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Electrify Expo 2021

When fighting for a cause, it pays to gather people together. Meetings, rallies, expositions, they’re all ways of collecting the like-minded in one place to really make progress. When that cause is a climate-neutral future, things get tricky. Assembling a global crowd in one place causes untold emissions. Electrify Expo, America’s largest e-mobility event, had a clever solution.

I had that lightbulb moment when I drove my first electric vehicle. Everyone should experience what I've experienced.

They gathered in multiple places.

Held over three separate weekends in Orange Country, Miami, and Austin, Electrify Expo was an outdoor weekend festival showcasing the best in emission-free mobility, from EVs to e-surfboards and everything in between.

“It’s the beating heart of e-mobility,” says founder BJ Birtwell. “It gathers the world leaders of electric mobility in one place. So, someone who’s considering an electric vehicle doesn’t need to spend weeks test driving and comparing. They can come to Electrify Expo, and within a few hours figure out what vehicle fits their lifestyle.”

A lifelong automotive enthusiast, Birtwell had a long-held assumption that the tell-tale roar of an internal combustion engine was an integral part of the driver experience. “When you’re a car guy and you love performance, you think that if you can’t hear the rumble of a V8, that vehicle pretty much lacks a soul,” he explains. “I didn’t realise how wrong I was until 2016, when I drove my first electric vehicle. At that point, the lightbulb moment happened. Everyone had to experience what I’d just experienced.”

September 18th-19th saw the first instalment, in Orange Country Great Park in Irvine, California. The Miami Marine Stadium hosted the next from October 16th to the 17th. And the final venue, Austin’s Circuit of the Americas, held the final weekend from November 12th to 14th.

Fittingly for Texas, the numbers were so high as to be record breaking. 21,150 attendees. 17,695 demos. 55,742 square meters of exhibit and demo space. And over 75 brands. Including Polestar.

Not that the numbers were any less impressive across the three locations. With almost 1,500 test drives, people on the east, west, and south coasts of the US were getting plenty of face time with Polestar 2. And were more than happy to share their impressions.

“I love how quiet the cabin is,” enthuses one attendee. “That was something I was concerned about but it’s so quiet. I hear zero road noise.”

“The Google Assistant feature is really useful,” says another. “Especially here in Miami, people drive so crazily. It’s good I can keep my hands on the wheel and just use voice commands.”

And, in a testimony to the Polestar design language which expresses that it’s a premium car that happens to be electric, one visitor remarked that “I really like how the Polestar doesn’t look like it’s even electric.”

And lest it be thought that Electrify Expo was merely a place to experience the fun of electric vehicles, real progress was also being made. Panels were held, featuring city planners, charging experts, and automotive leaders. Keynotes from green technology innovators were delivered. And a sustainable electric future came closer to reality.

One gathering at a time.

“It was just smiles for miles,” enthuses Birtwell. “People need to be able to experience these things for themselves. And once they do, they’ll have that lightbulb moment as well.”

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