Electrify Expo showcases the best electric vehicles, e-bikes and more in Long Beach

With the electric future well underway, more automakers are hoping to join the wave and deliver an electric vehicle that consumers will choose for their next vehicle purchase. Average battery life for worthy models may seem on the rise, but the truth remains that most affordable economy cars are still on the edge of anxiety. However, as battery capacity and motor efficiency increase, other evolutionary milestones affecting the future of transportation and mobility will continue to emerge.

A range of less conventional transportation options already suited to electric battery power currently solve many of the outstanding EV problems for a large subset of potential customers who live in urban environments. Automakers and companies hoping to revolutionize the way humans travel can work together to help raise awareness of electric alternatives through events like the 2022 Grand Opening. Expo electrifywhich I just visited at the Long Beach Convention and Entertainment Center last weekend.

Welcome to the Electrify Expo

A huge, encouraging line greeted me after I pulled into the parking garage, where I parked my somewhat guilty V8-powered gas guzzler. Obviously, the Electrify Expo marketing team spread the word, advertising a wide range of companies planning to offer demos and trials of their products. The first booth that caught my eye after walking through the doors featured four Polestar 2s, which I explored in hopes of discovering more sophisticated interiors than the stripped-down 2 in Long Range Single Motor trim that I reviewed earlier. this spring.

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Lucid Motors Leads the Charge

Then I walked over to where a large crowd had gathered around a Lucid Air. Lucid Motors caused a stir with deliveries to customers last year of an electric vehicle capable of traveling more than 500 miles on a single charge. A hefty price tag well into the six-figure range bars entry for most consumers, though the company plans to release a slew of low-cost crossovers and options in the coming years that will hopefully n will only offer slightly reduced range odds.

People wanted to get up close to the Air to experience Lucid’s extremely cohesive design and advertising principles, though the California-based startup also brought along a few cars for driving demos. Unfortunately, by the time I walked into Electrify Expo, the list to get behind the wheel of an Air (as opposed to riding, which I did almost a year ago in Monterey) already looked like an expectation about four hours.

RELATED: Here’s Why You Should Buy an Air Lucid Over a Tesla Model S

Demo discs for consumers and skeptics

Nevertheless, I made my way to the driving and demonstration area, but with FuelFest somewhat ironically on my schedule for the afternoon, I couldn’t commit to waiting that long for the chance to drive one of the most anticipated cars of this century. Instead, I watched people ride off in Polestars and Kias, or don helmets to take Harley-Davidson’s LiveWire electric motorcycle spinoff on fast rides. After experimenting with the convenience of a Vintage Electric Shelby e-bike and recently getting my motorcycle license, an e-motorcycle seems like probably the perfect solution for my own minimal commuting.

RELATED: 10 Reasons The Harley-Davidson Livewire Deserves More Respect

Electric motorsport attracts big names

While the automotive industry as a whole, including aftermarket enthusiasts, continues to embrace electric vehicle technology, some of the credit goes to motorsport. Formula E using batteries and motors instead of petrol and motors was definitely the pioneer of electrified competition, although Nitro Rallycross (stylized as RX) also showed up at Electrify Expo with a newcomer to the new Group E class. Delivering a peak 1,070 horsepower, the FC1-X can launch to 60 miles per hour in a claimed 1.4 seconds, which should be plenty for riders Travis Pastrana and Conner Martell as they chase a title in the novel EV built to shred dirt and close gaps while raising awareness of electric performance potential.

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Mainly a general public exhibition

While motorsport provides a format intended to spread awareness of electric vehicles, the crowd attending Electrify Expo clearly knows or wants to know more about the electric options available now or in the future. The broad demographic at hand very obviously casts a much wider net than any average car show, although I wondered why fewer companies showed up to show charging options beyond the proprietary technology that automakers sell with their vehicles. I’m on board with EVs, but with nowhere to charge in my apartment, I just can’t bring myself to make an actual purchase.

RELATED: These are the types of home charging stations you need for your electric vehicle

Alternative electric transport

Of course, after zipping around West LA on the Shelby e-bike, ditching cars altogether sounds even better. And many complete alternatives to what we can now call traditional electric vehicles also showed up at Electrify Expo, ranging from skateboards to battery-powered scooters.

RELATED: How Jeep’s Electric Bike Is A Real Threat To Harley-Davidson

A big boom in electric bikes

An entire section of the show dedicated to e-bikes provides a middle ground, combining the power of human legs with varying levels of electric assistance. I tested some Super73 e-bikes on the short loop and set up some media loans to further explore how e-bikes can hope to meet most urban consumer transportation needs.

RELATED: The C1X Concept Is the First-Ever Super73 Electric Motorcycle

New names in a growing field

I also spotted a few as-yet-unknown electric vehicle companies that presumably showed up hoping to expand their reach. Indi EV based in downtown Los Angeles has brought its electric crossover promising a range of 300 miles and available for reservation now. Whether this is a new company delivering a vehicle so similar to those nearly every automaker unveiled at the last Los Angeles International Auto Show remains a question only time can answer.

RELATED: 2021 LA Auto Show: 10 Things We’re Looking Forward To

Differing visions of the electric future

More radical visions of the electric future stray from the design of the four-door, five-seat crossover that most automakers apparently believe every driver on the planet needs. These tiny three-wheelers from ElectraMeccanica seemed to regularly attract curious attendees, though curiosity doesn’t always translate to commercial success in such a tough and growing market segment.

RELATED: Here’s What We Know About the 2022 Electra Meccanica Solo

Equipment manufacturers get in on the action

Major OEMs still represent the biggest players jumping headlong into EVs today, hoping to claw back some of the market share Tesla won with the first and impressive EV options. The likes of Volkswagen, along with siblings from Subaru and Toyota (and Kia and Hyundai), are all now offering entry-level electric crossovers. The issue of range anxiety persists, however, as a base bZ4X offers an EPA-rated range of 252 miles, less than a Tesla Model S when the company’s first four-door rolled out. beginnings more than a decade ago.

Of course, having driven more than a few EV options now, I can report that the range figures in excess of a few hundred really meet the needs of anyone who can regularly charge at home and plans to use their car for commuting. Electrify Expo was clearly aimed at these curious consumers, with a look to the future and promises of sustainability on display at almost every company’s booth. Driving to FuelFest this afternoon in my V8-powered car, I wondered if the trip from Santa Monica to Long Beach to Irwindale and back home would leave me worrying about range before the end of the day if I made the trip in one of the entry-level EVs available on the market today.

Sources: electrifyexpo.com, fuelfest.com, super73.com and driveindi.com.