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Upper Valley Electric Vehicle Expo

Barbara Duncan checks out a Smart EV at the 2014 Montshire EV event. Photo: Dave Roberts.

Barbara Duncan checks out a Smart EV at the 2014 Montshire EV event. Photo: Dave Roberts.

by Karl Kemnitzer

Electric Vehicles (EVs) have been improving, and they now include some of the fastest and most comfortable cars made. But while a car that needs almost no maintenance, makes no noise, costs a third as much to fuel, and can be charged at home with renewable energy is very appealing, many people hesitate to buy one because they just don’t know much about them.

The Electric Vehicle Demo and Forum at the Montshire Museum in 2014 gave many people an introduction to EVs. The cars have changed and it is time for another event. Our group from town energy committees, Vital Communities, and the Upper Valley Sierra Club has organized the Upper Valley Electric Vehicle Expo (www.uvevexpo.org) for Saturday, September 9, at the Dothan Brook School in Hartford, from noon to four (rain or shine).

Car owners have signed up to show their Chevy Bolts, Chevy Volts, Nissan Leafs, Smart cars, Teslas, a BMW i3, a Mitsubishi i-MiEV, and the Dartmouth Race Car. Some have offered to give short test rides. If you are interested in EVs, this is your chance to talk with EV owners who have driven 327,253 electric miles.

There will be many displays with additional information about EVs. Dave Roberts, head of Drive Electric Vermont, will give several short talks and take questions from 1 pm to 3 pm. He will introduce the basics and talk about the cars and incentives available here during “EVs 101”, and then cover performance, clean emissions, and how Vermonters can save hundreds of millions of dollars on health care and fuel costs during “EVs for the Enthusiast”.

Newport Chevrolet, Twin State Ford, and Nissan of Keene will be on hand with cars for you to check out. Electric bikes will be represented by Zoombikes, Omer and Bob’s, Cyclewise, a Copenhagen wheel demo, and I’ll be there with electric cargo bikes. Advance Transit will be showing one of their Hybrid Technology buses.

Six solar electric companies will also be there to talk about charging an EV with solar energy. They are Catamount Solar, Energy Emporium, Norwich Technologies, Solaflect Energy, SunCommon, and ReVision Energy. Vermont Clean Cities Coalition and Green Mountain Power (GMP) will have representatives who can provide answers on EV charging and other questions. GMP will also talk about the Nissan $10,000 incentive that they are offering. Additional support is provided by Building Energy and Lyme Green Heat (see ad in Heating section).

The American Lung Association calculated that if
two-thirds of the cars in Vermont were EVs, we would
save $313 million a year on climate and 
health impacts
and many hundreds of millions more on fuel.

Admission is free. Please visit www.uvevexpo.org to sign up to attend (you will automatically be entered into a raffle with prizes from sponsors), or if you would like to volunteer to help, or to show your EV.

This event is part of National Drive Electric Week, where owners showcase their cars at hundreds of events across the U.S., including ones in Plymouth, New Hampshire and Burlington, Vermont on September 14. More information can be found at http://bit.ly/EV-events.

Karl Kemnitzer is a member of the Upper Valley Sierra Club. National Drive Electric Week is sponsored by Plug In America, Sierra Club, and the Electric Automobile Association.

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