Page 8 - WCM 2019 Winter
P. 8

 Charging Through the Foothills
Electric Mobility Comes of Age By Scott Vlaun
                           Fred Garbo describes his 300-mile range Tesla Model X (with Falcon Wing doors)
as his daily “work truck.”
“The time is right for electric cars - in fact the time is critical.”
~Carlos Ghosn
To be fully mobile in rural Western Maine, having access to a reliable car is crucial. Between long commutes to work, shopping, carting the kids around, and getting out to take advantage of abundant recreational opportunities in the area, rural Mainers tend to spend a lot of time behind the wheel. This reliance on the auto is compounded by the lack of public transportation in the region, a problem for visitors as well.
For anyone with an awareness of the growing threats of climate change and fossil fuel depletion, or simply a passion for clean air, this reliance on the automobile can create a cognitive dissonance. As much as we might love our cars, they in- creasingly fail to love us back, and we know it. Many of us drive for years with a love/hate relationship with our chariots.
For the informed motorist, a new and viable option to cars powered by internal combustion engines (ICE) is rapidly gaining traction, and Maine’s Western Foothills region is becoming a leader in this movement toward emission-free driving. A few merging circumstances are accelerating the surge of electric vehicles in the region.
The “EVangelist”
When Fred Garbo drove his first EV into the Western Foothills, there wasn’t a public charger in sight. He was the earliest local adopter of this technology, and the first person in Maine to own a Nissan Leaf. He was also probably the first person in the area to learn the meaning of the phrase “range anxiety.” “You got used to it,” Garbo told me recently. “The only level two (240 volt) chargers were at the Nissan dealerships in Auburn and Portland, and my garage! It was challenging, but very exciting. I tried to give everybody a ride and drive, because I knew electric vehicles would be the future.” Today, not that much has changed for Fred.
Arts, Entertainment, Adventure and More in Western Maine
 Scott Vlaun

   6   7   8   9   10