Gahanna residents will have an opportunity to get behind the wheel of an electric car and get a glimpse at what the future holds for transportation.
Thanks to a partnership between the city of Gahanna and Smart Columbus, a Ride and Drive Roadshow is coming to Creekside between noon and 7 p.m. July 27 at 117 Mill St. Residents will have a chance to test drive electric vehicles and learn more about Smart Columbus' commitment to shift to electric vehicles and other transportation alternatives.
Advance registration is required for a test drive at smartcbus.com/gahanna.
"We're excited to be the first suburban city outside of Columbus to host the Ride and Drive Roadshow," said Tom Kneeland, Gahanna mayor. "As a city, we are committed to the efforts of Smart Columbus, and the mobility and economic opportunities it will bring to our region."
Jordan Davis, director of Smart Cities at the Columbus Partnership, said the Roadshow is an experience that Smart Columbus has been taking to workplaces and public events since fall 2017.
"To date, we've hosted nearly 4,000 drives, and we're looking forward to bringing this experience to the residents of Gahanna," she said. "Residents can expect to be escorted through an experience where they will first learn about the benefits of electric vehicles, and about Smart Columbus and commitment to electrification."
Afterward, residents will have the chance to get behind the wheel.
Smart Columbus is bringing nine battery electric vehicles and plug-in hybrid vehicles to the Gahanna event, including a Nissan LEAF, a Honda Clarity and a Tesla Model X.
Guests will take the vehicles for a spin and get to experience for themselves the performance and handling of an electric vehicle, Davis said.
Then they'll return to Creekside Plaza, take a survey to tell about their experience and receive some free Smart Columbus "swag."
Attendees also can learn about the shared mobility options Columbus has to offer, such as the Central Ohio Transit Authority, bicycle-sharing services and car-sharing services.
"Electric vehicles are the vehicles of the future -- nearly every OEM (original equipment manufacturer) has made a public commitment to increase production of EVs (electric vehicles) in the short- and long-term," Davis said.
The mission of Smart Columbus is to make the city future-ready, both by expanding infrastructure and by creating a culture that embraces innovation and the shift toward connected, autonomous shared and electric vehicles, she said.
"Through the Smart Columbus Ride and Drive Roadshow, we'll help Gahanna residents imagine what their future mobility options will look and feel like, and experience first-hand how driving electric is a more exciting, convenient, sustainable and affordable way to get around our great city," Davis said.