In Review: The 2nd Annual Electric Vehicle Fest

Briana Burke, Green Iowa AmeriCorps Logistics Coordinator

Earlier this June, the Winneshiek Energy District and 150 community members gathered at the Winneshiek County fairgrounds for the 2nd annual Electric Vehicle Fest(EV)val. With the sun shining, and a nice breeze, it was a perfect early summer day to peruse the fairgrounds while learning about electric vehicles(EV). Local EV drivers brought their rides including Teslas, Nissan Leafs, Chevy Volts, and more, to be admired and shared their EV experiences while Joel and Andy of the Winneshiek Energy District presented information that people should know when considering whether or not to invest in an EV.

 There is a lot to take into consideration before buying any of the dozens of EVs currently on the market. Here’s a quick summary whether you’re looking to buy a new car, or if you’re simply interested in the future of the car industry.

  •  Electric vehicles have a larger upfront cost but are cost-effective throughout their life. EVs tend to have a higher price tag due to the cost of their battery; however, low fuel cost and low maintenance cost reduce the overall amount of money invested in the car through time. According to the University of Michigan, operating an EV has an average annual cost of $480 while gasoline vehicles have an annual cost of $1,117.

  • Want to reduce your carbon footprint? Electric vehicles are the way to go! The average EV driver will have over 50% less greenhouse gas emissions than their gas-fueled counterparts.

  • Concerned about how long a charge will hold? The average EV has a range of over 100 miles per charge. The average hybrid has a range of 30-40 miles before switching over to gas. For most Americans, this is the perfect range for their work commute which is usually less than 30 miles.

  • Every year, the US builds more EV charging stations. Currently, we are at over 20,000 charging stations. In the Decorah area, there are charging stations at the Fairfield Inn, Luther, and at the Allamakee Clayton Electric Cooperative.

  • Batteries are essential to the EV. Modern EVs are made with lithium-ion batteries, which are able to be repurposed at the end of their lives to reduce waste. These batteries will last approximately 7-10 years in a car. Additionally, there are few parts needed for battery motors, so maintenance needs are very low.

The future of the car industry is looking up with electric vehicles. Currently, we are facing expensive fuel, climate change, and dependence on foreign oil to run our cars. What would a future look like with electric vehicles, powered by the sun?

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