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Drive Electric event going virtual Monday

  • A Tesla-specific charger at the Hancock Inn. Staff photo by Abbe Hamilton—

Monadnock Ledger-Transcript
Published: 9/25/2020 8:41:27 AM

The Monadnock Sustainability Hub will host its fourth annual Drive Electric event on Monday, Sept. 28, but it won’t quite be like those of the past three years.

With the coronavirus pandemic forcing just about every event to virtual, the Drive Electric event in its previous iteration that included electric vehicles on display for participants to check out just won’t be possible. But what will be available this year is a electric vehicle owner panel titled “Why Your Next Car Should Be Electric” on Monday at 7 p.m.

There just wasn’t going to be a good way to showcase different electric vehicles owned by local people online, so instead the Monadnock Sustainability Hub is putting an emphasis on the experiences of current EV owners to provide some first-hand knowledge into what owning an electric mode of transportation really means. Owners will consist of those who own Teslas to Chevy Bolts.

“We tried to figure out how to provide the kind of insight that can resonate with people,” said Annie Henry, program manager for the Monadnock Sustainability Hub. “One of the greatest challenges is how to make sure the information is just as effective.”

One of those panelists will be Joel Huberman of Peterborough. Huberman, who has a background in molecular biology, has long been interested in anything science related and that includes climate change.

“I quickly grasped the basic chemistry and physics of climate science,” Huberman said. “And I’ve been worried about what I can do as an individual to prevent the catastrophe that will happen if we continue to use fossil fuels.”

Huberman said one solution is to not drive at all, but knows that is not an option for so many people.

“So if we must drive, drive as efficiently as possible,” he said.

The panel of electric vehicle owners will discuss the ins and outs of owning, driving, and buying an EV. Attendees will discover the benefits of driving an electric vehicle from the point of view of those who made the switch, including topics like, EV’s technology and efficiency; driving experience and features, such as one pedal driving and instant torque; addressing battery range anxiety and long trips; long term cost of ownership and expected savings; and where and how EV owners charge.

“Although people won’t be able to see the cars in person, they can get some insight from the panel,” Henry said.

Huberman, who is co-leader of the Monadnock Chapter of Citizens’ Climate Lobby, said he was interested in the switch to electric vehicles even before they were widely available, but when he and his wife Anne were able to purchase a Toyota Prius Hybrid they made the investment. While it still used gasoline, Huberman said it was a step in the right direction and they eventually purchased a plug in Prius, but it also required gasoline. Then last May, they decided to buy a fully electric Tesla Model 3 and “boy have we been happy with our car,” he said.

Henry said there will be a brief update on the development of local charging stations, including a project to bring one to Keene, and the future of charging stations in the state. After the panel discussion, there will be time for participants to ask questions to answer what is most important to them when it comes to electric vehicles.

While going virtual wasn’t the Hub’s preference, Henry said the silver lining is that hosting the event virtually allows for audience participation to come from a wider geographic region.

The virtual event, put on in partnership with Drive Electric NH as part of Drive Electric Week (Sept. 26-Oct. 4), is free and open to anyone – car enthusiasts,  car shoppers and anyone interested in EV technologies. To register, visit https://monadnocksustainabilityhub.org/. Drive Electric is one of the Hub’s many initiatives to help transition the Monadnock region to clean energy.

Drive Electric NH will host virtual events the rest of the week, starting with “The Electric Vehicle Transition Post-Pandemic” on Tuesday, followed by “The Next Level: Mobile & Bi-directional EV Charging Solutions” (Wednesday) and “EV Charging & the Modern Grid: Past, Present, & Future” (Thursday).

To register for Drive Electric NH events, visit https://www.driveelectricnh.org/.

Monadnock Ledger-Transcript

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