e-bike from past event

NORWAY — The Center for an Ecology-Based Economy brings together electric vehicles and clean energy Oct. 1. Western Maine has seen burgeoning electric vehicle adoption over the last eight years, with hundreds on the road and a growing EV charging network to serve the community as well as EV-driving visitors. The annual National Drive Electric Week Solar & EV Expo hosted by the Center for an Ecology-Based Economy (CEBE) has played a critical role in this transition, giving potential EV owners the opportunity to test drive a range of cars and learn directly from the people who drive them.

This year’s Expo will continue building excitement and educating locals through viewing, riding in, and test driving electric vehicles, riding eBikes, and attending workshops. Past Expos have included as many as 50 locally-owned electric vehicles and e-bikes and hundreds of test drives and rides. The event will run from 12-4 p.m. on Oct. 1, as part of National Drive Electric Week. It will include six interactive workshops: Co-op Community Solar; Beyond Individual Car Ownership; Residential Solar; How to Get Started with Beneficial Electrification; Battery Lifespan, Recycling, and Lithium; and DIY Low-Tech Solar. Introductory information on buying and operating an electric vehicle, and on switching to solar power will be presented, as well as information about statewide efforts to support the transition to electric vehicles.

This event is free, and will take place entirely outdoors in the parking lot of the Oxford Hills Comprehensive High School in South Paris. To protect the health of our community, attendees are asked to wear masks while inside vehicles, and to stay home if feeling ill. Available models to drive or ride in at the Expo will include the Ford F-150 Lightning, Chevy Bolt EUV, 2013 Nissan Leaf, 2023 Nissan Leaf, Tesla Model Y, 2019 Kia Niro EV, Smart Fortwo, and Chevy Bolt.

“Not only are EVs critical to address climate change, they’ll also help Mainers reduce their fuel and maintenance costs, especially drivers in rural areas,” said Rob Wood, director of government relations and climate policy for The Nature Conservancy in Maine. “We applaud the Center for an Ecology-Based Economy for hosting this important showcase so folks can see the latest models and hear from their neighbors about the benefits of switching to an EV.”

There are now estimated to be more than 2.5 million EVs on the road in the United States, with over 6,800 in Maine. The US has a goal of 50 percent electric car sales by 2030. There are now over 65 models available in the U.S., with many of the newer models having a range of 200-300 miles or more. Recent federal incentives are designed to support domestic manufacturers with rebates for buyers.

This event is made possible with the support of Plug In America, The Nature Conservancy in Maine, Natural Resources Council of Maine, ReVision Energy, Garbo-Kane Integrated Solar Builders, Maine Conservation Voters, and Maine Climate Action Now. CEBE has also installed 15 EV chargers in the area to help encourage EV adoption as everyday transportation. Limited charging will be available at the Expo with many more public chargers available in Paris and Norway.  Founded in 2013, the Center for an Ecology-Based Economy works to engage the community in addressing the climate emergency. They organize, educate, take direct action, and implement practical, ecological solutions for a just transition to a thriving, regenerative economy.

Additional information can be found at ecologybasedeconomy.org.

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