How to Host a Virtual Ride and Drive

April 28, 2021 | | Events

For many of us, it feels like it has been years since we have been able to gather in one place. We have grown accustomed to social distancing, wearing masks, and avoiding large crowds, and now a nationwide vaccination effort is underway. With National Drive Electric Week on the horizon, September 25 through October 3, 2021, organizers are deciding how to host successful and safe events in the pandemic.

Ride and drives, a popular type of National Drive Electric Week event, have been a way for the electric vehicle (EV) industry to promote the transition to EVs and for the public to learn about and experience what it is like to drive electric. Before the pandemic, ride and drives were held in-person, bringing in dealerships, EV owners, and charging companies at an informational event. They also provided the opportunity for prospective EV owners to test drive several models of EVs.

In the era of COVID-19, organizers found a way to shift ride and drives to the virtual world. Taking best practices from others in the field, we present you with some tips below that you can use to host ride and drives successfully online.

There are two primary formats we have seen that give prospective owners a taste of what they could experience in-person:

  1. Host a panel of EV owners and have them answer questions from attendees.
  2. Include a video of a test drive. Partner with a dealership or an EV owner to show what it is like to charge and drive an EV.

You can also combine the two for an event similar to one hosted by Plug-in America and Drive Electric Minnesota.

Regardless of the format, here are some suggested topics to cover in a virtual ride and drive:

  1. What is an EV, and why should people drive one?
  2. Different models of EVs
  3. Existing infrastructure in your area
  4. How to charge at home and in the community
    1. Charge levels: level 1, 2 and DCFC
    1. Charging rates and programs from utilities
  5. Buying experience
    1. What is the cost of the vehicle?
    1. What incentives are there in your area?
    1. What can you expect to save on fueling and maintenance?
    1. Options to lease
  6. How to research trip routes
  7. Other
    1. The impact of local weather on battery life
    1. New announcements from automakers on investments into EVs
    1. Show adoption growth charts for EVs in your state
    1. Pertinent policies, such as ones at the federal, state, city, and local levels

To help you set up your virtual ride and drive, Drive Electric Minnesota has compiled a checklist available to download.