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The Lake Oswego Sustainability Network's Electrification Fair attracts around 300 attendees. 

PMG PHOTO: COREY BUCHANAN - Daniel Erceg checks out a Porsche Taycan during the event.

After surveying the landscape and talking to fellow electric vehicle owners, Lake Oswego resident Jim Newcomer said he was amazed to see so much happiness in one parking lot.

"I'm walking around and everybody I talk to is absolutely pleased with their car. Nobody has had any repairs. They all go zero to 60 so fast your eyeballs fly out," he said.

The Lake Oswego Sustainability Network's Electrification Fair Saturday, Oct. 1 at the Lake Oswego United Methodist Church featured the opportunity to test drive cars ranging from the Ford F-150 Lightning to the Porsche Taycan and Nissan Leaf, as well as the chance to tour a Portland General Electric all-electric demonstration home, speak with electrification vendors, listen to presentations and more.

PMG PHOTO: COREY BUCHANAN - Michael Doherty talks to attendees about his Hyundai Ioniq, which has a tent attached.

Duke Castle, a board member for the sustainability network, said that around 300 people attended the event including 25 car owners and eight dealers.

"The feedback we got was very positive. It seems to build on itself each year, and more and more people come and say, 'An EV is in my future,'" he said.

A few of the cars that received the most attention from attendees were pickup trucks.

Vancouver resident Michael Doherty's Hyundai Ioniq was especially popular — possibly because he attached a tent that had a cozy camping setup in its interior. Doherty said that he was surprised with just how well the car is able to navigate rough terrain.

"I didn't realize how sporty it would be. When you test drive it, you don't get to drive in the mountains — so getting to drive it in the mountains, it drives really nicely around curves and with acceleration," he said.

Darin Shoup, of Oregon City, has been elated with his Ford F-150 pickup, which he attaches a trailer to for camping trips. The car can also serve as a backup generator in case the power to his home goes out. When hauling his trailer, he has to recharge every 100 miles.

"It's a different mindset," Shoup said of traveling while using an electric vehicle. "You have to do a little more pre-planning. You have to think a little more."

PMG PHOTO: COREY BUCHANAN - Lake Oswego Sustainability Network member Mike Pearman displays one of his electric bikes.

Portland resident Ed Hurtley was surprised at just how well put together his Rivian pickup truck is, considering how new the company is. Like Shoup, he uses the car for camping and normally travels less than 200 miles, so charging isn't a big issue.

"Everything, the fit and finish, is good; the quality of everything is good," he said.

River City Bicycles and Volt also showcased electric bicycles at the event.

Mike Perham, sustainability network board member, brought two of his four electric bikes to the event, including his Super 73. He wants bicycle infrastructure to be improved and for the age limit for riding an e-bike in Oregon to be reduced from 16 years old, but he is happy with a riding experience that is faster and more effortless than a traditional bicycle.

"It just makes you Superman. Your legs are so much more powerful. You can float up hills instead of sweating, going down a gear and pedaling hard," Perham said. "E-bikes are just so liberating and fun to ride."

PMG PHOTO: COREY BUCHANAN - Darin Shoup brought his Ford F-150 Lightning to the event.

PGE representative Mike Tidwell talked to attendees about how they can make their home fully electric, including adding induction stove tops and heat pumps for heating and cooling your home.

"People tend to really love natural gas cooktops, so they're resistant," he said. "Once they do (go electric), they say they can boil water a lot faster, (it has better) temperature control and there's a lot lower of a simmer."

PMG PHOTO: COREY BUCHANAN - Lake Oswego resident Jim Newcomer talks with attendees about his Chevrolet Spark.

Castle noted that a Japanese broadcast company, NHK, had attended the event, and reported on the question of whether Oregon would follow California in banning the sale of gas-powered vehicles by 2035. Castle said he felt optimistic Oregon would. He added that the media company employees test-drove an electric vehicle for the first time during the fair.

"That's the thing that really converts people: once they ride and drive an EV. That's what sells them. That's why this event is so important and successful," he said.


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