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2021 Green Energy Ohio Statewide EV Tour!

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We’re one week away from the start of the Green Energy Ohio Statewide EV Tour!
Next Monday, on June 7, Green Energy Ohio will kick off our 2021 Statewide Electric Vehicle Tour in Shaker Heights. From there until we arrive at our final destination in Columbus on June 11, we’ll cover a lot of miles. Across the state, we’ll be meeting EV owners and enthusiasts; entrepreneurs and innovators; business leaders and public officials, and asking them to share their perspectives on this transformative technology.
This month, we are dedicating the entire newsletter to the Tour, with details about each day listed below. During Tour week, we will post the next day’s schedule every night, and you can find each day’s schedule in this email by clicking on the dates or the images below. We hope that some of you will be able to join us in person when we visit your area. If you can’t be there, we will be recording and posting video from the events on the GEO website every day. Some events will be livestreamed and links to those will be available on the website schedule next week. A few stops require advance registration, so be sure to check for those as well.
We want to thank our generous statewide and regional sponsors, partner organizations, and dedicated planning team. It seems like yesterday, but it was six months ago that we held our first planning team call. Although we had a vision for the Tour early on, we could not have imagined how the event would grow in scope and scale through the efforts of so many committed volunteers. We hope that you can experience it with us!
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Jane Harf, Executive Director
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Monday, June 7 is our kick-off day and also one of the busiest. We’ll start the morning in Shaker Heights talking with Mayor David Weiss and other local leaders about the importance of EVs to their residents and constituents. Then we’re off to Lakeland Community College to meet with Laketran and hear their plans for electrifying public transportation in Northeast Ohio. Many students commute to LCC where they’re trained in a variety of skills essential to working in the clean energy sector, and they’ll be riding electric buses soon! State Representative Dan Troy will share his views on the political future of electric vehicles and renewable energy in Ohio.  Bring your EV or stop by to ride in one at the rally that follows.
If you’re more of a two-wheel driver, the Livewire — the first all-electric Harley Davidson with instant acceleration and 146-mile city range — is for you. We’ll head to Bedford Heights for a visit with Southeast Harley Davidson, hear from owner Paul Meyers, and have lunch at a famous diner in the middle of the showroom!
In the afternoon, we’ll host a panel discussion with Tour partner BRITE Energy Innovators in Warren. Panelists from Ultium Cells, IBEW Local 573, and Workforce Education and Innovation at Youngstown State University will tell us why this area of Northeast Ohio has come to be known as Voltage Valley. Registration is required.
Then on to the University of Akron to visit with the faculty and students who are a part of the Zips Racing Team competing in the Formula SAE Electric Race Series. The day ends in Canton, with a ride on one of SARTA’s fuel-cell powered electric buses with CEO Kirt Conrad.
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Tuesday will be spent in Wooster and Oberlin. The Wooster area is home to Schaeffler Emobility Systems, an important part of the EV supply chain, and to GOJO, whose onsite solar array helps to power the EV charging stations available to employees and guests. Wooster can also boast of having a public charging station since 2014 that operates on the honor system. If the Harley wasn’t your style, take a look at an E-Bike when we visit the Ride On Bicycle Shop.
The Oberlin stop will highlight their first-in-the-state public EV car share program that is an important component of Oberlin’s Climate Action Plan. Local officials committed to ensuring the region’s progress will be joining us, including Oberlin City Manager Rob Hillard, Director of Municipal Light and Power Doug McMillan, Director of Planning and Development Carrie Handy, and Lorain County Mobility Manager Sharon Pearson. We will also feature the Paradox Prize grant that provides a shared EV for nonprofits dedicated to job placement and training and sheltering the homeless.
Dave Gedeon of the Toledo Metropolitan Area Council of Governments will join us in Oberlin to discuss best practices in coordinating local governmental planning with regional energy, environmental and transportation goals, and we’ll learn what the electric vehicle boom of the late 19th and early 20th centuries can teach us about 21st century clean transportation.
Agriculture is Ohio’s largest single industry, and we’ll end the day on Tuesday talking with Dale Arnold of the Ohio Farm Bureau Federation about the potential for electrification of farm vehicles and the challenges of developing machinery that can fully accommodate agricultural requirements.
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Wednesday the Tour travels to Dayton and Cincinnati for several exciting events. We’ll meet at the Carillon Historical Park in Dayton to view vehicles and talk with exhibitors, then move inside to hear remarks from Sinclair Community College, Plug Power, Solar Power & Light, Dayton Regional Green, Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley, Dayton Sustainability Manager Mark Charles, and Montgomery County Commissioner Carolyn Rice. After lunch there will be another opportunity to mingle with EV enthusiasts before heading to Sinclair Community College for a look at the Sinclair Automotive Center Tesla START Program, one of eight Tesla technician training centers in the nation and the only one in the Midwest.
The Cincinnati Zoo is the setting for a great ride and drive event. In addition to taking a close look at different vehicle models, we’ll have a chance to visit with Drive Electric Cincinnati; Solarize Cincy & Solar United Neighbors; the University of Cincinnati Bearcat Solar Race Car Team; EVentures Rentals; Solar Energy Solutions; and Electrada, whose charging stations can be found in the Zoo parking lot.
We’re ending the day at Melink Corporation in Milford where we’ll get a glimpse of the workplace of the future. At one of the most successful clean energy companies in Ohio, most employees drive electric cars and charge them at work with 62 solar-powered charging stations. We’ll take a tour of Melink’s newest LEED Platinum and net-zero headquarters building, see its hybrid geothermal system, the 60-foot wind turbine, and solar arrays. We’ll hear from founder and CEO Steve Melink and other local leaders, including Cincinnati Mayor John Cranley.
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Thursday starts with a livestream only event in Logan, talking to Police Chief Jerry Mellinger about the department’s decision to supplement their fleet with electric vehicles. Public service vehicles like fire engines and police cars have unique requirements for dependability, safety, and efficiency, which is why it’s very exciting to see EVs enter this market.
Moving south to Athens, we’ll visit with SOPEC and hear about the solar and microgrid system that powers the water treatment plant, one of the city’s two biggest energy users. The other is the Community Center, and that’s where we’ll visit with Mayor Steve Patterson about Athens’ commitment to sustainability and clean energy. In 2018, Athens voters approved a carbon fee on electrical services, the proceeds of which will be used for future development of solar PV systems on publicly-owned buildings. Collection of the fee began last year, and the balance in the Athens Public Solar Fund now stands at over $75,000.
There’s nothing better at the end of a summer day than enjoying a cold beer and locally-sourced food. Join us as we sit outside at the Little Fish Brewing Company, a craft brewery dedicated to renewable energy and sustainability, and watch folks riding along the HockHocking Bikeway on electric scooters and bikes.
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Our last day on the road features sites in the Capital City. All of us have hailed a cab many times in our lives, but how many of them were electric vehicles? Yellow Cab of Columbus is investing in an EV fleet as part of their overall sustainability commitment, and we’ll have a chance to talk with them about the future of this competitive industry. Groups limited to 15 people and registration required.
Our second stop will be at the world class Center for Automotive Research (CAR) at The Ohio State University. With over 57 visiting scholars, 64 CAR-affiliated faculty, 50 undergraduate students, 120 graduate students, and nearly $11 million in research funds, CAR is engaged in every aspect of vehicle development. We will tour their facility and learn about the projects that they’re working on. Tours will take place at 11:00 am, 12:30 pm, and 2:00 pm. Groups limited to 15 people and registration required.
The Tour finale will take place at the Smart Columbus Experience Center in downtown. We will toast to the the journey we have taken, the people we have met, and the knowledge we have gained. Meet leaders from the business community, nonprofit organizations, and government agencies that support vehicle electrification. Please note that only vaccinated persons are allowed in the Center.

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