Columbus, Ohio, wants you to test drive an electric vehicle at its experience center

Slated to open in June, the Smart Columbus Experience Center is part of the Ohio capital city's push to encourage adoption of electric vehicles and other sustainable technologies.

Set to open this June in Ohio, the Smart Columbus Experience Center will offer the public an up-close look at the city’s tech-centric transportation plans. 

The aim is to offer the public a hands-on experience to learn more about any mystifying technology. Visitors will be able to test drive a range of electric cars in hopes that it eases any concerns they have about the technology. The center will also showcase cutting edge and sustainable technologies. According to the Columbus website, the goal is to improve people’s quality of life, drive growth in the economy, provide better access to jobs, and foster sustainability.

“Technology and innovation in transportation will grow our economy and put our people on ladders of opportunity toward a better life,” Columbus Mayor Andrew Ginther said in a statement.

Though electric vehicles only make up one percent of vehicles in the United States, the price of batteries is dropping. This price decrease along with more charging station infrastructure could attract more people to electric vehicles.


“Demystifying the technology and helping those who are curious about driving a plug-in is the goal and one of the primary means of encouraging test drives of the electric cars,” said Zach Henkin, deputy director of Forth, in a statement.

The 3,000 square foot center is expected to cost $1 million. A portion of the cost is set to be paid for by a grant the City of Columbus won from the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Smart City Challenge.

In addition to interactive exhibits, the space will host workspace, conference rooms, and an event space.

The center will be open six days a week to the public.

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