Twin Cities Auto Show features electric vehicle test drives, new experiences

Test drives of these plug-in vehicles are available 4 to 8 p.m. on Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Wednesday and Friday, and 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday.

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People attending the 2019 Twin Cities Auto Show will get a chance to test drive the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV or the 100-percent electric Nissan LEAF as part of the Xcel Energy Electric Test Drive, an EV Ride & Drive event supported by Xcel Energy, Midwest EVOLVE, and CarSoup.com. The Twin Cities Auto Show will be held March 9-17 at the Minneapolis Convention Center at 1301 2nd Ave S. in Minneapolis.

Those taking test drives will experience innovative features like the Nissan LEAF‘s e-Pedal, 360-degree cameras for parking assistance, in-car infotainment, and pre-heating and cooling technologies. Test drives of these plug-in vehicles are available 4 to 8 p.m. on Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Wednesday and Friday, and 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday. The test drives are made possible by Xcel Energy, Midwest EVOLVE, CarSoup.com, White Bear Mitsubishi, and Nissan.

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New this year, Great River Energy is offering free VIP EV parking and vehicle charging at the entrance to the Twin Cities Auto Show for electric vehicle owners on a first-come, first-served basis. The EV driver also receives free admission to the show. The reserved parking area for electric vehicles is located off 2nd Avenue.

Also new this year is the Re-Model A, an electric vehicle with the iconic look and styling of the Model A, but enhanced with the forward-thinking technology of a plug-in hybrid electric engine. Mitsubishi and West Coast Customs brought this classic symbol of innovation to the Twin Cities Auto Show and other auto shows across the country.

Some of the newest electric vehicles in the market will be on display in the Auto Show’s Electric Room. Sponsored by Great River Energy, The Electric Room features a variety of electric vehicles, including the all-new Jaguar I-PACE, Audi e-tron, Nissan LEAF, Chevrolet Bolt EV, and the Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid. While there, sign up for a chance to win a 24-month Ally lease of the Outlander PHEV SEL. The Outlander PHEV is an all-wheel drive vehicle.

Those who visit The Electric Room can find the public charging stations nearest to their home or work by using the PlugShare map kiosk. Local electric vehicle owners and project partners will be on hand during the nine-day event at the Minneapolis Convention Center to explain the environmental, energy security, and economic benefits of electric vehicles. The MN Plug-in Vehicle Owners, a local group of EV owners and enthusiasts, also will be available to answer questions and provide additional information.

“Plug-in vehicles are receiving a lot of attention for their environmental advantages and outstanding performance,” said Lisa Thurstin, manager of clean air programs for the American Lung Association in Minnesota and coordinator of the Twin Cities Clean Cities Coalition. “The Auto Show is a terrific opportunity to learn about plug-in electric vehicles.”

Thurstin is the leader of Midwest EVOLVE, which stands for Electric Vehicle Opportunities: Learning, eVents, Experience. The project has more than 60 partners, including Clean Cities coalitions throughout the Midwest, Argonne National Laboratory, PlugInConnect, automakers, utilities, state agencies, municipalities, dealerships, and dealer associations.

Midwest EVOLVE and its partners have held or participated in more than 190 events across the Midwest with 5,000 test drives completed over the past two years in Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, North Dakota, Ohio, and Wisconsin.

Midwest EVOLVE is based upon work supported by the U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE), under Award Number DE-EE0007743. To learn more, visit www.midwestevolve.org or follow on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.

The 46th Annual Twin Cities Auto Show is sponsored by the Greater Metropolitan Automobile Dealers Association of Minnesota, Inc. (GMADA). The GMADA is an organization of 130 new car and truck franchised dealers in the Greater Minneapolis and St. Paul area. For more information, visit TwinCitiesAutoShow.com and follow on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

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