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Lake Oswego event will be educational and include a chance to have a Tesla for 24 hours.

PMG FILE PHOTO - The Electric Vehicle Fair will be virtual this year on Zoom.Events and activities continue to shift in nature during the COVID-19 pandemic, and Lake Oswego's Sustainability Network's Electric Vehicle Fair is just another on that list.

Though folks will not have the opportunity to test drive and check out electric vehicles in person this year, the event is still taking place via Zoom and it will provide more educational components about electric vehicles.

People are invited to register for the hourlong event taking place Oct. 1 at 10 a.m.

"It's going to start out making the connection that buying an electric vehicle addresses multiple issues — it certainly addresses climate change; it also addresses the air pollution," said Duke Castle with the LOSN.

The Electric Vehicle Fair — though changed in format for 2020 — is in its third year. And Castle said state data shows there's been an increase in electric vehicle registrations in Lake Oswego.

"I'd like to think one part of it is the electric vehicle events we've had," he said.

According to figures compiled by LOSN, there are now almost 1,400 electric vehicles (including both plug-in hybrids and battery electric models) registered in Lake Oswego. In 2015, there were less than 400.

Castle said the event will begin by addressing two main barriers to peoples' perceptions about whether or not to buy an electric vehicle: cost and range.

Castle said he's heard of the perception that Teslas are only for wealthy people. He said with state incentives and low maintenance levels, it's not true. There are also more used electric vehicles on the market now.

"Things are rapidly changing. I think that's one of the major things — people have perceptions that are rapidly going out the window," said Castle, adding that there's been a reduction in the cost of electric vehicle batteries. "It costs about 3 cents a mile to charge an electric vehicle, whereas when you (drive gas it's) 8, 10, 12 cents a mile, depending what car and the price of gas is.

"They're already economical."

Castle said the second concern people have is with range — how far the vehicle can travel before needing to be charged.

Castle said the minimum mile range has been bumped up to 250 miles and from his experience owning a Tesla, when a person hits the mid-200s range, it's not an issue.

"There are so many chargers out there," said Castle, adding that Tesla has thousands of chargers across the country. "If you don't own a Tesla, Electrify America is setting up a charging network throughout the United States that allows you to do the same thing."

Castle said there will also be a virtual ride and drive portion of the event.

"We've videotaped people driving in their electric vehicles and talking about it," Castle said.

There will be four live speakers talking about their experiences with their own electric vehicles. The vehicles that will be discussed are the Chevy Bolt, Tesla Model Y, the Nissan Leaf and the Mitsubishi Outlander — a plug-in hybrid. The floor will then be open for questions from participants.

"Then, we're closing with what we are calling an 'electric vehicle test drive challenge,'" Castle said. "We know that when people drive an electric vehicle, actually drive one, that's the thing that changes them."

Castle said dealerships have contactless test drives, so if people make an arrangement to test drive an electric vehicle during the month of October and send LOSN information about the drive, they will qualify for a drawing at the end of October to have a Tesla overnight for 24 hours.

To register for the event, visit http://bit.ly/LOSN-EV-2020.


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