Friday, April 15, 2016

Benicia Sustainability Commission to host electric vehicle exhibit at Mini Maker Faire

(Originally published in the 4/15/16 edition)

   A 2006 documentary asked the question “Who Killed the Electric Car?” The answer 10 years later: nobody. As attendees of tomorrow’s Mini Maker Faire will learn, the reports of the electric vehicle’s death have been greatly exaggerated.
   The Benicia Sustainability Commission will have an exhibit highlighting the growth of electric vehicles as well as the potentially positive impacts they could have for the future. 
   “The Mini Maker Faire’s very future-oriented, and I think people are getting more into doing things themselves and hands-on projects, and electric vehicles are very much the way of the future,” BSC commissioner Kathy Kerridge said.
   Kerridge owns a Chevrolet Volt, which will be on display at the Maker Faire along with a Chevrolet Spark, Nissan Leaf and Tesla Model S. Kerridge says she has been a proponent of electric vehicles for a long time, and owning a Volt has only deepened that appreciation.
   “I am now more of a proponent than ever just because of my own personal experience with the car,” she said.
   Among the benefits of electric vehicles that Kerridge cites are lower greenhouse gas emissions and carbon footprint, air pollution prevention and lower fuel costs.
   “They’re also super fun to drive,” she said. “They have incredibly fun acceleration, so if you like to go fast, they’re great.”
   The booth will have owners of electric cars answering questions from attendees and a video on why people drive electric cars. Unfortunately, Kerridge said, attendees will not be able to test drive these cars at the event.
   “We’ll be able to steer them to local dealers who have these vehicles and can do test drives,” she said. “Once people get in and test drive an electric car, it sells them on it. We hope people have enough interest that they go and test drive one.”
   Benicia Sustainability Commission will not be the only ones with an electric vehicle exhibit. Benicia company California E-Bike will be showing off electric assist bikes, and SolTrans will also have a bus on display. 
   “We hope people take away that these cars are great to drive, they’re economical and they’re great for the environment,” Kerridge said.

   The Mini Maker Faire will be held from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Saturday, April 16 at Benicia Middle School, located at 1100 Southampton Road. For more information on the event, visit

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