National Drive Electric Vehicles Week Scheduled
It's September, and our thoughts in Connecticut turn to the start of the school year, crisp Autumn nights -- and in recent years, also lingering scorching Summer weather, due to climate warming. Climate change is one reason an upcoming September event, National Drive Electric Week, is still relevant. In a nutshell, converting our transportation sector from fossil fuels to renewable electrical power is critical to reversing the effect of accumulated carbon dioxide in our atmosphere.
National Drive Electric Week, co-sponsored by Sierra Club, reaches out to educate the public on the benefits of emerging Electric Vehicle (EV) technology. The choices available to consumers have progressed since the era of electric conversion kits for used cars. Today, the typical range for new cars is over 300 miles and lifetime costs are beginning to edge out typical gasoline or diesel sedans. Adoption is rising exponentially, but still the Northeast has low rates of market penetration, approximately one to two percent. Now, the public should be prepared for the larger choice of models scheduled for introduction from 2020 to 2022.
For these reasons, National Drive Electric Week is still relevant in the effort to convert the large section of the population who are considering the purchase of an electric car into actual buyers. The most effective aspect in building familiarity and trust with electric transportation is simple conversation with the the drivers who volunteer their time at activities like the Connecticut events listed below. The invariable message is that EV's are practical, inexpensive to fuel, low-maintenance and fun. EV drivers, like Martha Klein, CT Chapter Sierra Club Chair, say that “driving is fun again in my brilliantly engineered and zippy Chevy Bolt, and I meet other EV drivers at public charging stations who always want to swap EV stories.” For those visitors who express an interest, volunteers will be happy to discuss and provide materials on the health benefits of electric vehicles (Connecticut is a state with persistent air-quality violations), the positive contribution to greenhouse gas reductions, or the positive impacts on electric grid modernization.
Connecticut Sierra Club members who are already daily EV drivers are especially invited to assist at one or more of the events below. If you are still considering taking the plunge, come visit -- and bring your friends!
Here’s where to participate in an event local to you to learn more about EV's:
Saturday, September 8
• Town Hall, Pomfret Center
• Kingswood Oxford, West Hartford
• Sears Park, East Hampton
• Miller Memorial Library, Hamden
https://driveelectricweek.org/event.php?eventid=1352 (Q&A sesssions)
• Fairfield Warde High School, Bridgeport
https://driveelectricweek.org/event.php?eventid=1260 (New Solar Carport)
Sunday September 9
• CCSU, New Britain
https://driveelectricweek.org/event.php?eventid=1438 (7th annual event targeting students)
Saturday September 15
• Harbor Park, Middletown
https://driveelectricweek.org/event.php?eventid=1406 (Large event across street from 12-bay charger installation)
• Saybrook Point Pavilion, Old Saybrook
Jeff Gross is Chair, CT Sierra Club Electric Vehicle Committee