EVs Take Center Stage at Washington Auto Show
WASHINGTON — Forget a weeklong vote to get a House speaker, when all is said and done, the biggest news of the month may well be how electric vehicles dominated center stage at the Washington, D.C., Auto Show.
The annual event returned to the Washington Convention Center this past weekend and will run through Jan. 29. Tickets for car lovers start at $12 and top out at $49 for those interested in taking a VIP tour.
This year’s spotlight on electric vehicles — including a revamped all-new EV pavilion — comes on the heels of a record year for battery-powered electric vehicles in the U.S.
As of late December, EV’s enjoyed a market share of over 6% in the U.S., and the automotive industry believes that number will grow to nearly 50% over the next seven years.
At present there are 38 makes and models for U.S. consumers to choose from, and the majority of them are being shown at this year’s show.
“It’s all about electric vehicles. We are all in,” said John O’Donnell, the president and CEO of the auto show, in a conversation with reporters.
While last year’s EV pavilion sought mainly to introduce electric vehicles to the driving public, this year’s pavilion aims to show attendees what the future of getting around might look like.
That means in addition to passenger cars, there will also be a display by the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority, showing off its latest green buses, and that will be just a short walk from a display of electric bicycles and a new bike test track operated by Washington’s own ElectriCity Bikes.
Nearby, Arcimoto will be showcasing its three-wheel electric utility vehicles, while Von Mercier will demonstrate its first ever Arosa Electric Sports Hovercraft.
Meanwhile, Pepco EVSmart takes the EV adventure outdoors and onto the streets of D.C. with their exclusive Ride ‘N Drive.
In addition to all this, Toyota’s first all-battery EV, the bZ4X, is making its debut at this year’s auto show.
Overall, the event’s promoters say the electric vehicle lineup for 2023 is bigger, faster and more luxurious than a year ago.
And if anyone is interested in potentially purchasing an electric vehicle, the Washington Auto Show website allows buyers to see which vehicles on display qualify for the clean vehicle tax credit before attending the event.
The credit, a part of the Inflation Reduction Act, can save consumers up to $7,500 when purchasing an electric vehicle.
Ironically, the Washington, D.C., Auto Show arrives at a time when the European Union and several foreign governments are urging President Joe Biden to expand the tax credit to include European makes and models.
On Friday, the United Auto Workers, International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers, United Steelworkers, the Sierra Club and Public Citizen sent a joint letter to the president, urging him to resist such pressure.
“The IRA has the potential to be a gamechanger for the industrial towns hit hardest by decades of offshoring,” the letter said.
“We strongly urge you to ensure that the IRA is implemented as intended, without delays or technical changes that erode its promises to U.S. workers and climate goals,” it added.
The Walter E. Washington Convention Center is located at 801 Mount Vernon Place, N.W. Washington, D.C. 20001.
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