BRITE Energy Innovators partnered with Number 1 Cochran Chevrolet Buick GMC in Boardman for the Mahoning Valley's first EV Fest.

Their goal is to drive the Future of EVs and a cleaner future forward.

"There are a lot of questions out there, and that's one reason we wanted to bring this event to the Mahoning Valley for the first time ever so that you can come and talk to EV owners, and ask those types of questions and work with our professionals that know all about EV's to put those concerns aside," Joe Zumpella Marketing Director at #1 Cochran Chevrolet, Buick, GMC said.

"There is the energy aspect of it, the cost savings in fuel, the technology in EVs is fantastic, you have to check it out. They're a fun vehicle to drive," Zumpella added.

There was a Cadillac Celestiq and other EVs to test drive.

Justin Lauer who drives his Tesla from Hermitage to Columbus on a fairly regular basis kept his his Ridgeline Honda Truck just in case but sold it since his gasoline-powered truck cost much more to use. He only kept his EV explaining it allows for much greater savings.

"If you had to do 100 percent charging it would probably cost you $18.00 to $19.00 using the outside infrastructure," Lauer said.

Lauer was referring to a round trip to Columbus and the cost of using his EV.

He tells 21 News he has not had problems charging his vehicle and fully charged the range on his Tesla is about 300 miles.

We asked about a story about a mom and her daughter who were given an EV rental and no instructions and ended up stuck in their rental when the vehicle had no charge. The women were trapped inside the EV and had to call a tow truck driver who did know how to help them get out. 

Lauer explained there are releases in the car on the door of the Tesla that can open the doors when the vehicle is not charged.

He explained that Tesla and other dealers work to ensure you know how to use the EV you purchase or lease.

Other EV owners were also happy with their choice to showcase their vehicles.

Number One Cochrane donated $10,000 dollars to Brite Energy Innovators, a local nonprofit that helps energy start-ups become viable to help fuel growth in our region.

"We're here to incubate and get more technology to the market faster so we can create good-paying jobs and so we can create a cleaner future," Rich Stockburger President & CEO of BRITE Energy Innovators said.

He tells us in the last four months, five percent of all new car sales are electric vehicles, and in all 19 countries that reached that benchmark, they went from five percent to 25 percent in around four years.

Stockburger explained how exciting it is to buy an EV with an EV battery built right here at Ultium Cells in our Voltage Valley.