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The Lake Oswego Sustainability Network will hold Electrification Fair Saturday, Oct. 1

PMG FILE PHOTO - Mark Callicotte and Christy Clark check out the electric vehicles at a previous fair.

The Lake Oswego Sustainability Network wants to help the community combat climate change and prepare for an increasingly electric future — and one part of this effort is the group's annual Electrification Fair coming 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 1, at the Lake Oswego United Methodist Church.

"The key to reducing our greenhouse gas emissions is to move away from fossil fuels to increasingly clean, renewable energy," said Linda Ganzini, a sustainability network member.

The event will include the chance to test drive a variety of electric vehicles, information about financial incentives and options for purchasing the vehicles, and the chance to talk with vendors of products that could make your home more energy efficient. There also will be presentations on heat pumps, current trends in electric vehicles, conserving energy and saving money.

"Here's an opportunity to really learn a trend going on where you help the community and get a head start on something that is inevitable anyway," said Duke Castle, another sustainability network member.

Oregon is considering adopting a mandate similar to California to prevent the sale of gas-powered vehicles by 2035.

Castle said Ford, Volkswagen, Kia, Polestar and Arcimoto will have electric vehicles on hand to test drive, and the sustainability network is awaiting confirmation from a few other dealers. River City Bicycles and Volt also will showcase electric bicycles. Private car owners are welcome to bring their electric vehicles and can let others drive them if they want.

Based on information from the Oregon Department of Motor Vehicles, Castle said electric vehicle quantities in Lake Oswego have vaulted from 620 to 1,700 since the organization started the fair. And Castle noted that the federal Inflation Reduction Act will provide more incentives, which kick in next year, for purchasing electric vehicles that meet certain qualifications. The state of Oregon has its own rebates.

Castle said cost is often the biggest drawback for potential electric vehicle buyers, but he felt that the production of certain lower-priced vehicles like the Nissan Leaf or the Chevy Bolt, along with rebates, meant that the price of the vehicle could be the same as a new gas-fueled car. He added that maintenance is less expensive because electric vehicles don't rely on gas for fuel.

"There's economic benefit," Castle said, along with the benefit of reducing greenhouse gas emissions that contribute to climate change. "You're not paying for gas. You don't have oil and filters to change. The maintenance is almost zilch. Maintenance on my Tesla is rotating the tires every so often."

Castle noted that while electric vehicles can typically go from 0-60 miles per hour in a matter of seconds, they also are safer than gas-powered vehicles.

Inside the church during the event, Basco Appliances will show off induction cooktops and conduct cooking demonstrations, Fireside Home Solutions will discuss electric fireplaces and inserts, Greensavers will meet with attendees about heat pumps, insulation and energy audits, and Portland General Electric will have information regarding electric landscaping equipment, among other vendors.

Ganzini said people should replace their existing appliances like furnaces and heaters with electric alternatives when current appliances fail.

"We think that electrification of your home is a journey that's going to take most people several to many years," Ganzini said. "And decisions you make are going to have to do with what in your house is old and going to need to be replaced, where can you make the biggest impact in terms of greenhouse gas emissions, if that is your goal."

For more information on the event, visit https://losn.org.


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