Getting amped for electric cars

City charging ahead with national trend

Posted 9/22/15

Some people are afraid to take the leap and switch from a vehicle with an internal combustion engine to an electric car — but those who do really like it.

Golden resident Katherine Jordan knows.

She owns a Ford C-Max Energi. It gets about 20 …

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Getting amped for electric cars

City charging ahead with national trend

Posted

Some people are afraid to take the leap and switch from a vehicle with an internal combustion engine to an electric car — but those who do really like it.

Golden resident Katherine Jordan knows.

She owns a Ford C-Max Energi. It gets about 20 miles of electric range, which is “perfect for everyday errands,” she said. But because it’s a hybrid, when necessary, “you also can gas up and go.”

And, as a bonus, she said, it comfortably seats her family of five.

A National Drive Electric Week event took place Sept. 19 in the Golden Real Estate parking lot where attendees learned about charging stations and either rode in — or test drove — electric vehicles.

The City of Golden boasts green initiatives, with electric car-charging stations popping up in numerous locations. But it’s not just Golden adopting the trend— more than 170 cities across the U.S. held events highlighting the clean-air and cost-saving benefits of electric cars.

Electric cars have so many advantages, said the event’s organizer Jim Smith, broker and owner of Golden Real Estate. They’re less expensive in the long run, and they’re better for the environment.

Smith is an advocate for Tesla, a luxury car that can cost upwards of $80,000 to $90,000, he said. However, he added, other electric vehicles can be purchased for about $30,000 — especially if bought used.

And the benefit of buying a used electric car versus a used car that runs on gasoline, he said, is you can be sure it’s a reliable car.

“There’s really nothing to fail,” Smith said.

Electric cars do not have transmissions or an internal combustion engine. There’s no need to worry about oil changes, the transmission going out or other engine problems shortly after a used purchase, he said.

Electric cars also do not require the expensive maintenance that gasoline-run cars do, said Timothy Haas, president of the Denver Electric Vehicle Council. But aside from the cost savings, he said, it’s about the benefits of clean air.

“You can get to a zero-carbon transportation solution,” he said.

And the City of Golden is jumping on board, Smith said.

The city received a grant to install six installations with two charging stations each — or 12 charging stations altogether, Smith said.

The city has already installed six of the charging stations in parking garages on Jackson Street and Golden Real Estate. Another two charging stations are located near Jackson and 14th streets, but paving work must be done before they are operable. The four last

charging stations will be at the Golden Community Center.

All are free for public use, Smith said, and are compatible with any electric car.

The Golden Hotel also has Tesla-specific chargers free for public use, said Renee Rinehimer, the hotel’s regional director of public relations and marketing.

“We’re committed to the environment and doing our part,” she said, adding that the hotel has won several awards for its green initiatives.

The hotel’s Tesla chargers, installed the first week of August, are in the lower parking lot. They are a permanent fixture, Rinehimer said, and a person does not have to be a hotel guest to use them.

Aside from great acceleration and a smooth, quiet ride, Martin Voelker of Golden prefers an electric car because of its efficiency, he said.

Jordan agreed.

“The absolute most efficient internal combustion engine is only at about 30 percent—and that’s just the motor,” Jordan said.

Electric cars can be up into the 80 percentile range, she said.

“And because it’s relatively new technology,” Jordan said, “they’re getting better.”

electric cars, National Drive Electric Week, Golden Real Estate, Golden Hotel, Christy Steadman

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