2015 Nissan Leaf

Attendees to the National Drive Electric Week event in Grapevine can register to win a Nissan Leaf for a weekend.

Sept. 16, 2015

If you want to learn more about electric vehicles, this Saturday, the North Central Texas Council of Governments has a free event to get you up to speed.

On Sept. 19, event-goers can check out and test drive dozens of electric vehicles at Grapevine Mills Mall in Grapevine from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.  NCTCOG is hosting the event in conjunction with National Drive Electric Week.

National Drive Electric week logo“We are hoping to educate the public on the advantages of driving an electric vehicle,” Kenny Bergstrom, communications specialist for the North Central Texas Council of Governments. “We also want to provide real-world examples of everyday drivability and we are hoping to accomplish that by having attendees speak with EV owners who attend.”

Organizers are also hoping to set a North Texas record for the highest number of electric vehicles in one place. Bergstrom said he is expecting that most manufacturers will be represented on the day of the event as well as there being fun things for kids and adults to see and do overall.

Tim Miller“The event will have family friendly games and activities for various age groups and we will have exhibits from our agency, the various vehicle manufacturers, EV recharging companies and conservation-minded entities,” he said.

Left, Tim Miller, host of the Car Guy Show.

Tim Miller, host of the Car Guy Show, will be on hand. In addition, all attendees will be entered into a drawing to win a weekend with a Nissan Leaf.

An annual event since 2011, the EV expo is ideal for anyone who wants to learn more about EVs, said Bergstrom. 

“We expect from 250 to 300 attendees and as of this writing, we have 223 people registered to attend, already making it the largest event we’ve ever done,” he said.

Organizers are also expecting unregistered attendees who are visiting the shopping center to come to the EV area for more information about the world of electric vehicles, which is quickly becoming more popular in North Texas every day. 

“We track new vehicle registrations by looking at VIN numbers and examining to see if they are EVs,” Bergstrom said regarding the number of EVs being purchased in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. “It should be noted that the actual number of EVs in the DFW region is expected to be higher than what is represented by our data since in some cases, VIN numbers do not specifically call out if the vehicle is an EV.” 

However, current data Bergstrom supplied shows that as of September 2015 in the North Texas area there were 2,556 EVs registered.

Prices of EVs are comparable to gas-powered vehicles too.

“In most cases, EVs that are compared to gasoline vehicles in the same class have a similar cost,” Bergstrom said. “For example, a Nissan Leaf can be compared to a similarly equipped five-passenger gasoline vehicle in terms of standard equipment and cost. The same can be said of a more expensive Tesla Model S when compared to German luxury cars. The cost and standard equipment are similar. Most EVs are eligible for up to a $7,500 rebate from the Federal Government as well as the extra savings from reduced fuel and operating cost for EVs.”

So if you are looking for more information about electric vehicles or are seriously considering purchasing one this event is for you.

“People should attend to learn about EVs, recharging equipment and air quality improvements currently being made in DFW,” Bergstrom said. “They will also have the opportunity to not only drive vehicles, but hear from actual EV owners. There are not many chances for the public to see more 100 EVs in one place, but at our event they will have that opportunity.” 

Drive Green is a new column about alternative vehicles by Rita Cook. Read her reviews of the Tesla S and the BMW i3 hybrid.

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