Old Saybrook EV Car Show on Sept. 15
Do you have range anxiety? Those who do probably haven’t yet considered buying an electric vehicle (EV). But with advancements in EV technology now extending travel distances to 200 miles or more on a single charge, some EV enthusiasts say the increased range and other improvements mean it’s time to take another look at these cars.
A free electric vehicle car show at Saybrook Point on Saturday, Sept. 15 will provide an opportunity to explore the EV option. The show, in the public parking lot at the town’s Pavilion at Saybrook Point, will be open from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. At the event, area car dealers plan to showcase their new electric vehicle models and offer test drives to anyone interested.
Also on hand will be a group of current electric vehicle owners who are eager to talk about their EV experience. One of those EV owners is the coordinator/organizer of the Old Saybrook EV show, Robert Langdon of Guilford.
“Last November, I bought a Chevy Bolt—I’d had a plug-in Prius hybrid before. I’ve been very surprised by how much I liked it,” Langdon said. “It turned out to be an awesome car. Because of the electric design, there is more vertical space in the car. I have about three inches of headroom [clearance]—that just doesn’t happen,” said Langdon.
He said he was motivated to consider an all-electric vehicle after reading a really strong review of the Bolt that appeared in The Wall Street Journal in fall 2017. Highlighted by the reviewer was the Bolt’s handling, maneuverability, and its long range of 240 miles on a single charge.
“When you have a longer-range car, it takes away that range anxiety,” said Langdon. “I just charge every night when I get home.”
In the past five years, more and more electric charging stations have been installed in public and private parking lots and along the interstates and parkways too, giving EV travelers more options when they take longer trips. Also, DC Fast Charging stations are available along the interstates. Using those stations, a driver can get 90 miles of driving distance for 30 minutes of charging time.
A broad selection of electric vehicles will be available for test drives at the show.
Plug-in vehicles, which unlike hybrid cars are not dependent on a gas-powered motor for at least part of their range (some plug-ins also have gas motors to extend range), will include Nissan (Leaf), Chevrolet (Bolt and Volt), Mercedes Benz (C 350e), Toyota (Prius Prime), Honda (Clarity), Tesla (Model S), BMW (i3), and models from other automakers that will be on display and available for test drives.
Langdon’s wife, Beva Nall-Langdon, successfully applied for and secured a grant from the U.S. Department of Energy in support of the EV car show. The grant will provide both her and her husband with an iPad loaded with a survey program they’ll use to tally the reactions of those taking EV test drives.
The Old Saybrook event is one of nine electric vehicle car shows in Connecticut planned during the eighth annual National Drive Electric Week (NDEW). For more information about NDEW, visit driveelectricweek.org. The Old Saybrook EV Car Show is sponsored and promoted by Plug In America, Sierra Club, the Electric Auto Association, and the Town of Old Saybrook.
In the show’s press announcement, organizers explain that participants will learn about the differences between EVs and conventional gas-powered cars (including why electric vehicles are much less expensive to operate and maintain), the widespread locations and different types of charging stations, the wide range of EV models available now, and the benefits of electric vehicles for the environment and public health. During the show, two question and answer sessions are planned with a panel of EV owners/drivers and EV experts from local auto dealers.
Attendees will also learn about special savings programs available to Connecticut EV drivers, including state rebates and low-interest loans from the Connecticut Green Bank, and federal tax credits that can be used to support the costs of purchasing and leasing electric vehicles.
EV Fact Sheet
To help promote the event, the sponsors prepared an Electric Vehicle Fact Sheet that highlights the benefits to Connecticut drivers of buying and operating an electric vehicle.
The sheet states that the median savings to drive an EV (using only electricity) versus a gasoline-powered car can be more than $770 per year.
“The cost of electricity is equivalent to $1 per gallon of gas. Electric motors require very little maintenance and are much more reliable than conventional gas or diesel powered engines.”
A standard 120-volt outlet can be used to charge an EV overnight in a garage. For that type of charging, a driver will get about four miles of driving distance per hour of charge. But if a 240-volt outlet is installed and used, an EV driver can get 25 miles of driving distance per hour of charge.