via Smart Columbus

Electric Vehicle Test Drive Center and Smart Columbus Showcase Coming To Scioto Mile

Smart Columbus announced plans to open the Smart Columbus Experience Center, a massive transportation learning destination.

The project is expected to cost $1,000,000. Although some funding will come from the $10 million grant Smart Columbus won as part of the Smart Cities Initiative in 2016, the budget will also be bolstered by private investments. Additionally, Smart Columbus has requested some funding from the State of Ohio Capital Bill.

170 S Civic Center Dr. via Google Maps

The Smart Columbus Experience Center is also seeking donations of technology, vehicles, and environmental design services. “The Columbus Way is how we approach all big ideas and big challenges in Columbus, and this project will be no different – we need public and private partners to bring our vision for this community space to life,” said Alex Fischer, President and CEO of the Columbus Partnership.

“We are optimistic that local and national technology leaders will answer our call for support, so we can realize our vision for a hands-on, dynamic educational space.”

The new center will be located at 170 S Civic Center Dr. on the Scioto Mile. The space will feature a 3,000 square foot showroom that will showcase cutting-edge transportation and sustainability technologies, as well as interactive educational exhibits. The Experience Center will be free and open to the public 6 days a week.

via Smart Columbus

Potentially the coolest part of this whole center will be the opportunity to test drive electric vehicles. Residents will be able to check out the cars up close and ask questions without the pressure of making a purchase.

“Consumers want a place to test drive and learn without sales pressure. This new space will be a great way to engage the Columbus public about the benefits of electric vehicles,” said Zach Henkin, Deputy Director of Forth, which opened an electric vehicle education showroom in Portland in May 2017.

The new location will also provide office space for Smart Columbus, who are currently based out of Franklinton’s Columbus Idea Foundry. The Smart Columbus Experience Center is expected to open in June and remain open through 2020.

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