A Northwest Arkansas event to raise the awareness about the benefits of electric cars and e-bikes is gearing up for its second year.
Drive Electric NWA is set for 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 30, at Pinnacle Hills Promenade in Rogers.
This year’s event comes with six new sponsors, a bigger giveaway, children’s activities, a food truck and ice cream vendor, and a DJ who will create the perfect Saturday afternoon vibe. It’s part of National Drive Electric Week (Sept. 22-Oct. 1).
Drive Electric NWA addresses all aspects of transportation that are powered by an electric battery. People who work for manufacturers, car dealerships, bike shops, car-charging companies and electric utilities will be on hand to answer questions about how Northwest Arkansas can prepare for an e-powered future.
“Attendees can learn from people who own and sell electric cars and e-bikes,” said Rob Smith of the Northwest Arkansas Council, the event’s lead organizer. “They can explore how to embrace transportation powered by plugging in instead of fueling up.”
While Tesla dominates the EV market nationwide and in Arkansas for now, more and more electric vehicles manufactured by Ford, General Motors, Toyota, Volkswagen, Rivian, BMW, Kia and Nissan are coming to market. About 2,100 local residents are now driving all-electric cars and trucks, and thousands of others are driving plug-in hybrids that use both electricity and gasoline, Benton and Washington counties’ records show.
Cyclists, meanwhile, are taking advantage of electric power, too. Riders on the Razorback Regional Greenway can attest to the growing variety and number of e-bikes using the path between Bella Vista and Fayetteville.
“Electric vehicles have arrived, and Arkansas’ new car and truck dealers are at the forefront, leading the charge to prepare everyone for this automotive technological revolution,” said Greg Kirkpatrick, president of the Arkansas Automobile Dealers Association, one of the event’s sponsors. “Dealers are not just excited; they’re electrified! They understand their essential role in alleviating concerns among Arkansans, from range anxiety to navigating new vehicle features, and ensuring easy access to warranty, recall, and general repair services.”
Attendees age 18 and older can register to win a $2,500 credit toward purchase of electric cars, e-bikes or other items related to electric transportation from Drive Electric NWA sponsors.
This year’s new sponsors include ACDI Energy Services, a division of ACDI focused on EV-charging solutions; Envirotech, an Arkansas-based provider of heavy-duty electric vehicles; Pedego Fayetteville, an e-bike retailer; Phat Tire Bike Shop, a sales and repair shop with locations in Arkansas and Oklahoma; Seal Solar, a solar energy solutions firm; and Tesla, which operates a Tesla Service Center in Tulsa.
Returning sponsors are the automobile dealers association, Arkansas Clean Cities, Canoo, Carroll Electric, Evolve Auto, Flux Car Charging, Francis Energy, Lewis Automotive Group, the Northwest Arkansas Council, the Northwest Arkansas Regional Planning Commission, Nunnally Chevrolet, Ozarks Electric, PeopleForBikes, SWEPCO and the Tesla Owners Club of Arkansas.