The League of Women Voters (LWV) of Alachua County, the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy, and National Drive Electric Week will host an electric vehicle (EV) demonstration event on Saturday in Gainesville.
During Gainesville’s Annual Downtown Festival and Art Show, the LWV will have an EV Demo Booth from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. At the booth, people can learn about EVs and get directions to the public parking lot where the vehicle display is located at the southwest corner of SE 4th Avenue and SE 4th Street.
Experienced EV owners will display their vehicles and discuss how they use them on daily commutes or long road trips. The event will give information regarding charging stations and the effects of owning an EV.
A wide range of options will be displayed, including a Gainesville Regional Transit System (RTS) electric bus, electric scooters, bikes, cars, and trucks.
The vehicles will be stationary and no driving is allowed to ensure the safety of eventgoers.
“The National Drive Electric Week help set up websites for each of these events to promote the use of electric vehicles,” said Wes Wheeler, former vice president of LWV, in a phone interview. “The League of Women Voters supports clean energy, so we support electric vehicles as part of the transition to a cleaner future. That is a big reason why we are doing this event.”
Alachua County is transitioning from fossil fuel-burning vehicles to electric vehicle driving.
Around 40% of greenhouse gas emissions in the Gainesville area are from the transportation sector and internal combustion engine cars.
“That is changing rapidly,” Wheeler said. “I know we’ve hit a tipping point in the US, as other countries have, with transitioning to electric vehicles, and all we’re doing is just making folks aware that these vehicles are out there.”
Last year, Alachua County recorded 1,066 registered EVs; as of July 2022, that number has surged to nearly 1,400.
There are many reasons for the recent increase. The main reasons include lifetime costs are less expensive, EVs are cleaner, have no greenhouse gas emissions, are low maintenance, and are technically advanced.
“I want to get the message out there to folks that the change is happening, and it’s not scary,” Wheeler said. “It is a bit of education. I think everybody will be just as excited as those of us holding the demonstration.”
The LWV is a civic organization that advocates for nonpartisan education and voter participation. Their mission is to get people to go out and vote without endorsing any particular candidate.