Philly Auto Show shows the future is electric

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Visitors can’t buy cars directly at the auto show, but Pacifico says about 90 percent of visitors come to the show looking for their next car.

Rich Terrell, regional sales operations manager for Ford Motors, said a record number of people are ordering cars directly from the factory because they can’t find a wide selection on the lot.

“It’s at the lowest levels we’ve seen in recent history,” Terrell said. “What we’re seeing is consumers placing custom orders from production at the highest rates we’ve ever seen in company history. As a result, you get the vehicle you want to be custom built for future production, rather than the old business model, which is to build a model, we ship it to the dealer and you accept that vehicle from dealer stock. .

Ford Business Operations Manager Rich Terrell straps in for a ride in a Mustang Mach-E at the Philadelphia Auto Show. New this year is a 50,000 square foot track where visitors can ride in the latest electric vehicles. (Emma Lee/WHY)

The big push this year is in electric cars. The Auto Show is launching the E-Track, a 50,000 square foot open space dominating one side of the main hall where new electric cars are available for testing.

The auto industry estimates that in five years about 30% of all cars sold will be electric cars, but Terrell said many people are still skeptical of electric vehicles because they’ve never used one.

“It’s an opportunity to experience what it’s like to be in an electric vehicle,” he said as he settled into a four-door Mach-E sedan. “Torque, horsepower are actually improved compared to a gasoline engine.”

Terrell proved his point by laying the floor of the car with me in the passenger seat. The sudden, intense acceleration felt like a roller coaster.

This caused this reporter to bark involuntarily.

“The vehicle itself has incredible acceleration thanks to the electric powertrain,” he said, thankfully slowing down in a U-turn.

A 2023 Mustang Mach-E drives around the 50,000 square foot EV track at the Philadelphia Auto Show. (Emma Lee/WHY
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