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Electric cars create buzz among drivers

With electric vehicles growing in popularity and dropping in price, the local Sierra Club recently held a car show to focus on the new technology.

The event, Plug Into the Wind, was Sept. 15 at the Center for Economic Development and helped kick off National Electric Drive Week, a nationwide celebration that promotes awareness of today’s availability of plug in vehicles.

Nearly 20 plug-in and hybrid vehicles were displayed to show how convenient, less expensive and environmentally safe they can be. 

John Weber, who helped host the event, brought his own Tesla Model 3 to show as he talked about how efficient and financially responsible they are.

“These batteries are designed to last about 300,000 miles, and they are currently working on batteries that will last 1 million miles,” Weber said.

Weber said some of the benefits of having an electric car include a lack of required tune ups, oil changes and transmission. The only maintenance necessary is rotating the tires and adding washer fluid, he said. He added that depending on someone’s bill and utility provider, they may be able to sign up for free power at night while charging their vehicle. 

Darrell Spice Jr., another Tesla owner, told those at the event of his recent road trips and their cost. Spice said he traveled to Wisconsin for about $40 in charging fees, stopping eight times with each time only costing him from $3 to $8. 

Electric vehicles can cost from $23,900 to $147,500. While they can be slightly more expensive than comparable gasoline-powered vehicles, many choose electric vehicles because they don’t have to pay for gas. 

James Evan and Danny Rendon, owners of a Chevy Spark EV, said their electric bill went up $20 but they didn’t mind because they prefer to pay for it once a month rather than spending money on gas every other day. 

“I like that we don’t have to gas it. It saves so much more time when you just plug it in at night,” Rendon said. 

Weber said about 1.5% of vehicles on the road in the U.S. are electric. In nations where gas prices are higher, that figure can hit 50%, he said. 

“I believe in 10 years from now every car on the road will be electric. I don’t think it’s going to take long. Maybe in another five years car companies probably won’t even make gasoline vehicles anymore. They are going to have no value, because they are too expensive to maintain and fuel,” Weber said. 

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