Get Behind the Wheel – Driving Electric at the Denver Auto Show

March 26, 2024

The Den­ver Auto Show is the third old­est auto show across the coun­try. Since 1902 it has served as a hub for auto enthu­si­asts to come togeth­er and appre­ci­ate inno­va­tion in the vehi­cle space. Dri­ve Elec­tric Col­orado par­tic­i­pat­ed in the last two years by run­ning the elec­tric vehi­cle (EV) ride-and-dri­ve com­po­nent of the show, edu­cat­ing atten­dees about EVs and charg­ing as inter­est across the state has grown and more EVs have hit the roads. In part­ner­ing with Xcel Ener­gy, Dri­ve Elec­tric Col­orado (DE-CO) has been able to pro­vide an impres­sive ride-and-dri­ve expe­ri­ence for atten­dees to learn about dri­ving elec­tric in an inter­ac­tive way – by get­ting behind the wheel.

Last year, at the 2023 Den­ver Auto Show, DE-CO facil­i­tat­ed 1,160 EV test dri­ves through their ride-and-dri­ve expe­ri­ence. Atten­dees could choose a hands-on dri­ving expe­ri­ence from an elec­tri­fy­ing line­up that includ­ed the Audi Q4, Hyundai IONIQ 5, Volk­swa­gen ID.4, Ford F‑150 Light­ning, Vol­vo C40, Nis­san Ariya, Polestar 2, Kia EV6, and Nis­san LEAF. From sedans to trucks, the line­up was select­ed to show­case the ver­sa­til­i­ty that EVs bring to the auto­mo­tive landscape.

Of the more than 1,000 ride-and-dri­ves tak­en, 44% were made up of first time EV dri­vers like me. While I had been inter­est­ed in the EV land­scape for quite some time, I had nev­er been pre­sent­ed with the oppor­tu­ni­ty to get behind the wheel in a no-pres­sure envi­ron­ment. At the Den­ver Auto Show, I was able to learn first­hand about the unique fea­tures of an elec­tric vehi­cle, such as regen­er­a­tive brak­ing, with­out the oblig­a­tion of buy­ing a vehi­cle I had wor­ried I would feel at a deal­er­ship. The expe­ri­ence was very pos­i­tive. I was joined by a pro­fes­sion­al dri­ver in the vehi­cle who helped me to nav­i­gate the dri­ving route and talked me through the vehi­cle func­tions. After­wards, I was able to speak with the team at Dri­ve Elec­tric Col­orado, who answered my ques­tions and pro­vid­ed me with EV resources on tax cred­its, Xcel Ener­gy rebates, and more.

Oth­er atten­dees had sim­i­lar expe­ri­ences. Par­tic­i­pants were sur­veyed before and after their test dri­ve to gauge their thoughts on and expe­ri­ences with EVs. Before the ride and dri­ve, 34% of dri­vers indi­cat­ed that their next vehi­cle would be elec­tric. After the ride and dri­ve, that num­ber jumped to 47%. Once again, I found myself in this group. Fast for­ward five months lat­er, I need­ed a new vehi­cle. After a lot of research and using the resources pro­vid­ed by Dri­ve Elec­tric Col­orado, I decid­ed to get my own Volk­swa­gen ID.4. Not only was this my first new car pur­chase, but it was an elec­tric one! I was able to uti­lize both the fed­er­al and state tax cred­its off the point of pur­chase price, total­ing a $12,500 savings.

I am so thrilled that I was able to get behind the wheel of an EV at the 2023 Den­ver Auto Show. EV edu­ca­tion goes a long way, but noth­ing beats being able to dri­ve one for your­self and ask ques­tions in a no-pres­sure envi­ron­ment. My sto­ry is just one instance of that. Of the 1,160 oth­ers who drove elec­tric at the auto show, many are now also dri­ving EVs of their own.

This year, the Den­ver Auto Show is tak­ing place April 4th — 7th, at the Col­orado Con­ven­tion Cen­ter. Dri­ve Elec­tric Col­orado will be part­ner­ing with Xcel Ener­gy once again to pro­vide an Elec­tric Vehi­cle Ride-and-Dri­ve Expe­ri­ence. Whether you already dri­ve elec­tric or have nev­er got­ten behind the wheel, there is a space for you to both learn and expe­ri­ence more about the pos­si­bil­i­ties that elec­tric mobil­i­ty has to offer.

Recent Posts

Earth Month 2024 Event Recap

Earth Month 2024 Event Recap

We believe every month is Earth Month, and April is no different! Throughout April, many cities and organizations hosted a variety of Earth Day celebrations across the state of Colorado. Drive Electric Colorado attended 13 events throughout the month, serving as a...

How an Electric Truck Kept the Lights On

How an Electric Truck Kept the Lights On

Electric vehicles have been using electrons across highways for over a decade now. For most, it’s an alternative fuel source to do the same job: transport people from point A to point B. But as EV’s begin taking more market share, many EV’s are starting to take shape...

Aspen School District – Fleet Success Story

Aspen School District – Fleet Success Story

Location: Aspen, CO Fleet Type: School District   Narrative Aspen School District (ASD) serves over 1,500 students across its five schools. In 2018, ASD began planning for the electrification of its fleet, consisting of 21 full-sized school buses. The school...


Take the pledge to make your next car electric!