The future of electric vehicles panel discussion at Greenspace

The future of electric vehicles were discussed as a group of progressive folks got together for lunch to hit all the main points, including cost benefit.

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future of electric vehicles

The future of electric vehicles was discussed over lunch.

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (WDEF) — You may have been wondering what the deal is with electric cars.

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Automakers like Volkswagen and GM are making a big change-over to electric vehicles within a decade.

The pros and cons of buying an electric vehicle were discussed as a group of forward-looking folks got together for lunch. A panel discussion hit all the main points, including a cost benefit anaylsis.

Drew Frye from TVA was one of the panalists. He says Electric Vehicles fit perfectly into TVA’s mission of protecting the environment and improving energy efficiency. He says they recently completed a study on the subject.

“We came up with 4 areas that we need to work on: Consumer awareness, people understand electric vehicles, know more about them; the charging infrastructure, so they can move around and charge as they drive around, supportive policies, and also vehicle availability, working with our auto makers to be sure that vehicles come to Tennessee, and they have a lot of options for consumers to look at,” said Drew Frye, Program Manager for Electric Vehicles at TVA.

So, what are the big issues with electric cars? Here are some basic points—they are still expensive, people worry about their range, and charging stations may be hard to find when traveling. Some get around that with plug-in hybrids.

“We save money, it’s more convenient to park in the garage and charge it up, it’s a plug-in hybrid, so I’d say about every two or three weeks we fill up the gas tank, whereas we used to fill up an SUV at least once a week,” said Bill Copeland, Director of Business Intelligence at EPB.

On the plus side..most major car-makers, especially Volkswagen…are planning dozens of new models in the next few months…and newer battery types are extending the range. But not all electric vehicle shoppers are looking for just efficiency – there’s also the first edition all electric Jaguar.

“They are a little pricey, but you have to consider – you’re not only getting a full electric car, you’re getting a high luxury car,” said Theresa Johnson, sales consultant at Jaguar of Chattanooga.

Prices for electric vehicles are beginning to come down and new chargers are faster. So, according to the experts, you can plan of owning and driving an EV sooner than you thought. By the way there are 5-million of them already on the road.

Another event featuring electric vehicles will be on Station Street this Saturday from 10 to 2.

Dozens of Electric Vehicles will be on hand to see, touch and test drive.

Curious for more about the future of electric vehicles? Check out all the info on the upcoming Future of Transportation Day here!


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