Electrify Expo New York entrance

Electrify Expo 2023: our 5 favorite cars from America’s biggest EV auto show

Earlier this month, we were somehow entrusted with media credentials for Electrify Expo at Nassau Coliseum in Long Island, just East of New York City (not too far from where we hold NYCars & Coffee each week). This little EV-focused festival was less New York International Auto Show and more CES, minus all the boring stuff from CES that doesn’t sit on four wheels. Unlike a traditional media expo full of idle concept cars designed to drum up headlines, Electrify Expo gave us the chance to drive cars that are already out, but without the anxiety-inducing pressures that come with test-driving at a dealer.


Although we didn’t have time to take every car on display out for a spin, we at least had the opportunity to get up close and personal with a few notable models from top carmakers like Lexus, Ford, Volvo, and Tesla. Without getting too in the weeds, I do have Some Opinions on the cars we saw. No, that doesn’t include the Ford Lightning. I did drive it, but I’ll save those thoughts for another day. Maybe when I’ve moved on mentally from the Fisker Alaska.

1. Mustang Mach-E GT

Electrify Expo 2023: Ford Mustang Mach-E GT
Image credit: Gabe Carey (Acceleramota)

I unabashedly love the GT version of the Mach-E. The base Mach-E is whatever, but Electrify Expo flawlessly demonstrated why the Mach-E GT deserves a second look. For one, they hired a professional drifter to burn those tires bald, and that was a feat to behold. My car can do 0-60 in about 3.5 seconds, but 3.8 hits different when you’ve got instant torque. That it can handle like this while looking like that is a testament to the potential for fun driving in EVs and crossover SUVs alike when a carmaker cares about delivering an engaging experience for the driver rather than another cookie-cutter commuter car.

Whenever Ford is inevitably forced to turn off the lights on the Dark Horse, the Mach-E GT has established a solid enough baseline for what we can expect from the next generation of Mustang sports coupes.

2. Lexus RZ

Electrify Expo 2023: Lexus RZ steering yoke
Image credit: Gabe Carey (Acceleramota)

The Lexus RZ has stirred up controversy recently, not only for its steer-by-wire system but Toyota’s also taken a page out of Tesla’s book and decided normal people need F1-style steering yokes. While I sadly didn’t get the chance to drive the yoke-equipped model, I did drive an RZ with a regular steering wheel and it was just as unremarkable as I anticipated given its shared DNA with the underwhelming Toyota bZ4X. Just get a Prius, and if that’s not lavish enough, meet the Toyota Crown.

3. BMW i5

Electrify Expo 2023: BMW i5
Image credit: Gabe Carey (Acceleramota)

I said it in the newsletter, and it’s even truer now that I’ve seen it showcased next to the repulsive BMW iX: the new 5 Series looks fire, and the BMW i5 M60 is the best of the bunch. I’ve gone on record saying the BMW i4 M50 is the best EV I’ve driven, and that still holds true today.

At least as far as design goes, the electric 5 Series M takes all the positive qualities of the i4 M50 – 500+ horsepower with a sub-4 second 0-60 speed on a rear-biased AWD platform – and pairs them with a front end I hate a little less. It also helps that on its other side was the BMW i7, which I lamented as my worst driving experience in recent memory.

4. Volvo EX30

Electrify Expo 2023: Volvo EX30
Image credit: Gabe Carey (Acceleramota)

Mark my words: No matter how this little crossover SUV turns out, the Volvo EX30 will print money. I came this close (imagine my thumb and pointer finger very close together) to reserving one before my wife told me not to because she wanted the Alfa Romeo Tonale.

She made the right call, however, since 1) We needed a car and the EX30 doesn’t come out until next summer and 2) I don’t fully trust Geely with a Chinese-made Volvo. Not necessarily because it’s made in China – hell, the MacBook Pro I’m typing on was, too – but because most other Volvo models are still manufactured in Sweden. This was clearly a move to cut costs. Whether that means cutting corners remains to be seen.

5. Ford Eluminator concept truck

Electrify Expo 2023: Ford Eluminator concept truck
Image credit: Gabe Carey (Acceleramota)

Did you know you can buy a Mach-E motor from Ford’s website and swap it into any vehicle it fits? I didn’t either until I saw the Ford Eluminator concept truck, which is less of a truck and more of an overarching concept. For a little over four grand, Ford is saying you can put an electric motor with 480-horsepower and 634 pound-feet of torque in a 1978 F-Series pickup, sure. But you can also do your best RDJ impression and get a little more creative. For instance, if you’re mad about the Mach-E because it’s an SUV and not a proper Mustang, why not build your own electric muscle car? Show Ford how it’s done.

Honorable mention: Tesla Model X

Electrify Expo 2023: Tesla Model X converted into "house"
Image credit: Gabe Carey (Acceleramota)

“It’s not a recession,” they say. Stop blowing your paychecks on avocado toast and someday you, too, can afford to live in a Tesla Model X.

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How ‘Severance’ and ‘Parks and Rec’ star Adam Scott ended up at my local cars and coffee in NYC

As explained at length in an interview with Magazine-X and the NYCars & Coffee website, since October 2022, I’ve organized a local get-together for car enthusiasts on an almost weekly basis. Cars and coffee is a massive phenomenon on the west coast as well as in smaller towns across the US and even around other parts of the world. To the average New Yorker, the notion of a Sunday morning spent standing around in a parking lot talking to people about their cars is a real head-scratcher. But for many, cars and coffee is a once-a-week reprieve from an exhausting life in the real world.

At cars and coffee, it’s rare to hear someone talk about work for more than a few minutes. You can be anyone you want, so why be an employee? In the Apple TV+ series Severance, that notion of work/life separation is taken to a literal extreme. Staff at Lumon Industries undergo the titular neurological procedure that divides their consciousness into two distinct partitions, an “innie” dedicated to work and an “outie” to home. I imagine, perhaps to a lesser degree, celebrities engage in a similar form of mental compartmentalization when out doing normal, non-celebrity things.

In Severance, Adam Scott is Mark, a severed Lumon employee whose work brain shuts off the moment he leaves the office. In real life, Adam does the same to great effect.

Image credit: Gabe Carey

When he unceremoniously emailed me last week asking about this weekend’s cars and coffee, I thought nothing of it. Adam Scott, I assume, is a somewhat common name. Under the impression it was just your average car guy confirming our Eventbrite schedule is up to date, I sent a generic, boilerplate response pointing him to our social media profiles. For a moment, it did occur to me after the email went through, that it could be the same Adam Scott that played Ben Wyatt in Parks and Recreation. But when I asked my wife her opinion, half-jokingly, she laughed and we both moved on.

Image credit: Gabe Carey

The next morning, still half asleep, I did my morning rounds checking all three Instagram accounts: @thegabecarey, @nycarsxcoffee, and @acceleramota. Initially, I scrolled past the blue checkmark in my notifications, because verification has lost all meaning. But then I saw it. Holy shit. It is that Adam Scott.

Image credit: Gabe Carey

Me being the overeager social media sharer I am, naturally, this development was plastered across my feeds the moment I was a little bored and in dire need of a dopamine rush. Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, you name it. Bring on the likes, comments, and shares! All week long, the engagement trickled in. The problem was, I had no idea if he would show.

“What’s the conclusion? Is he coming?” wrote a colleague of mine on Twitter, three days before the event.

I could have emailed him back and requested he signs a legally binding agreement to guarantee his presence. I could have, but I’m normal, so I didn’t. Instead, on April 2 around 9 AM, I pulled into a Queens shopping center parking lot, and I waited. Not for a special celebrity appearance, but for anyone itching to board their escape hatch, leaving their innie behind at home on a Sunday morning.







About an hour later, I spotted an unfamiliar guest sporting a red beanie and dark, circular shades. Standing next to him was a long-haired teenage boy bearing his resemblance. As I approached the pair, the man reached out to shake my hand, addressing me by name.

“Oh, wow, Adam! Thanks so much for coming out,” I said. “What’d you bring?”

He explained that they had flown out from LA to shoot interior scenes for Severance, so while they couldn’t bring a car, he was grateful for the chance to bring his 16-year-old son, Graham, to a car meet in New York City.

Adam said his son had recently gotten his driver’s license, along with a BMW 330i – ah, yes, nicotine for car guys. When I got my first tattoo, the tattoo-havers in my life warned me of the dangerous obsession that would inevitably ensue. Like the next time they saw me I’d be covered from head to toe in barbed wire and teardrops. Tattoos never had that effect on me. My BMW 4 Series did. Already I could see the signs emanating from Graham as he stood in awe of the M5 Competition brought out by an NYCars & Coffee regular.

Image credit: Gabe Carey

As Adam and I parted ways and I returned to mingling, introducing myself to new guests as they arrived, I texted my wife who urged me to take a photo with him. While I did acquiesce, and he was more than okay with me posting our selfie on social media even though I offered not to, I was reluctant to do so.

From a distance, you couldn’t distinguish Adam Scott from the guy with the Audi wagon. Based on the tone of their interactions, I’m certain at least some of the people standing around chatting with him had no clue they were talking to a famous actor. But that’s the allure of cars and coffee for someone like Adam Scott. It’s the exact opposite of Hollywood spectacle. Even Adam Scott gets to have an outie.

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