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'When people actually get behind the wheel of an EV, all those fears evaporate.'

PMG FILE PHOTO  - The second annual Electric Vehicle Fair hosted by the Lake Oswego Sustainability Network will allow attendees to test drive nearly a dozen of the latest EV models.When you think of some of the barriers to owning an electric vehicle, what comes to mind? The price? How long of a range the vehicle gets? Access to charging? Maybe you simply don't like the style?

The Lake Oswego Sustainability Network wants the opportunity to change your mind, and they'll give their best effort to do just that at the second annual Electric Vehicle Fair Saturday, Sept. 21 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Oswego Heritage House.

"When people actually get behind the wheel of an EV, all those fears evaporate," said Duke Castle, co-founder of LOSN. "They find it's a different experience."

In conjunction with the LO Sustainability Advisory Board, EV advocacy group Forth and Portland General Electric, the LOSN started the EV Fair in 2018 to give Lake Oswegans the chance to get a first-hand look at what it's like to drive and own one. You can take test drives of the nearly dozen EVs that will be on hand, talk to the owners and ask those burning questions, hear about options from dealers, and learn about state and federal financial incentives.

According to Castle, there are now more EV charging stations (15) in Lake Oswego than there are gas stations (11), and the cost to charge is extremely low or sometimes free, depending on what car you have.

"Charging stations are exploding in numbers, and between the West Coast Electric Highway and Electrify America, it's never been easier to take a long trip in an EV," Castle said.

The West Coast Electric Highway refers to the effort that saw rapid charging stations placed every 25-50 miles along the entire expanse of Interstate 5, whereas Electrify America is a subsidiary effort of Volkswagen's emission scandal mitigation to build and manage a robust network of EV charging stations. Both programs have seen widespread proliferation of charging stations throughout Oregon and beyond, undercutting the argument that EV charging is inconvenient.

The other big barrier is often price, Castle says, but that's also becoming less of a factor as the United States market now offers nearly 40 different models of EVs with prices dropping to as low as $25,000. While that might not seem like a low price on a brand new car, factor in financial incentives from state rebates of up to $2,500 and federal tax credits of $7,500, combined with the fact EVs require little to no maintenance, the investment in an EV is well worth it, Castle

says.

"Things have changed tremendously. Prices have come down, range has increased, charging times are going faster — it blows my mind," Castle said. "The thing people always tell me is they don't have enough information to make a decision; that's why we're doing this."

For more information about the second annual Lake Oswego Electric Vehicle Fair, visit losn.org.


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