Electric Revolution: Walla Walla Agrees to Host World Class Electric Vehicle Festival in 2022 | New
The year is 2022. The place is Walla Walla. And the streets are filled with electric scooters, bicycles, motorcycles, trucks, cars and even tractors in what could become the world’s first electric vehicle festival: the Electric Revolution.
This is the vision of Paul d’Orléans, who appeared before Walla Walla City Council on Monday August 23 to present the Electric Revolution, a three-day festival and showcase that would take place on Memorial weekend. Day in 2022. The board agreed to sign a non-binding letter of intent to host the festival, which, if successful, could become an annual Walla Walla event.
A historian specializing in automotive culture, motorcycle history and electric vehicles, d’Orléans has worked as a curator for the past four years at the Petersen Automotive Museum in Los Angeles, one of the largest automotive museums in the world. He is also the founder of The Vintagent, a digital magazine exploring images and stories from the motorcycle world.
He’s also hosted festivals before, mostly smaller multi-day events in California. But with the Electric Revolution, d’Orléans said on Monday that he was dreaming big. The proposed three-day event would include races, art exhibitions, live music at the Range Amphitheater, and a world-class concentration of electric vehicle technology.
“I’m interested in how stories move culture and I’m interested in creating a great story about electric technology and vehicles that aren’t told,” d’Orléans told board members Monday. “Electric vehicles are actually really fun, they’re really powerful, and they have the potential to be incredibly green. “
This is the story that d’Orléans wants to share with a wider audience, by bringing together the cutting edge of electric vehicles from around the world in a single field to present not only the technology, but also the pleasure that the future of transport could. to bring. The electric revolution wouldn’t just be about comparing charging speeds and battery life, d’Orléans said.
“No one has ever done, say, electric drift racing or electric motorcycle racing, and there is no electric bike racing,” d’Orléans said. “Looking at all these different areas where competitions exist, almost none of them have an electrical component yet.”
“And they will, but wouldn’t it be cool to be the first in the world?” “
The festival’s entertainment and competition could also extend to young people in the community, d’Orléans suggested. Instead of a soapbox derby, local schools could be given specs on a low-powered engine that all contestants could use, build the car around the engine, and then compete against each other.
The opportunities to show off new technologies would not be limited to commuter vehicles either. With major agricultural equipment producers like John Deere pledging to electrify their vehicles, there are opportunities to highlight electric vehicles in the agricultural sector amid the rolling wheat fields of the Walla Walla Valley, a added from Orleans.
“We are looking to offer the full range of electric vehicles, from single-seaters and one-wheel skateboards to bicycles, off-road motorcycles and ATVs, including sports bikes, cars and 4x4s and excellent agricultural equipment”, declared d’Orléans.
But why Walla Walla?
“Walla Walla is a small town in the middle of nowhere,” Mayor Tom Scribner said on Monday. “Why the hell would you want to do something that hasn’t been done anywhere in the world to Walla Walla?”
Closer to a big city, Orleans explained, a large multi-day festival can be a logistical nightmare – and “I’m not a big fan of the suburbs either,” he said. The event would need a lot of space for attendees to test drive electric vehicles, which is more available in a rural area like Walla Walla. The city’s world-class wineries and restaurants, of course, don’t hurt, d’Orléans noted.
“Walla Walla is now a world-class destination,” said d’Orléans, who has passed through town on motorcycle tours since the 1980s. “We are simply relying on good fortune on your incredible soils. “
While the first year of the electric revolution, which is due to take place in a west coast city in fall 2021 and Walla Walla in spring 2022, is already ambitious, d’Orléans said on Monday it has the potential. to grow considerably year after year. After all, the festival’s lineup would evolve as the technology it puts forward evolves.
“There aren’t enough electric monster trucks in the world for us to have an electric monster truck rally right now,” d’Orléans said. “But in 2023, I’m sure there will be.”
With the right place and a little elbow grease, d’Orléans said, the Electric Revolution could be, well, revolutionary.
“It’s such a new concept,” said d’Orléans. “There is nothing like it in the world right now.”