Tag Archives: electric cars

Sustainable Westport: An Idle Idea

Alert “06880” reader — and yearning-to-breathe-free Westporter — Peter Boyd chairs Sustainable Westport. He writes:

Sustainable Westport recognizes that families are making tough choices during the pandemic. Not the least is if and how to get your students to and from school.

Safety comes first. Bus capacity is reduced to enable safe distancing of students, and many parents and guardians opt to drive their children after encouragement from the schools to do so.

In these strange times when we all do our best for our families and community, Sustainable Westport has another suggestion for how drivers can help protect our children: When waiting in stopped traffic at pick-up and drop-off, please turn off your car whenever possible to reduce the impacts of idling engines.

Waiting in line for a school pick-up

Poor air quality affects the health of everyone — especially children, who breathe 50% more air per pound than adults.

If you need other reasons to switch off, a state regulation requires all vehicle engines be turned off after 3 minutes of idling (except in certain conditions, including air temperature below 20 degrees F).

 

In addition, you start saving fuel if you are not moving for more than 7 seconds (hence the auto cut-off on many of the newer vehicles). No one will ticket you if you don’t switch off, but hopefully you feel better when you do.

And you can keep the radio on while you wait.  Modern, well-maintained car batteries can last for several hours while playing music.

During this difficult time, when so much is out of our control, let’s take initiative to control the air pollution we produce.

It is so nice to see how many students now walk or bike to and from school.

If feet or pedal power is not an option, consider an electric vehicle. (Westport has the greatest number of EVs per capita of any town in Connecticut – as celebrated at the recent EV car rally).

 

EVs are increasingly affordable. They provide impressive savings over the lifetime of the vehicle. They can idle without polluting the air, and be charged at home.

We understand that going electric may not be an option for everyone. We know that life is throwing many challenges at Westport families right now. So if driving your kids to school in a gas-powered car works best for you, please keep in mind that “young lungs are at work.” Let’s look after them!

 

Rally ‘Round The EVs

Can you feel the electricity?

Westport already boasts 19 electric car public charging stations. You’ll find them at places like the train stations, library, Town Hall and Staples High School. Many are solar-powered.

Now — as the Westport Electric Car Club plans its 5th annual Electric Car Rally — it’s gearing up for a new addition: electric bicycles.

In addition to the usual 35-40 mile event for Teslas, Chevy Volts and Bolts and the rest, this year’s rally — set for next Sunday (May 7), has a separate course for bike riders.

You don’t even need to own one. Several are available for a $25 rental fee (call Pedego Electric Bikes at 203-354-9333 to reserve one).

The rally starts and finishes at the Westport train station New Haven side (near both charging stations and Donut Crazy). Registration, driver instructions and a continental breakfast are at 10 a.m.; the rally starts at 11 and ends at 1 p.m. There’s a $50 entry fee for both cars and bikes.

Robin Tauck (center) lent selectmen Jim Marpe and Avi Kaner (left) her 2 electric vehicles at an earlier Electric Car rally. Kaner liked driving it so much, he bought this Tesla. On the right is Westport Electric Car Club president Leo Cirino.

The rally course winds through the back roads of Fairfield County. Though the course is secret until registration, it includes a pit stop at the Wilton Green, for that town’s Go Green Festival.

Bikes have a separate, shorter course.

Spectators are invited to view EVs before or after the rally. Test drives are available afterward.

Charge!

(For more information, click here. For a registration form, click here. Questions? Email WestportElectricCarClub@gmail.com)

Pimp My Electric Ride

Back in the day, Westport was an artists’ colony.

These days, we’re proud of our environmental chops. You can charge your electric vehicle at a variety of places around town; earlier this month we hosted a large electric car rally.

Over the past week, art and e-cars have met. Here’s the scene at the northbound side of the train station, next to the charging stations:

Train station

The front passenger window says “Electric rules.”

We’ve come a long way from VW flower power vans.