Boards that appear to fly over water, jets that zip divers through deep seas, and mini-trucks with powerful towing potential are among the cutting-edge e-mobility machines featured at New York’s first Electrify Expo this weekend.
Children and adults alike whizzed around Nassau Coliseum Saturday on electric-powered e-bikes, e-mopeds, e-skateboards and in EV cars. There were also three-wheeled "Fun Utility Vehicles" made by Arcimoto, and other green micro-mobility vehicles on hand.
Thousands of attendees are expected at what organizers called the largest EV vehicle event of its kind, and the third one of five being held nationwide this year. The outdoor event continues Sunday.
Expo founder BJ Birtwell said he hopes to bust long-held myths about green vehicles, including misconceptions that they don’t have enough range or that they take too long to charge.
“We’ve got to get past the old technology that still resides in people’s heads. Some of these EVs are going over 500 miles and they can charge 80% in just an hour,” Birtwell said.
People came from as far as Connecticut to inspect and test-drive smaller gadgets, plus new EV and hybrid cars from Volvo, Kia, BMW, Porsche, Toyota and Polestar, displayed in 1 million square feet of space. Among the green-powered novelties, spectators could check out electric Seabob water jets that speed underwater; Fliteboards that make riders feel like they’re soaring over water; and powerful Pickman mini EV trucks.
According to a Consumer Reports survey, top barriers to buying an electric vehicle are charging logistics, followed by distance on a full charge and lastly, costs of purchasing, owning and maintaining one. A federal tax credit of up to $7,500 could incentivize buyers.
Jasmin Jackson, 22, of the Bronx, said she enjoyed trying out e-bikes on the track and learning more about the EV market. She would consider purchasing one herself.
“It was really fun, just being able to experience different bikes, and seeing how fast they go, how slow they go and knowing they have different things for everyone. … Just to be able to not destroy the environment, I would rather go electric,” Jackson said.
Some Long Island-based businesses also made a splash. Patchogue-based Big Cat, which sells electric bikes, unveiled a new electric-powered attachment for wheelchairs.
“Some of these bikes used to get 15 minutes [of operating time]; now I get five hours on one charge. You don’t have to spend money on gas, so people who commute less than 15 miles now use this,” said Vincent Gebbia, CEO of Big Cat, adding the e-bikes are under $2,000.
Joe Cuevas, 42, of Ridge, said he previously purchased two Big Cat e-bikes, one for himself and another for his father.
“Whenever I go to his house, I jump on it and go for a couple of hours. …You don’t have to worry about going out on a trail and not having the energy to get back home,” said Joe’s 69-year-old father, also named Joe Cuevas. “It’s wonderful.”
Birtwell said people attend the expo for various reasons.
“Some people come because they want to be more conscious of their carbon footprint, some people need more of a micro transport to get around, and the problem is, when you walk into major retailers or dealerships, you don’t have the opportunity to try out these products. …We are the solution to that,” he said.
Sunday's hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; admission is $20, and free for children 5 and younger.
CORRECTION: Arcimoto is the manufacturer of the three-wheeled “Fun Utility Vehicle.” Its name was incorrect in a previous version of this story.