Electric Cars

Fourth annual Electric Car Rally May 1

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The Westport Electric Car Club (WECC) will be holding its fourth annual Electric Car Rally, a 35-40 mile event, on Sunday May 1. Among the rally vehicles this year will be a Tesla Model X, Gen 2 Chevy Volt, and Cadillac ELR. Past years have seen electric vehicles (EVs) from Tesla, GM, BMW, Ford, Mercedes/Smart, Fisker Karma, Nissan, Volkswagen, and Toyota.

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The rally is for plug-in vehicles, whether fully electric, extended range electric vehicle, or plug-in hybrid. It is not necessary to be a member of the club or a resident of Westport to participate. All EV drivers are welcome. The entry form can be downloaded from the website.

The Rally will commence at noon at the Westport/Saugatuck Metro-North Train Station in Westport. Driver check-in takes place at 11 a.m. at the waiting room on the New Haven bound side of the station, which will be open at 10 a.m. for a continental breakfast.

The WECC is continuing its partnership with the Wilton Go Green organization, which is hosting the rally finish line at its annual Go Green Festival.

The public is invited to view the EVs either at the pre-Rally staging or at the finish line in Wilton.

As in past years, the rally-master will devise a roughly 35-40 mile course that winds around the back roads of Fairfield County. The course details will remain secret until they are provided to the drivers upon checking in for the rally.

Club President, Leo Cirino says, “EV sales in the first quarter of 2016 were up 18% over the same period last year, despite low gasoline prices. More and more manufacturers are introducing new plug-in models. There are continuing advances in battery chemistry which have led to improved ‘energy density’ and lower prices. Most importantly, these are not only clean cars, but they are stylish and fun to drive. EVs now come in many flavors, designed for different types of drivers and pocketbooks. We know from our club meetings and events that the awareness on the part of the average person regarding specifically what is available, what each of them does, and how they work is low. The rally is a great way to showcase them, and for the public to learn about them.”

According to the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection, transportation emissions account for 40% of greenhouse gas emissions statewide (compared to only 20% for buildings). The Union of Concerned Scientists calculates that when a Connecticut resident replaces a conventional car with an all-electric car, they reduce their greenhouse gas pollution by 68%, and changing to a plug-in hybrid reduces it by 50%. If you charge your car with energy from solar panels or other renewable energy, you can reduce your impact by virtually 100%.

More rally details:

There is a $50 entry fee per vehicle.

Drivers are required to have a navigator. The directions are too complicated to be handled by a driver alone. The club will help find a navigator for any driver who needs one. Contact the club for details.

This is a rally, not a race. The competition is based on coming as close as possible to the official mileage as determined by the rally-master as long as the mileage is not below the official course length (no short cuts!). Prizes will be awarded to the winner and 2 runners-up. The rally officially concludes at 3 p.m. Winners will be announced at 3:15.

Photos from previous rallies are available on the WECC website. Updates will also be posted on the site.

The mission of the Westport Electric Car Club is to promote vehicle electrification and the supporting infrastructure in the service of reaching low or zero emission transportation. The club welcomes for membership anyone with an interest in electric vehicles. It is not a requirement to be an EV owner or to live in Westport. In fact, the club is a great resource for information. Prospective members may join on the website.

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