Saturday’s Electrify Your Life Expo at the Cos Cob train station featured an array of electric vehicles, electric bikes and scooters, as well as Juicebox charging stations, and electric landscaping equipment. Other than the live band and food trucks, the theme made for a quiet event.
“It’s all about noise and air quality,” explained Aleks Moch, from Greenwich’s Conservation Commission.
The idea was to give families a hands-on, electric taste of things they usually must burn fossil fuels to operate.
“This is the future – electrifying pretty much everything,” said Myra Klockenbrink, a member of the conservation commission. “Getting your electricity from renewable energy is the ticket for our cars, for our bikes, for our landscaping equipment.”
Klockenbrink said that at home she has a mower, blower, weed wacker and a drill, all of which run on battery power.
A recently formeds group, Quiet Yards Greenwich, seek to find a better balance between the needs of landscapers and the concerns of homeowners about the impacts of gas-powered leaf blowers on health, the environment and quality of life.
Gas-powered leaf blowers exceed noise levels of 100 db that penetrate walls, windows, and property lines. They cause irreversible hearing loss and are deemed unsafe by major health organizations. They disrupt residents’ ability to enjoy their own homes.
Gas-powered leaf blowers emit more greenhouse gases in 30 minutes than a pickup truck driving 3900 miles, and produce smog and ozone pollution.
Further, they discharge toxic raw exhaust and blow carcinogenic particulates into the air that linger for hours and are inhaled by landscape workers, children and residents.
The event featured Pyoor.co whose services include quiet emission-free landscaping. The company already has hundreds of clients and their truck has chargers built into it to recharge the equipment. Other services include food waste pickup, organic home cleaning, eco-friendly hair stylist and robotic mowing.
Owners of 14 electric vehicles brought their cars to the event and chatted casually with families.
“People are very comfortable talking to the owners,” Moch said. “I think it’s a better setting than going to a dealership because they can ask questions without the pressure of buying.”
The electric cars included Rivian, Audi, Hyundai, Nissan, Kia, Porsche, Volvo, Tesla and Polestar.
Not only are electric vehicles federally subsidized with a $7,500 tax credit, but they are virtually maintenance free. Best of all, electric vehicles completely eliminate the $5 average cost today for a gallon of gasoline.
Mark Favreau from Greenwich talked about his Polestar electric vehicle he has had since September.
“I like the styling and the technology is roughly equivalent to what others are selling,” Favreau said. “It doesn’t quite have the range that some others do, but 240 miles is more than enough for me.”
“You can go anywhere,” he added. “There’s charging stations everywhere, and the car knows where the next one is.”
Favreau said in the complex where he lives he sees other Polestars, but also EVs from Hyundai, Audi, Porsche, Volvos and Tesla.
“Electric cars are the future,” he said, going on to list the benefits. “Never having to stop at a gas station. Never needing an oil change again.”
“People don’t realize, they think electric vehicles are not so clean because they think electricity comes from coal, when actually in Connecticut 50% of supply already comes from renewable sources,” said Svetlana Wasserman.
This year a bill passed in Connecticut requiring the entire electricity grid to be zero emission by 2040. That goal will be furthered by new wind turbines being built.
Klockenbrink said Wilton Go Green has a wonderful motto: “Just Do One Thing.”
“I love that because everybody here can do one thing. You can take your food scraps to holly hill. You can get a bamboo tooth brush. You can get an electric car,” she said. “Everybody can do one thing that pushes the ball farther down the field.”
While the event was informative and people enjoyed the test drives, there were fun activities for children including remote controlled cars and an obstacle course built by high schoolers Felix Dosmond and Mike Hisler.
“It’s just great fun. The electric cars show some potential,” Felix said, adding that he is fortunate to drive his family’s electric cars. “But, on a smaller scale for the kids, instead of a gas powered RC car, it’s an electric RC car. And it gets into their heads that electric is viable.”
In addition to the Conservation Commission the event was organized by EV Club of CT, Quiet Yards Greenwich, Pedal Greenwich, Live Green, Clean Cities and Wilton Go Green.