PARIS — Organizers of the second annual Electric Vehicle Expo hope attendees will get charged up about the movement.
Norway’s Center for Ecology-Based Economy (CEBE) will host the event from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 10, at the Paris Police Station at 35 Market Square, which will feature a ribbon-cutting, or commissioning, ceremony for the town’s new electric vehicle charger. The charger was donated to the town by CEBE. It was donated to CEBE by Barry Woods, owner of Electric Mobility and a dealer of Clipper Creek Chargers.
The expo is part of National Drive Electric Week, slated for Sept. 10-18, where communities across the U.S. will celebrate the increased availability of plug-in vehicles and the benefits of electric and hybrid vehicles.
The expo will offer people an opportunity to drive fully electric vehicles (EV) and hybrids. EV advocates and CEBE Advisory Board members Fred Garbo and Tony Giambro will bring their EVs for test drives. Giambro currently has the only electric Kia Soul EV in the state of Maine, he said, and Garbo has one of two Volkswagon e-Golf in Maine. There will also be electric bikes on hand for attendees to test ride.
Garbo will have his original EV, the Nissan LEAF at the expo, along with his electric golf car, all of which “get charged by the sun,” as he has solar panels to power his house and EVs.
“The goal is get people driving these cars [and] realizing they don’t pollute in any way shape or form,” he said.
One of the featured speakers at the expo is Brian Kent, who took his Nissan LEAF on his 43,000-mile Negative Carbon Road Trip to all of the lower 48 states. The trip took roughly eight months and Kent planted trees along the way.
Garbo noted Kent’s road trip happened “in a car that basically has an 80-mile range.”
Garbo and Giambro liked that Kent planted trees as he went, hence the title Negative Carbon Road Trip.
“He wasn’t just driving crazily around,” Garbo said.
Garbo and Giambro met Kent in June at the Evs 29: Electric Vehicles Symposium and Exhibition in Montreal.
“The interesting thing about his Nissan LEAF is he got a sticker everywhere he went,” Garbo said, adding the vehicle has a Paris Autobarn sticker from Giambro, who co-owns the Paris business.
“You can’t see the car [because of all of the stickers],” Giambro said.
As fate would have it, Kent visited the Oxford Hills on his road trip before the trio met. At EVs 29, the Canadian equivalent of PlugShare, Charge Hub – which map out EV chargers across their respective countries – had a vendor booth. Paris Autobarn has a universal EV charger and two Telsa EV chargers.
“’Hey are we on there?’” Garbo remembered asking Charge Hub representatives. “They punch up Paris Autobarn and the picture is Brian Kent’s car.”
“’I remember that place, I slept in your driveway,’” Giambro recalled Kent telling him.
Now Paris Autobarn is sponsoring Kent and will give him four Nokian tires – which only use purified oils in production, not the industry-standard carcinogenic chemicals – to replace his worn out tires at the expo.
“[Kent] has more surprises and more plans to drive his car on adventures,” Giambro said, noting he didn’t want to spoil the surprises.
The Electric Vehicle Expo will also feature local food vendors and music. Organizers want more food vendors to join the expo and more EVs.
“We’re looking for more dealers to bring cars and to contact us ASAP,” Giambro said. “It’s a perfect opportunity to sell cars.”
Car dealers, food vendors or those looking for additional information can contact Giambro at Tony@parisautobarn.com –or 744-2169,Garbo at firstname.lastname@example.org or 415-1559 or CEBE Executive DirectorScott Vlaun at email@example.com or 739-210.