Car show illustrates how Peachtree Corners is leading the way in EV technology

Published: Sep. 24, 2022 at 12:14 PM EDT
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PEACHTREE CORNERS, Ga. (CBS46) - A city just north of metro Atlanta could be called the tech hub of the southeast. Peachtree Corners hosted its first-ever all-electric car show, but there were more than just hot rods on display.

From Luxury cars and trucks with horsepower, to campers, and even little robotic assistants that follow you around, the only thing different about Saturday morning’s car show in Peachtree Corners is that every vehicle on display was electric.

“We turned over our public infrastructure to allow companies to come and play in it,” said Brain Johnson, Peachtree Corners city manager.

It’s no coincidence that one of the largest EV car shows in metro Atlanta took place in Peachtree Corners, home to Curiosity Lab, a 500 acre tech hub.

“We created an ecosystem for companies to come and test or demonstrate innovative technologies within spaces of mobility, smart city, IOT, cyber security, you name it,” said Johnson.

A great example of that is Beep, which was on display at the car show. A year ago, the city deployed a fleet of three, fully autonomous, electric shuttles that loop the city Monday through Friday, serving as public transportation.

Georgia’s public service commissioner attended Saturday’s event. While he touted the city’s autonomous vehicles and numerous EV charging stations, he also made the case for making EVs more accessible to everyone. He says the Biden administration’s Inflation Reduction Act can help because for the first time it’ll offer a tax credit for used electric vehicles.

“That going to be huge. A car like my Nissan Leaf, while it might not be great for driving to Panama City Beach, it’s wonderful for running errands,” said Tim Echols, Georgia public service commissioner. “So, we really need to be thinking about the entire strata of what people can afford.”

Commission Echols is also calling for EV tax credits to be reinstituted at the state level here in Georgia.

Meanwhile, the city manager of Peachtree Corners hopes other cities across the country will do what they’re doing, driving public and private innovation.

“You never know, tomorrow or next year we may be seeing tech you know scaled up out of something like this that we wouldn’t have seen had we not done this,” said Johnson.