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Electric Vehicle Ride + Drive event highlights future of car transportation in Whitestone

An electric Volvo parked outside the Greater New York Automobile Dealers Association headquarters in Whitestone on Tuesday, Oct. 19. (Photo by Paul Frangipane)

The Greater New York Automobile Dealers Association (GNYADA) hosted a ride and drive event on Tuesday, Oct. 19, in Whitestone, to showcase some of the latest electric cars and talk about the future of transportation.

The event, which took place at 15-30 Petracca Pl., aimed to highlight the opportunity for tech jobs, infrastructure investment and pollution reduction that electric cars will bring.

GNYADA President Mark Schienberg talked about hosting their first electric vehicle ride and drive at the Javits Center eight years ago.

“It’s easy to say, and I feel confident to say, that dealers are all-in on electric vehicles,” Schienberg said. “We’ve made a huge huge investment on it and it’s exciting.”

Greater New York Automobile Dealers Association President Mark Schienberg speaks at an Electric Vehicle Ride + Drive event at GNYADA’s headquarters in Whitestone on Oct. 19. (Photo by Paul Frangipane)
Scott Shaw, president and CEO of Lincoln Technical Institute, speaks at an Electric Vehicle Ride + Drive event at the Greater New York Automobile Dealers Association headquarters in Whitestone on Oct. 19. (Photo by Paul Frangipane)
Electric cars parked outside the Greater New York Automobile Dealers Association headquarters in Whitestone on Tuesday, Oct. 19. (Photo by Paul Frangipane)

Schienberg mentioned that New York auto show was the first and largest auto show in North America, and the first vehicles shown at old Madison Square Garden were electric vehicles and steam-powered.

“We are coming in full circle now with electrification that’s really happening and it’s exciting to see that,” Schienberg said. “There really hasn’t been a more profound time and change in transportation maybe since the late 1800s, when there was this change over from transportation of a horse and buggy to a motorized vehicle. This is going to be the next big revolution in car transportation.”

The event showcased more than two dozen of the latest electric cars supplied by local franchised car dealers. The cars were tested on close track in their parking lot.

Electric cars parked outside the Greater New York Automobile Dealers Association headquarters in Whitestone on Tuesday, Oct. 19. (Photo by Paul Frangipane)
Drivers take test runs of electric vehicles at a Greater New York Automobile Dealers Association Electric Vehicle Ride + Drive event showcasing more than two dozen of the latest electric cars outside their headquarters in Whitestone on Tuesday, Oct. 19. (Photo by Paul Frangipane)
Drivers take test runs of electric vehicles at a Greater New York Automobile Dealers Association Electric Vehicle Ride + Drive event showcasing more than two dozen of the latest electric cars outside their headquarters in Whitestone on Tuesday, Oct. 19. (Photo by Paul Frangipane)

There are 55 electric models in showrooms in greater New York, with 25 models coming next year.

There are nearly 50,000 public charging stations in the U.S., with a total of 109,034 ports and more than 1 million electric vehicles on the road in the country.

New York is planning to ban the sale of gas-powered cars by 2035, as Gov. Kathy Hochul signed a bill amending the state’s environmental conservation after it passed the state’s Senate and Assembly in September.

Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie attended the event, and spoke about the benefits of electric cars.

“Anything we can do to limit the carbon emissions that are coming into our atmosphere I think is a great thing to do for our future generations,” said Heastie, adding that he owns a 330e Hybrid BMW. “One of the things we do have to do if we’re asking everybody to make the personal investment [is ask] the corporations and the dealers to make the business investment. We need the infrastructure in order to charge up these cars.”

New York State Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie speaks at an Electric Vehicle Ride + Drive event at the Greater New York Automobile Dealers Association headquarters in Whitestone on Oct. 19. (Photo by Paul Frangipane)
New York State Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie steps into an electric Porsche at an Electric Vehicle Ride + Drive event at the Greater New York Automobile Dealers Association headquarters in Whitestone on Tuesday, Oct. 19. (Photo by Paul Frangipane)

Heastie added that they’re in the process of turning over the Assembly’s fleet of vehicles to electric and hybrid.

“I just want to show my personal and the Assembly’s position on doing our share and our part on improving the environment, and also making sure that we lead the way if we’re asking people to save this planet for future generations,” Heastie said.

With reporting by Paul Frangipane.

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