By Kate Irish Collins, news writer
Keep Me Current news story
The third annual Electric Car Ride N Drive event held in South Portland this past weekend was another success, according to organizers.
Along with dozens of electric cars on display, attendees also had an opportunity to get behind the wheel for test drives of the vehicles on hand, including all-electric models, such as the Nissan Leaf and the BMW i3, and electric models that also have a gasoline engine, such as the Chevy Volt and the Toyota Prius plug-in.
“I am optimistic that 2017 will be a pivotal moment in history for electric vehicles, in the U.S. and globally,” Barry Woods, co-founder of Drive Electric Maine and a board member of Plug-In America, said in a press release. “We have just reached 500,000 total domestic (electric vehicle) sales and all major manufacturers are in the process of introducing model choices with some level of battery electric range.”
Woods added, “Most exciting is the move toward larger battery vehicles, like the Chevy Bolt and Tesla 3, which will have 60 kWh battery storage and range in excess of 200 miles. At the same time the products are getting better (as is) the availability of charging infrastructure, even in Maine.”
In addition to the city of South Portland offering free access to one of the first and largest electric vehicle charging stations in Maine, Hannaford grocery stores have also now installed five, DC Fast Chargers at various locations across the state and there are plans in the works for the creation of an electric vehicle corridor connecting with Quebec, Canada, Woods said.
“A significant number of charging stations are (also) popping up at hotels and inns, as well as at town facilities that power town municipal vehicles and those owned by others, too,” he said.
The Electric Car Ride N Drive also featured free pizza, question and answer sessions with electric vehicle owners, and a raffle with a grand prize of a home electric charging station from Clipper Creek valued at $640. The pizza was provided by the Portland House of Pizza, which makes deliveries in an all-electric Nissan Leaf.
South Portland hosted its third annual celebration of electric vehicles Saturday with the help of the Natural Resources Council of Maine and Central Maine Power.
The city of South Portland hosted an electric car event on Sept. 10.