Town Crier

TEWKSBURY — In hon­or of National Drive Elec­tric Week, the New Eng­land Electric Car Associa­tion hosted an electric car show at the Tewksbury Pub­lic Library parking lot on Saturday, Sept. 14, 2019.

Jessy Rudavsky, president of the New England Elec­tric Auto Association (NEEAA), was on hand to answer questions and promote electric car ownership.

Rudavsky stated, “We (NEEAA) want everyone to be aware of electric car benefits to the environment and to see how nice these electric cars are, and how easy they are to maintain.”

Rudavsky also brought the new 2019 Audi E Tron, an ultra luxurious electric car, for the public to view and test drive. Other privately owned electric cars were also on hand to view and test ride.

The luxury of the Audi E Tron comes with a hefty price tag. The starting price for this vehicle is about $74,800, but there are now dozens of makes and models of electric cars on the market. You can choose from sedans, hatchbacks, all wheel drive, and luxury models with a wide variety of price points to choose from.

Prices start around $29,900 for the economical Nissan Leaf, or you can go to the other end of the spectrum, and choose the ultimate in luxury and design with the BMW 18 starting at a mere $147,000.

The Federal government is offering up to $7,500 tax rebate on the purchase of an electric car, and the state is offering up to $1,500 tax rebate, which can offset the price of which ever car model you choose.

You can also look for pre-negotiated discounts to pur­chase or lease through the Green Energy Consumers Alliance. This non-profit or­ganization enables people to make green energy choi­ces in cost effective ways.

Many people have the per­ception that electric cars are slow and toy like in performance. In fact, the opposite is true. The low center of gravity allows for extra smooth handling and features instant torque and acceleration with just a tap of your foot.

Tom, from Lowell, was one of the many electric car owners on hand displaying his own, personal electric vehicle.

“There are two reasons I bought an electric car,” Tom said. “One is to protect the environment, and the other is the acceleration of the vehicle. They are fun to drive!”

Tom was kind enough to take me for a little test ride in his 2019 Hyundai Kona. Not only did it have quick and responsive acceleration and breaking, it really was fun to ride.

Although the motor is si­lent in electric cars, government regulations require EVs to have a false motor sound for safety reasons, to ensure that pedestrians will be aware that the vehicle is indeed running and moving.

Overall, electric cars are faster than traditional gas vehicles when accelerating from 0 to 60 mph. However, gas vehicles usually perform better from 60 to 90 mph.

Although there are many benefits to driving an electric car, there are a few cons as well. Because EVs are not yet fully mainstream, some areas do not have ample charging stations, and it can take up to 9.5 hours to fully charge a car that is virtually at zero.

Most EVs can drive over 100 miles on a single charge, and may exceed 200-300 miles per charge. This is fine for daily driving, as the average person drives 37 miles per day. But if you regularly exceed over 150 miles a day, or are planning a long road trip, this could present a problem.

On average, driving an electric car costs about half the cost of traditional gas powered vehicles, with a “fuel” cost of about $45 per month to power your EV.

There is also less maintenance cost. EVs require no oil changes, and most have a regenerative braking system which allows the car’s computer to decelerate when you remove your foot from the “gas” pedal. This allows for less wear and tear on the brake system, and less frequent repairs.

By choosing to drive an EV, you are helping to re­duce harmful air pollution from exhaust emissions, and using renewable energy can reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

If you were unable to at­tend the electric car show in Tewksbury, or would like to get another look at EVs, the Lowell Drive Electric Car Show takes place this Sat­urday, Sept. 21, 2019, from noon to 5 p.m. at Heri­tage Ice Cream, 163 Pawtucket Blvd. in Lowell.

For more information on available discounts to purchase or lease an electric vehicle, visit www.greenenergyconsumers.org.

For more education op­por­tunities about electric cars, visit www.neaa.org.

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