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March 14th, 2018

Smart Columbus Presents A Vision For Future Mobility With The Launch Of The 2018 Ride & Drive Roadshow At The Columbus International Auto Show

Central Ohio drivers invited to experience electric vehicles and alternative modes of transport March 15-18

Columbus, OH, March 14, 2018 - Smart Columbus is putting local residents in the driver's seat of its efforts to transform the future of mobility in central Ohio during the Columbus International Auto Show, March 15-18. In its first appearance at the Auto Show, Smart Columbus will showcase how technology change and rapid innovation are driving shifts in mobility, and enable attendees to experience new technologies firsthand by test driving one of 15 electric and plug-in hybrid electric vehicle models and climbing aboard Columbus' alternative transit options.

The show is the first stop of the 2018 Smart Columbus Ride & Drive Roadshow, a touring educational event designed to help achieve Smart Columbus' goals of increasing central Ohio electric vehicle sales by 486 percent and reducing single occupant vehicle commutes to large workplaces by 10 percent by 2020. Following the Auto Show, the Roadshow will tour more than 50 central Ohio workplaces and community events in 2018. Smart Columbus intends to conduct more than 120 events and 20,000 EV test drives by 2020.

The Roadshow is funded by the $10 million grant awarded to Columbus by the Paul G. Allen Philanthropies as the winner of the 2016 Smart City Challenge sponsored by the U.S. Department of Transportation. The grant seeks to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in Franklin and the contiguous counties.

"Electric vehicles are the vehicles of the future-nearly every OEM has made a public commitment to increase production of EVs in the short and long term," said Jordan Davis, director, smart cities for the Columbus Partnership. "The mission of Smart Columbus is to make our city future-ready, both by expanding our infrastructure and also by creating a culture that embraces innovation and the shift toward connected, autonomous shared and electric vehicles. Through the Smart Columbus Ride & Drive Roadshow, we'll help central Ohio residents imagine what their future mobility options will look and feel like, and experience firsthand how driving electric is a more exciting, convenient, sustainable and affordable way to get around our great city."

Vehicles available for test drives include:

  • 2018 BMW i3, provided by BMW
  • 2018 Chevy Bolt, provided by Dave Gill Chevrolet
  • 2018 Chevy Volt, provided by Dave Gill Chevrolet
  • 2018 Chrysler Pacifica, provided by Performance Chrysler Jeep Dodge Ram
  • 2018 Honda Clarity, provided by Honda Marysville
  • 2017 Mercedes 350e, provided by Daimler
  • 2018 Mercedes GLE 550e, provided by Daimler
  • 2018 Mitsubishi Outlander, provided by Ricart Automotive
  • 2018 Nissan Leaf, provided by Nissan and Buckeye Nissan
  • 2018 Prius Prime, provided by Toyota Direct

Vehicles on display in the Smart Columbus experience will also include:

  • 2018 BMW X5, provided by BMW
  • 2018 Chrysler Pacifica, provided by Byers Chrysler Dodge Jeep
  • 2018 Honda Clarity, provided by Lindsay Honda
  • 2018 Mini Cooper Countryman, provided by BMW
  • 2018 Mitsubishi Outlander, provided by Ricart Automotive
  • 2018 Nissan Leaf, provided by Ricart Automotive

"Honda Marysville, Performance Chrysler Jeep Dodge Ram and Toyota Direct are all thrilled to be partnering with Smart Columbus to provide test drive opportunities for Auto Show attendees," said Bruce Daniels, dealer principal, Performance Columbus. "There is no better way to learn more about a new vehicle than to take it for a spin, so we wanted to be able to allow show-goers to experience driving electric first-hand in a few of the products we're proud to offer, including the Clarity, Prius Prime and Pacifica."

"We're excited to partner with Smart Columbus to help get the word out about electric vehicles people can buy today," said Sam Spofforth, executive director of Clean Fuels Ohio. Volunteers from Clean Fuels Ohio's Drive Electric Ohio initiative-many of them EV owners themselves-will be on hand to share their experiences with EVs with show attendees. "We know from direct personal experience that once you drive an EV, you fall in love with it. The low cost of ownership and environmental advantages just add to the value."

The Smart Columbus experience will also give Auto Show attendees the chance to learn about- and climb aboard - Columbus' multimodal transit options, with vehicles on display from the Central Ohio Transit Authority, car2go, CoGo Bike Share and Columbus' newest micro-transit provider, Chariot. The multimodal trip options presented at the Auto Show will help educate show attendees on alternatives to driving, which supports Smart Columbus' efforts to reduce reliance on single occupant vehicles.

"Smart Columbus is about transforming not just what it's like to drive, but what it's like to move, in central Ohio," said Davis. "By expanding access to and awareness of smart mobility options in our city, we can make our community more competitive and sustainable, and also create greater access to opportunity for all our residents."

"CMAX, the first bus rapid transit line in central Ohio, is a brand new way for COTA to provide public transportation in our growing region," said Emille Williams, interim president/CEO for the Central Ohio Transit Authority (COTA), which will exhibit one of COTA's newest CMAX buses in the Smart Columbus experience. "CMAX is an advanced transit option that operates along Cleveland Avenue, one of COTA's busiest corridors. High-frequency service, coupled with technology like traffic signal priority, real-time information screens, on-board Wi-Fi and USB charging ports, make CMAX convenient, reliable, and up to 20 percent faster than other bus service."

The Columbus International Auto Show will be located at the Greater Columbus Convention Center, in Exhibit Hall B. Smart Columbus Ride & Drive drive times will be available Thursday, March 15 and Friday, March 16 from 12:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.; Saturday, March 17 from 10:00 a.m. to 8:30 p.m.; and Sunday, March 18 from 12:00 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. Drivers must be 18 and have a valid driver's license, and can register for a drive time at Participants must have a ticket to the Columbus Auto Show to enter.


About Smart Columbus
The City of Columbus' Smart Columbus plan won the U.S. Department of Transportation (U.S. DOT) $40 million Smart City Challenge in June 2016 after competing against 77 cities nationwide to become the country's first city to fully integrate innovative technologies - self-driving cars, connected vehicles and smart sensors - into its transportation network. Columbus was also awarded an additional $10 million grant from the Paul G. Allen Philanthropies to accelerate the transition to an electrified, low-emissions transportation system. Aligned investments totaling more than $500 million have been made by the private, public and academic institutions in the region to support technology and infrastructure investments that upgrade Columbus' transportation network and help make Columbus the model connected city of the future. Smart Columbus is a regional smart city initiative co-led by the City of Columbus and Columbus Partnership that includes partnerships with The Ohio State University, Battelle, American Electric Power and many more.

For more information, visit the Smart Columbus website

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