2020 Electric Vehicle Showcase

The Decorah Farmers Market has a new booth this fall: Winneshiek Energy District’s Electric Vehicle (EV) Tent! For eight weeks, the Winneshiek Energy District is setting up a pop-up canopy at the farmers market and bringing a local EV and it’s owner to downtown Decorah.

We wanted to show our community a sampling of the wide range of EV options on the market and give them a chance to ask questions of the people who drive the cars every day.  Normally, WED hosts a big EV event at the fairgrounds but being at the market seemed like a good way to reach a big audience while following COVID-19 safety procedures.

The cars have been a big hit at the market!  In the first three weeks, we’ve hosted Larry Grimstad with his Prius Prime, Jim Fritz with his Tesla Model 3, and Jesse Green with his Chevy Bolt.  We’ve talked to over 300 market goers and surprised many of them with how affordable owning an EV can be.

Our first week at the market, folks were definitely surprised to see a car parked under a tent. We had a lot of good questions asked and below is a sampling:

Q: How do they handle in the snow?

A: Jim Fritz’s Tesla is the best car to drive in the snow he’s ever had.  “By the time I notice I’m sliding, the car has already corrected and I don’t have to do anything!”

Q: How do you take an electric vehicle on a road trip?

A: There are fast chargers popping up all over the place. In the time it takes to go to the bathroom, get a snack, and stretch your legs a bit, your car can be ready to get back on the road for another couple hundred mile.  Jesse drove his car up from Dubuque, charged it in town, and then drove it home with no problems!  Jim’s Telsa tells him which charging stations are close by and how long of a wait it will be to use one.

Q: How much does it cost to charge an EV?

A: The electricity used to charge Jim’s Tesla overnight costs right around $5.00.

Q:  Where do you get these vehicles serviced?

A: The dealerships are trained to handle any bigger issues and our local mechanics can handle the little maintenance needed.

Q: What sort of maintenance do they need?

A: Jim’s Tesla has 27,000 miles on it.  All he’s done is rotate the tires and fill up the windshield washer fluid.  Plug-in hybrids, like Larry’s Prius Prime, need slightly more maintenance but still significantly fewer oil changes than a standard gas car.

There are still 5 weeks of EVs at the market.  We hope you’ll stop by to see a few of them and get your questions answered!


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