By David Vanalstyne – Special to SUNonline/Orillia
A huge shift in personal transportation has been predicted by experts for some time, and it’s here now. Driven by many factors, including the desire of many vehicle owners to reduce pollution and carbon emissions, the trend towards electric vehicles is here to stay. This is particularly so because electric vehicles are becoming more economically viable.
There’s lots to learn about Electric Vehicles, and the lack of knowledge and familiarity can create hesitation among consumers to take the EV plunge. It can also be a challenge getting information of what vehicles are available, knowing what questions to ask, and where to look for an EV purchase. To help answer those questions, Sustainable Orillia and Bentall GreenOak have collaborated to showcase the world of electric vehicles with an Electric Vehicle Demo Weekend Saturday September 11h and Sunday September 12 at Orillia Square Mall.
A variety of makes and models of electric vehicles will be on display in the parking lot from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. both days. The public is invited to see the cars, and speak with EV owners who will help demystify the world of Electric Vehicles while sharing the pros and cons of electric vehicle ownership from their real-world point of view. Some of our local dealers will be on-hand with their vehicles, as well. A must-see for sports car enthusiasts is the new Ford Mach E Mustang. This fully electric Mustang is the feature car for the weekend.
Enhancing the experience, inside the mall there will be free, half-hour presentations given by industry experts, including:
- Darryl Croft from EVNet, President of an on-line EV-only used car dealership who will speak on the topic of what to look for and how to go about buying a used electric vehicle.
- Ken Bokor, a well-known host and industry expert from the popular You Tube and Podcast EV Revolution Show. Ken will talk about the merits of electric vehicles and industry trends.
- Jeff Butler from the international on-line journal Plug Boats, will be on hand to highlight the trends and news about electric boats around the world, in particular, the growing trend towards electrification of all types of watercrafts.
- Ian Graham from the Waterloo region and the owner of an off-the-grid recording studio, Small Dog Studio, will be speaking about his real-life experience of going “off-grid” and how to power your lifestyle with clean renewable energy. In addition to operating his recording studio, Ian also owns and operates an electric vehicle and an electric boat.
These half-hour talks will be in person with a Q&A after each session. Most topics will be scheduled several times over the weekend to ensure every opportunity to attend as COVID protocols for social distancing will be enforced and numbers will be limited for each of these presentations. See the schedule for times.
This EV weekend is the kick-off event for Sustainable Orillia Month and throughout the following week at the Orillia Square Mall there will be a continuing program of sustainability-related events. These include an exhibition of art created and submitted on sustainable themes, ongoing EV and Sustainable Orillia information desks, and, to close off the week, a Repair Café on Saturday 18th from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. All of these can be found inside the mall.