Ecology Action organizes event for electric vehicles

Ecology Action organizes event for electric vehicles

A few months ago, the average price for a gallon of gasoline in California was over $6. But electric vehicle users barely noticed.

“We’ve always told people that gas is tied to global markets. Not electricity. So there is more fluctuation for gas pricing,” says Sabrina Delk, the program specialist for electric vehicles at Ecology Action.

The local nonprofit has been hosting electric vehicle outreach events for 13 years. On Sunday, October 2, Ecology Action will host its seventh annual Electric Vehicle Ride and Drive event at the Salinas Amtrak station as part of National Drive Electric Week.

The event encourages people to test electric vehicles and talk to EV owners about the pros and cons. It also includes e-bike test rides and exhibitors from environmental organizations.

“We are not sellers. We are just EV teachers,” says Delk. Many of the volunteers and staff own electric vehicles and are there to talk about both the benefits and challenges of ownership.

“The technology has improved enormously,” says Delk. “The average car can now drive about 230 miles on an electric charge.”

And although petrol stations still far outweigh electric charging stations, according to Delk things are improving.

“Infrastructure is a high priority not only for local and state governments, but also for the federal government,” she says.

Last month, the California Air Resources Board approved the Advanced Clean Cars II proposal, which requires all new passenger cars sold in 2023 and beyond to be zero-emissions.

Ecology Action wants to help people of all income levels make that switch. Their website connects interested buyers with advisors who have knowledge of grants and discount programs.

During the Ride and Drive event, visitors will be able to test drive various electric vehicle models, including the new Ford F-150 Lightning, the Volkswagen ID.4 and the Nissan Ariya.

Delk expects a large turnout for the event.

“Last year we had 300 people attending this event, and I think we will have at least 500 people this year,” she says. “We’re getting so much more interest than ever, and I think it’s because there’s an awakening about what’s going on in the environment and how greenhouse gas emissions are a culprit.”

The 7th Annual Electric Vehicle Ride and Drive event will take place on Sunday, October 2 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Salinas Amtrak Station, 11 Station Place, Salinas.