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A two-part event later this month will demonstrate how much things have changed in the electric vehicle market.

CASTLEAre you interested in saving money, cleaning up the air, significantly reducing our contribution to climate change and having fun, all at the same time? Then consider an electric vehicle for your next automobile purchase.

The Lake Oswego Sustainability Network, LO Sustainability Advisory Board and Forth are partnering to hold a two-part event to demonstrate how much things have changed in the electric vehicle market.

First, we are holding a presentation and get-together at the Lake Oswego United Methodist Church (1855 South Shore Blvd.) at 5:30 p.m. on Thursday, Aug. 23, to tell the story of how affordable, prolific and dynamic electric vehicles have become. You will hear a presentation by transportation technologies visionary Hans Witt, who will explain the forces that are rapidly changing transportation, and then have the opportunity to hear from some of the several hundred Lake Oswego residents who own electric vehicles,

Our hope is that if your interest is piqued on Aug. 23, you will attend our Electric Vehicle Fair from 1-5 p.m. on the following Sunday, Aug. 26, at the Oswego Heritage House (398 Tenth St.) to experience firsthand, with a demo or test drive, how exciting and fun these cars are to drive.

Here are some things to consider:

-- There are more than 40 electric vehicles for sale now in Oregon. These range from sedans to SUVs and minivans. Check out the link at losn.org/ev/AvailableEVs.pdf for the complete list;

-- EV prices have declined dramatically. A Chevy Bolt with 238 miles on a single charge lists for $37,495. Add in a $7,500 federal tax credit and $2,500 potential Oregon rebate and the cost is substantially less;

-- Concerned about how far you can go on a single charge? Then consider a plug-in hybrid (PHEV) such as the Chevy Volt, which can go more than 50 miles on electric and then cuts in with a gas engine for several hundred more miles when needed;

-- Worried about charging options? Most owners will charge their EV at home, leaving each morning with a "full tank." Driving outside the metro area, they will discover thousands of charging locations that are rapidly growing throughout the West and rest of the country, all of them easily tracked on a smartphone;

-- With their low center of gravity and lack of combustible fuel, a battery-only electric vehicle can be the safest car you will ever own. According to test results conducted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the Tesla Model S has the highest safety rating of any car they have tested.

What is equally important are the health and environmental benefits EVs offer. A study by MIT showed that 58,000 premature deaths can be annually attributed to vehicle pollution, as compared to 37,000 deaths in 2016 due to car accidents.

Additionally, driving an electric vehicle is one of the most significant things Lake Oswego residents can do to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, a major contributor to climate change. Battery-only EVs emit no greenhouse gas emissions, and the emissions due to the generation of electricity are significantly less than those generated by burning fossil fuel — and that will only improve as PGE and other utilities continue to move toward fully renewable electricity generation.

So if you are interested in understanding what you can do to reduce the impact of climate change, save money and have fun, consider attending our event on Thursday, Aug. 23, at the United Methodist Church. And then stop by the Oswego Heritage House on Sunday, Aug. 26, to see firsthand what all of the EV excitement is about.

Duke Castle is a co-founder of the Lake Oswego Sustainability Network.


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