We are Smart Columbus and we are:

Driving EV market growth.

Driving an EV makes a statement about your values—and also says that you invest in innovation. We’ve been strategic in growing the EV market and educating consumers, businesses and organizations about the benefits of EVs to align with our community that’s advancing toward the future.

Though many people equate EVs with West Coast living, several Midwest cities, including Columbus, have been prioritizing the drive electric movement.
Jordan Davis, Director of Smart Columbus, The Columbus Partnership
The Smart Columbus Difference

The Columbus region is now the fastest growing EV market in the Midwest.

We wouldn't be here without Smart Columbus programs and interventions.

EV Market Research & Influence

Understanding EV Early Adopters

In order to create programs, education and incentives that would be most impactful to reaching our goal, we first had to establish a clear understanding of the consumer landscape in Columbus. The baseline consumer awareness survey helped us better understand opportunities and barriers to EV adoption in the region, and how local measures of EV adoption compare to nationwide EV figures.

What we learned
EV Market Research & Influence
Ride & Drive Roadshow

12,000 EV Test Drives in Two Years

The Ride & Drive Roadshow is Smart Columbus’ flagship EV education program, driving EV adoption by providing opportunities for residents to test drive EVs of all varieties in a low-pressure, brand-agnostic, educational environment.

120 events
11,956 drives completed
77 unique host sites
84% closed events at workplaces
1,528 drivers opted-in to be contacted by a dealership
87% of drivers rated the experience very good or excellent
4.8 star rating for the trained right seat drivers
Smart Columbus Experience Center

Creating a Brand Agnostic EV Education Environment

The Smart Columbus Experience Center includes 3,000 sq. ft. of co-working space and a 3,000 sq. ft. showroom open to the public with a rotating fleet of EVs for residents to test drive.

Making test drives accessible
OEM Engagement in a Non-ZEV State

FROM 2016 TO 2020


FROM 2016 TO 2020

Creating an EV Sales Environment at the Dealership

To reach its electrification goal, Smart Columbus had to recreate the success of EV adoption programs found in ZEV states without the statewide policy support. We also had to encourage OEMs to bring inventory to Ohio, though the state lacked the market that made EVs so attractive to buy in ZEV states. Through discussions with dealers, manufacturers and consumers, we developed the Electrified Dealers framework to create a high-quality EV sales environment.

Tactics on engaging with OEMs
Electrified Dealers

An EV Sales Environment for the Dealership

Through discussions with dealers, manufacturers and consumers, we developed the Electrified Dealers framework to create a high-quality EV sales environment.

Learn about Electrified Dealers

Dave Gill Chevrolet

At a time when being a single-point automotive dealership became challenging, Dave Gill Chevrolet focused on EV sales and became one of the more successful EV niche dealerships in the nation, selling more new Chevy Bolts and Volts than any other Chevy dealer in Ohio in 2018.

Tips from niche EV dealers

Ricart Automotive Group

Ricart Automotive Group has always been at the forefront of change in the automotive industry. The dealership realizes that it must continue to be on the forefront of change, as EV adoption is projected to increase sharply in years to come.

More from an innovative dealer

The Importance of Statewide EV Investment

By 2030, the economic growth generated by transportation technologies stand to generate more than $6 billion in capital investment, more than $900 million per year of manufacturing value added, more than 9,000 middle-income jobs in the industry, and 18,000 additional jobs throughout the rest of the economy in Ohio.

More report insights
EV Fleet Adoption

Private EV Fleet

Public EV Fleet

Electrifying vehicle fleets is the most cost-effective way for our region to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. During the Electrification Program, 319 fleet EVs were procured by a diverse number of organizations. Over the next five years, the EV market will expand with viable electric heavy-duty vehicles, trucks, buses and other work machinery that will change the make-up of transportation forever.