‘There’s an E for everybody’: Well-attended EV Ride-n-Drive shows off options, choices
Steamboat Springs resident Barry Kaplan is ready to buy an electric vehicle, so he was happy to test drive six different models during the EV Ride-n-Drive on Saturday, May 14, in Steamboat Springs.
Kaplan was having fun on a test drive of an all-electric, all-wheel drive Ford Mustang Mach-E. During a powerful handling test at the high school parking lot, passengers in the back seat grabbed handles while Kaplan cornered tightly. Passenger heads were pushed back against the headrests when Kaplan punched the electric vehicle engine.
The electric Mustang can go from 0 to 60 mph in 4.8 seconds, and that’s just a mid-range model, said car owner Matt Park, a volunteer EV educator from Longmont.
“I got this because I like performance. This thing books,” Park said.
Steamboat resident Kelly Seibel answered questions for several hours about his family’s Mach-E, which they drive some 1,500 miles a month at a cost of $40 via charging at home. Seibel calculates that a round trip drive from Steamboat to Vail costs $4 in electricity, while his Toyota Tacoma at 20 mpg costs about $35 for the same trip.
“It was the best value that I ever saw, and I’ve been looking at this for years,” said Seibel, who owns a local technology integration company.
Seibel put a deposit down for the Mach-E and waited one year for delivery. That’s why Steamboat residents Kevin and Nikki Perkins were happy to check out Seibel’s Mustang and ask many questions. The Perkins put a down payment on a Mach-E in October 2021 and hope to receive their vehicle at the end of May, but Saturday was the first time they had seen a Mach-E in person.
The Perkins said they are buying an EV to replace a Toyota Tundra that gets some 15 mpg.
“There’s no reason to use a gas vehicle if we can use an electric. It’s so much better for the environment,” Nikki Perkins said.
Seibel said he is glad that Steamboat Motors now has a technician trained to work on EVs, as local car dealers have not offered full electric vehicles in recent years. Corey Brackmann, a sales consultant at Steamboat Motors, said the shop now has authorized EV mechanics and sells the Mach-E.
Two of the owners of new EVs at the event said they received their reserved vehicles faster than expected by checking in with dealers and buying a reserved model that another customer did not pick up.
Volunteer Jared Canter from Denver drove to Steamboat to let people test drive his 2021 Volkswagen ID.4 electric SUV, which came with three years of free charging on the Electrify America fast-charging network. Canter said he planned to fully charge his SUV in 30 minutes in Frisco on his drive home.
The educational event was well attended and included a wide variety of electric vehicles on display or to test drive, including a scooter, bicycles, utility vehicle, cars and SUVs. Steamboat Pedego Electric Bike store owner Matthew Coop showed off a unique electric vehicle, a MoonBikes electric snowbike. After testing the French-made snowbike on Buffalo Pass in the winter, Coop signed on to be a local dealer.
Routt County resident Julie Daehn, who said she has a “loud, smelly, old snowmobile” at home, was a fan of the $8,500 snowbike.
“This would be very awesome to have for a nice way to cruise around the backcountry and not be so obnoxiously loud,” Daehn said.
Paul Bony, Yampa Valley Sustainability Council energy and transportation director, said the ever-growing range of models, options and choices for electrically powered vehicles that emit no tail-pipe pollution means, “There’s an E for everybody.”
The co-sponsored event was part of ongoing outreach for the City of Steamboat Electric Vehicle Readiness Plan that was completed in 2021. The next local EV Ride-n-Drive is scheduled for Sept. 18. More information is available on the city’s EV information page.
Federal and state rebates still exist for most EV passenger vehicles. Currently the federal government offers up to $7,500 for an electric vehicle tax credit for the first 200,000 EVs sold by a manufacturer. The state of Colorado offers an Innovative Motor Vehicle income tax credit at $2,500 for the purchase of any plug-in hybrid or all-electric passenger vehicle.
To reach Suzie Romig, call 970-871-4205 or email sromig@SteamboatPilot.com.
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