Electrify Expo returns to Long Beach with auto industry's latest EVs

Dave Kunz Image
Saturday, June 1, 2024
Electrify Expo returns to Long Beach with auto industry's latest EVs
That future of electric vehicles will be on the display this weekend in Long Beach with the return of Electrify Expo.

LONG BEACH, Calif. (KABC) -- Electric vehicles were a niche not long ago, but now they're a major part of the personal transportation arena. And the Electrify Expo has grown right along with them.

"Forget everything you knew about electric cars from three or four years ago. Come to Electrify Expo this weekend, and have your mind blown," Electrify Expo's founder BJ Birtwell said.

The event will be held at the Long Beach Convention Center this weekend.

This show, which travels the country, has become the place for EV and plug-in hybrid makers to show off their newest. Not to mention, their goals for the future.

"We're on a rapid pace to become a fully electric car maker. We want to be climate neutral by 2040," said Russell Datz of Volvo Car North America.

"We're going to see some curves, we're going to see some bumps, but we're going there," remarked James Bell of Kia America. "And this company, Kia, is very, very heavily committed to that."

Rivian brought its upcoming smaller, more affordable model, the R3X - one of its first public showings.

And Ford gets the prize for creativity. They're powering their entire display area with the huge battery of the F-150 Lightning pickup. Thinking about backup power for your home? With a special bi-directional charging system, the Lightning can take care of that, too.

"We have the automatic backup power capability that allows you to just plug your truck in, and if anything happens it'll just start powering your house," said Ken Williams, a Ford Motor Company engineer out of Dearborn, Michigan.

Gas-free mobility here doesn't stop at cars. There are motorcycles, e-bikes and electric scooters of all types. Many with demo rides available.

And you don't just go to look at electric cars, you can take a drive in one, or a drive in several. If you've never driven an EV before, it's a very different experience.

"It's cliché to say, but it's butts in seats. It truly is," noted Bell.

"I highly recommend getting in one," added Datz. "We'd like you to drive ours, but drive any, because the experience is like nothing you've felt before."

So if you want to see the latest in the EV world, camp out for a few hours at the Long Beach Convention Center - even if you don't necessarily want to brag about being green.