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This year's EV Fair will be a virtual 'Ride and Drive' with a webinar on Thursday, Oct. 1 at 10 a.m.

During these extraordinary times — a global pandemic, unprecedented wildfires and continually rising temperatures — switching to an electric vehicle is one thing you can do to mitigate these issues while saving money and having fun at the same time.PMG FILE PHOTO - Duke Castle, a co-founder of the Lake Oswego Sustainability Network.

A major factor underlying all of these issues is the continual burning of fossil fuel. It not only contributes to global warming by increasing CO2 levels but it also adds other particles that are hazardous to our health. A study by MIT estimates that 58,000 premature deaths occur annually in U.S. due to vehicle pollution alone. This is 60% greater than the deaths due to car accidents.

Photos of clearer skies during this pandemic show us what a world would look like if there were fewer fossil fuel-burning vehicles on the road. Switching to an EV can provide an immediate health benefit not only for Lake Oswego but for the metro area.

One of the biggest objections to converting to an electric vehicle is cost. Aren't these cars just for rich people? That may have been true in the past but not now.

Many new EVs with a range of 250 miles or more are selling in the mid $30,000 area. Most of those can qualify for additional incentives of $10,000 or more bringing the cost down to the $20,000 area.

And if you are looking for a second car with an 80-100 miles range to drive around town or to work, used EVs are available with incentives for as low as $5,000.

The savings are even more significant when you consider that electricity costs will be 70% less than burning gasoline and that maintenance costs on an EV that has no oil, no spark plugs, no fan belts and fewer moving parts are virtually zilch.

The Lake Oswego Sustainability Network has had onsite "Ride and Drive" events the past two years and the results have been extraordinary. New EV registrations in Lake Oswego last year were three times higher than the year before.

This year's event will be a virtual "Ride and Drive" with a webinar on Thursday, October 1 at 10 am. You will have the opportunity to first learn more about EV affordability, the growing number of EVs available in Oregon, and the expanding number of charging options in our community. This will be followed by hearing from four Lake Oswego residents on their EV experiences along with an opportunity for them to answer questions from event participants.

Please join us. You can register for the event at http://bit.ly/LOSN-EV-2020

We hope you will join us to understand how you can have fun, save money and contribute to a healthier community and planet.

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


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