Tag Archives: Leo Cirino

Electric Car Club Charges Ahead

Westporters own 266 electric vehicles. That’s the 3rd highest number in Connecticut. Greenwich leads, with 511.

But — at 1% of our total registered vehicles — we do rank first in the largest number of EVs per capita. That’s 3.5 times the statewide average.

Those are a few of the interesting facts to come from the Connecticut EV Club. That’s the new name for the Westport Electric Car Club. As EV popularity rises — there are 35% more plug-in vehicles in the state than a year ago — the local organization is growing too.

Robin Tauck (center) lent selectmen Jim Marpe and Avi Kaner (left) her 2 electric vehicles at an Electric Car rally. Kaner liked driving it so much, he bought this Tesla P85D model. On the right is former Westport Electric Car Club president Leo Cirino.

Bruce Becker is taking over from founder and longtime president Leo Cirino.

Other changes include partnerships with groups like the Acadia Center and Lime Rock Historic Festival, plus conversations with state transportation and energy officials.

One upcoming initiative: lobbying legislators to change the law prohibiting Tesla from selling directly to customers. (Connecticut allows cars to be purchased only through independent dealerships. Tesla sells direct from the manufacturer.)

State residents have reserved over 3,000 Model 3s — Tesla’s highly anticipated $35,000 vehicle. Club officer Barry Kresch estimates that 250 to 300 of those are in Westport.

So — despite the club’s name change —  our town will continue to have an outsize influence on statewide EV policy and affairs. “This is an environmental-thinking place,” Kresch says. “Its leaders are very green-conscious.”

And, he says, with 20 or so public charging stations — including both train stations, the library and Staples High School — Westport’s commitment to electric vehicles remains strong.

(For more information on the Connecticut EV Club click here.)

Electric vehicles lined up by the Staples charging stations (from left): Chevy Bolt, Tesla S, VW, Tesla X, Nissan Leaf.

Gentlemen (And Ladies): Start Your (Very Quiet) Engines!

Westport celebrated “Greenday” — actually “Greenweekend” — with festivities at Wakeman Town Farm, WeGreen awards, Earthplace nature walks and much more.

Including the 3rd annual Electric Vehicle Rally.

Art Cohen's hybrid BMW i8 drew many admiring  glances.

A hybrid BMW i8 drew many admiring glances.

Several dozen EVs — and their drivers, navigators and admirers — assembled at the train station. They compared EV notes, munched on free food from Steam (quaint imagery there, no?), then embarked on a silent ride to Wilton.

Robin Tauck (center) lent selectmen  Jim Marpe and Avi Kaner (left) her 2 electric vehicles last year. Kaner liked driving it so much, he bought this Tesla P35D model. It goes from 0 to 60 in 3.1 seconds -- not that anyone does that on local roads. On the right is Westport Electric Car Club president Leo Cirino.

Robin Tauck (center) lent selectmen Jim Marpe and Avi Kaner (left) her 2 electric vehicles last year. Kaner liked driving it so much, he bought this Tesla S P85D. It goes from 0 to 60 in 3.1 seconds (not that anyone does that on local roads). On the right is Westport Electric Car Club president Leo Cirino.

PS: The weather was perfect all weekend long. Despite all we’ve done to her, Mother Nature threw us a bone.

Two of the clever license plates seen at the Electric Vehicle Rally today.

Two of the clever license plates seen at the Electric Vehicle Rally today.

Rally Round The EV

Most road rallies start with vroooooming engines.

But electric vehicles are silent. So when 1st Selectman Jim Marpe and Westport Electric Car Club president Leo Cirino waved checkered flags to begin this morning’s 2nd annual Electric Car rally at the Saugatuck train station, engines were very, very quiet.

The air was filled instead with music, and the excitement of a much more environmentally intelligent future.

1st selectman Jim Marpe sends the Downunder electric car on its way. Earlier this year, Marpe drove Robin Tauck's Tesla for a week. He loved i.t

1st selectman Jim Marpe sends the Downunder electric car on its way. Earlier this year, Marpe drove Robin Tauck’s Tesla for a week. He loved it.

EV owners are a proud, enthusiastic, sometimes proselytizing bunch.

They, their co-pilots and hangers-on munched on free muffins from Steam. They discussed “range anxiety,” and shared charging tips.

Robin Tauck, Robert Brickley and their Teslas.

Robin Tauck, Robert Brickley and their Teslas.

They studied 4 pages of intentionally vague directions, for their 40-mile jaunt through Fairfield County.

And then they were  off.

Very, very quietly.

Members of Staples High School's Electric Car Club pile into a small, environmentally friendly vehicle.

Members of Staples High School’s Electric Car Club pile into a small, environmentally friendly vehicle.

New York Times automobile writer (and Staples graduate) Jim Motavalli talks with a charging vendor in the Saugatuck station parking lot.

New York Times automobile writer (and Staples graduate) Jim Motavalli talks with a charging vendor in the Saugatuck station parking lot.

Dkey Oster -- owner of Steam coffee shop -- provided free coffee, muffins and music before today's Electric Car road rally.

Dkey Oster plays outside Steam, before today’s Electric Car road rally. The popular coffee shop provided free coffee, muffins and bagels all morning long.