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Cleco Power hosts ride and drive expo to showcase advancements in electric vehicle technology

Drive and Drive Expo
May 15, 2023
Opportunity to learn and test drive

Today, elected officials and business leaders in central Louisiana had the opportunity to hear about the economic and environmental benefits of electric vehicles (EVs) and test drive vehicles at Cleco Power’s EV Ride and Drive Expo.

The expo was at Cleco Power’s corporate headquarters in Pineville from 9 a.m. to Noon.

“This was a unique opportunity to learn and get behind the wheel of an EV,” said Jay McCalmont, director of transformation and innovation. “We partnered with experts for hands-on learning, and they shared that knowledge with us and our community leaders.”

Louisiana Clean Fuels, Drive Electric Louisiana, local car dealerships and private EV owners brought multiple types of EVs to the expo, including models by Ford, Toyota, BMW, Mercedes Benz, Kia, Tesla and Rivian. Cleco Power’s new EVs were also on display.

“This partnership with Cleco Power is a great way for our Drive Electric chapters to educate the public on the benefits and capabilities of EVs in the market today,” said Ann Vail, executive director of Louisiana Clean Fuels. “From personal vehicles to work trucks, there are more EV models available at your local dealerships than ever before.”

“The adoption of EVs is an electrification initiative that supports sustainability, and we’re seeing a growing focus on electrification across multiple industries, including the energy, transportation and industrial industries,” said Shane Hilton, president of Cleco Power. “Electrification will cut emissions and help us decarbonize.”

Vehicle electrification is the replacement of a gasoline powertrain with an electric powertrain.

“A Cleco customer will emit 50 percent less vehicle lifetime emissions when driving a battery electric vehicle compared to an internal combustion model, all while spending 40 to 60 percent less on fuel,” said Richard Biedenharn, electric vehicle program manager for Cleco Power. “The transition to EVs will deliver immediate and significant net emission and economic benefits,”

Cleco Power’s long-term sustainability goal is to reduce emissions 60 percent by 2030 with an aspiration of zero emissions by 2050 through decarbonization.

“Sustainability is driving decarbonization. When we are more sustainable, we can meet current needs as well as protect the planet for future generations, which includes Louisiana families,” said Hilton.

“However, it is going to take a while. As we work toward decarbonizing our generation and vehicle fleets, we will have to balance these initiatives with reliable and affordable energy sources.”