototype stole the show with its mind-bending 1400 horsepower. Watching professional driver Collette Davis churn out clouds of smoke, showcasing its performance prowess, was awe-inspiring. Attendees had the opportunity to ride alongside her as she did her tricks, too!

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Electrify Expo guests were able to explore the Toyota bZ4X. Kim S

Toyota’s Electrify Expo Offerings

Toyota’s commitment to electrification is growing, though much of the progress is in making its gas-powered vehicles more efficient. On the electric side, the all-electric 2023 Toyota bZ4X, which was co-developed with Subaru (talk about reliability and safety powers combined!), stood out for its edgy styling. But Toyota also displayed the gas-powered hybrid Toyota Sequoia Capstone i-FORCE MAX, a true family mover with seating for 7 or 8 and a 6-cylinder engine with 437 horsepower and 583 lb.-ft. of torque. The Sequoia’s iForce Max hybrid system pushes fuel economy to 19 mpg in town, 22 on the highway, and 20 overall – not a gas-sipper by far but a feat for this 3-ton SUV.

A Girls Guide To Cars | Electrify Expo: Unveiling The Future - Electrify Expo Ny Kim Test Driving The Luxurious Lexus Rx 500H F Sport Kim S

I enjoyed test-driving the luxurious Lexus RX 500h F Sport at the Electrify Expo. Photo: Kim S.

Ride and Drives at Electrify Expo

The heart and soul of the event came alive through the ride and drives. We had the opportunity to get behind the wheel of some of these exciting cars. Getting behind the wheel puts the science of these cars into tangible reality and allowed us to feel the pulse of the electric revolution.

A Girls Guide To Cars | Electrify Expo: Unveiling The Future - Electrify Expo 2023 Lexus 500H F Sport Kim S

Electrify Expo gave guests a glimpse into the Lexus 500h F Sport. Photo: Kim S

Personal Electric Odyssey with the Lexus RX 500h

The test drive event let us slip behind the wheel of the Lexus RX 500h, a hybrid version of this luxe 5 passenger SUV. With 366 horsepower and an estimated MPG of 27 city, 28 highway, and 27 combined, the RX 500h charmed us with its spirited performance; it’s the most powerful in the RX family. With a starting MSRP of $63,350, this sustainable luxury hybrid SUV is on my wish list (hint, hint).

Related: The Lexus 500 F Sport Offers Substantial Thrills

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The gorgeous Lexus RZ 450e at the Electrify Expo. Photo: Kim S.

Shaping a Clean Electric Future

In a landscape marked by environmental concerns, events like Electrify Expo are game-changers. The significance is clear when you consider:

1. Forward-Looking Legislation

States like California, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, and Washington have pledged to halt the sale of new gas-powered vehicles by 2035. This commitment speaks volumes about their dedication to steering towards cleaner, greener horizons.

2. ZEV Program: Charting a Cleaner Path

The ZEV Program, adopted by 13 states, including California, Colorado, and New York, mandates an escalation in the sales of Zero Emission Vehicles (ZEVs) over the coming decade. 

3. Automotive Evolution in Motion

The all-electric future is upon us; most car makers have committed to cease gasoline vehicle sales by 2035, while others anticipate the shift to stretch until 2045-2050, barring legislative mandates. 

A Girls Guide To Cars | Electrify Expo: Unveiling The Future - Electrify Expo Toyota Bz4X Drivers Side Legroom And Entertainment Screen Are Impressive Kim S

I discovered an impressive multimedia screen and legroom in the Toyota bZ4X at the Electrify Expo. Photo: Kim S

Maximizing Your Electrify Expo Experience

1. Early Bird Gets the Drive

Kickstart your Expo adventure by arriving early – doors swing open at 10:00 AM. An early entrance gives you optimal time for test drives and to explore a wider range of vehicles. Stroll around, register and take in the event. Learn from our experience: arriving in the mid-afternoon will limit your test-drive opportunities. 

2. Extra Hands for Family Ease

When attending with little ones, an extra set of adult hands can be a lifesaver. Particularly if you have children aged 5 and under who can’t hop into vehicles during test drives without a car seat. A smart strategy if you’re a family of drivers: while you test-drive, the other adult can supervise the kids. Rotate roles and make the most of your test-drive opportunities.

3. Beat the Heat

The Expo is an outdoor affair, and the sun can be relentless. Pack essentials like water, sunscreen, shades, and a hat. 

4. Comfort Meets Mobility

Ensure your comfort by wearing comfortable shoes. You’ll be walking and exploring, so your choice of footwear can significantly impact your enjoyment.

5. Have Your Driver’s License Ready for Action

Remember your driver’s license. Without it, you won’t be able to test-drive any vehicle. Keep your ID handy to make the most of each ride.

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The 2023 Toyota Sequoia Capstone i-FORCE MAX at the Electrify Expo. Photo: Kim S

Electrify Expo Tickets and Access

Seattle, Miami, and Austin are next in line in the nationwide series. General admission tickets, ranging from $10 to $20, provide you with all-day access to exhibitor displays, demo courses, and the Kids Zone. And remember kids aged 5 and under are free of charge. VIP tickets, available in Austin, offer even more exclusive opportunities.

The Electrify Expo is more than a car show; it showcases the future of cars and transportation. It was a reminder that we are at the cusp of a revolution, one many of us eagerly await.

Until then, keep your eyes on the road – the future is electric! 

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Kim Smith is a 30-something-year-old wife and do-it-all mom of two beautiful daughters; her rainbow babies. As if working... More about Kim S.