As gas prices continue to soar and the U.S. sends billions of hard-earned dollars overseas to buy oil, many motorists dream of declaring independence from the pump, and some look to electric and hybrid cars to make that dream come true. While electric cars are becoming more common on the roads, few have had the chance to see one up close, talk to the owner or ride in one.
All of that is about to change with the Fourth Annual Michigan Electric Vehicle Show & Rally. The event is Saturday, June 9, 2012, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Schoolcraft College in Livonia. It will take place rain or shine as activities are scheduled both inside and outside the campus. Event co-sponsors are Schoolcraft College and the Michigan Electric Auto Association (MEAA) in partnership with Clean Energy Coalition, DTE Energy and GreeningDetroit.com
Event organizers see the show as an important and fun way to raise awareness of the general public about electric vehicles (EVs), regarding three important factors:
• EVs are here. The major automotive companies continue to develop new electric and hybrid models that are on the market, and a growing number of people are converting gas-powered vehicles to electric power
• EVs are practical. Studies show that 80% of daily commuters travel less than 40 miles roundtrip per day, a distance that is well within the charging range of electric vehicles.
• EV owners enjoy talking about their cars. The best way to learn about electric cars is to see the cars in person, talk to the people who drive them, and go for a ride.
The event is free and open to the public. Electric and hybrid vehicles of all shapes and sizes, from scooters to transport vans to pickup trucks, and of course passenger cars will be on display. Visitors will have the opportunity to see the cars up-close, talk to the owners, and go for a short ride in an EV with the owner driving. The vehicles will include some production models from major manufacturers, gas-powered cars converted to electric, and those produced with EV kits. In addition, there will be booths displaying new products and services for the EV market, a question-and-answer session with electric vehicle owners, and information about Schoolcraft College programs that are related to the EV industry. Food and beverages will be available for purchase.
Michigan Electric Auto Association President, Larry Tuttle, says, “This is the largest event of its kind in the Midwest and you won’t want to miss it. Besides learning all about the latest EV technology and talking to people who drive the new production EVs every day, there are two additional and very popular highlights of the event: you can see unique EV conversions done by members of our association, and watch some of them compete in an exciting, solo autocross race.”
Schoolcraft’s Vice President of Instruction Rich Weinkauf sees the event as a way to highlight how closely connected the college’s programs are with emerging industries that will be crucial to Michigan’s economy. “Schoolcraft College has excellent programs in materials science, electronic technology, advanced manufacturing, computer-aided design, advanced energy storage technology and computer information systems that are in demand by the companies building and supporting electric vehicles and other green technologies.” Schoolcraft College is also home to four Level II charging stations which are offered without cost to electric car owners to charge their vehicles. “The event and the charging stations highlight Schoolcraft’s commitment to providing education on these technologies, the electrification of the transportation system and supporting the electric vehicle culture.”
Schoolcraft College is a public two-year college, offering classes at the Livonia campus, Haggerty Road between Six and Seven Mile Roads, at the Radcliff Center in Garden City and online at www.schoolcraft.edu.
Details on the Fourth Annual Michigan Electric Vehicle Show & Rallyand the MEAA are available at www.michiganevshow.org. To schedule an interview, please call Ann Boss-Cronin at 734-462-4438 or email info@MichiganEVShow.org.
Source: Michigan Electric Auto Assoication