02 May Charged Up and Ready to Go
Electric Vehicles at the 2019 Washington Auto Show
D+R International’s Andre Javier Barry and Brian Booher recently traded a day in the office for a day at the 2019 Washington Auto Show. While it may sound like a fun day looking at cool cars, it was really a fact-finding mission to see first-hand the latest electric vehicle (EV) to hit the market.
We sat down with Andre and Brian for a Q&A to get their insight on the auto show and the new EV models and technology.
Q: Which electric vehicle models caught your eye?
Andre: Riding the Hyundai Kona Electric with a professional stunt driver was a thrill. Taking such sharp turns, accelerating and stopping quickly was really exciting. The Jaguar I-Pace was also very impressive and stylish, but the lower price range of the Kona makes it a more realistic next car.
Brian: I could definitely see myself in the Hyundai Kona Electric. It has limited distribution currently – but Maryland is one of the states where it is available. One thing I really liked about the new electric car models was that they were stylish but were not trying hard to look futuristic or different from other vehicles in the line-up. It gave me the sense that the EV market is growing up, and car makers feel comfortable standing by the performance rather than the novelty.
Q: What were your impressions of the ride-and-drive events
Andre: It’s exhilarating to ride in a car with a stunt driver. And to do so without any rumbling internal combustion engine and only the screeching tires is a thrill. All the emotion really gets you to connect with the car.
Brian: It was definitely exciting, and perfect for an event like this where you want to make a lasting impression. The driver very calmly talked about the features while whipping us around the course, but I was too focused on staying in my seat to pick up all the details!
Q: What was your biggest take away from the 2019 Washington Auto Show in regard to EVs?
Andre: When manufacturers invest in the customer experience, it is really easy for a customer to envision what it could be like to be an EV owner. The EVs on display were not set aside in a corner of the show. They were front and center. And the manufacturer reps could answer any questions I had, which was quite the contrast to my experience trying to buy an EV from dealerships.
Brian: I left feeling very excited about the state of the electric vehicle market. While the ICE vehicle models dominated most of the floor, the EVs were featured prominently and the manufacturer reps were knowledgeable and enthusiastic. If the manufacturer did not have a full battery electric vehicle in their line-up, the rep was quick to talk about what was in the works. Among the new BEV and Plug-in hybrid models were crossovers and SUVs that should be popular with US consumers. It will be very interesting to see what’s new in 2020.