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Chicago Automobile Trade Association Hosts Second Annual “Chicago Drives Electric” EV Test Drive and Educational Event: Sept. 29 – Oct. 1

The Chicago Automobile Trade Association (CATA), the area’s new-car dealer association and producer of the Chicago Auto Show, announced the return of Chicago Drives Electric, to be held Sept. 29-Oct. 1. In alignment with National Drive Electric week, Chicago Drives Electric aims to raise awareness on a local level of the many benefits of all-electric, hybrid and plug-in hybrid vehicles and help consumers understand how EVs can fit individual needs and lifestyles.

Registrants will have the opportunity to test drive and experience a variety of brands, ranging from luxury to mainstream, including Alfa Romeo, Audi, Cadillac, Chrysler, Ford, Hyundai, Jeep, Kia, Nissan, Toyota, Volkswagen and Volvo. Models include the Audi RS e-tron GT, Cadillac LYRIQ, Ford Mustang Mach-E, Hyundai IONIQ 6, Nissan ARIYA, Toyota Prius Prime, and Volvo C40 Recharge, among a variety of others. Kia will also have its all-new EV9 three-row SUV on static display, allowing Chicago Drives Electric attendees one of the first chances to see this vehicle in person. Automakers will once again enlist knowledgeable product specialists to be on hand throughout the event to field consumer questions and help demonstrate the features and benefits of each vehicle.

In addition to putting interested parties behind the wheel of an array of the latest EVs, event organizers are bringing in a variety of experts to help break down the various aspects of EV ownership and tackle complex topics such as range anxiety; at-home charging solutions; on-the-go charging and infrastructure; tax credits and incentives; and where people can begin their search. On-hand experts will include representatives from, CHARGE Enterprises, ComEd, Drive Chicago and Powering Chicago.

The inaugural Chicago Drives Electric event, held in fall of 2022, produced nearly 3,000 in-vehicle experiences for interested consumers, and this year is shaping up to attract even more attendees to experience a wider portfolio of brands and models.

“Chicago Drives Electric is a unique experiential event that allows the public to get behind the wheel of the latest electrified vehicles back-to-back,” said JC Phelan, Chicago Auto Show chairman. “Space is limited to ensure a quality experience for all involved. When spaces for the fall event fill up, we’ll encourage people to visit the 2024 Chicago Auto Show’s Chicago Drives Electric EV test track inside McCormick Place, which will provide ample opportunities for interested parties to learn about and experience the latest EVs.”

“The expanded Chicago Drives Electric hub at the 2023 Chicago Auto Show hosted five brands with a wide range of EVs to test drive, producing more than 155,000 in-vehicle experiences,” Phelan added. “This is a testament to the continued momentum behind Chicago Drives Electric as auto manufacturers debut the latest models and new technology.” 

“The EV market continues to be in a rapid growth pattern,” added Kelly Webb Roberts, CATA chairwoman. “As the public navigates this next generation of driving, we want our communities to know that the Chicagoland new-car dealers are here to be partners in that journey. After more than a century of driving internal combustion engine vehicles, consumers are destined to have questions on the expeditious push to EVs, and Chicagoland’s new-car dealers are crucial in providing those resources and much-needed education.”

Registrations have limited capacity and are available at on a first-come, first-served basis. Once all time slots have filled, a waitlist will open for those wishing to attend.

For more information, visit: and follow Chicago Drives Electric on Facebook and Instagram. Test drives are reserved exclusively for the public who pre-registered for the event.

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