Electric Vehicles Looking Good

By John Swartz

The 5th annual All-Electric Vehicle Weekend. organized by Sustainable Orillia happening now at the Roller Skating Place at ODAS Park looks like an auto show, an improvement over it’s first iterations.

“The first three years it was held outside at the parking lot where Canadian Tire is. Last year was our first attempt at increasing the size and having vendors. Prior to that was basically people who had EVs came out. Last year we had three automobile manufacturers represented; now we’ve got seven,” said Danny Epstein. He is vice president of Sustainable Orillia and co-produced the event.

Last year the show moved into the 9,000 square foot Building 1 at ODAS Park . This year they have 20,000 square feet to play with inside the Roller Skating Place.

“It’s more than cars. You should take a look at that boat, it’s amazing, it’s gorgeous. Also the electric surf board, Napoleon is here, two electric companies are here to talk about what the needs are to hook up your car and solar stuff. Kubota is here, lots of electric bikes and scooters,” Epstein said.

One of the car brands represented is Orillia Kia. General manager Dustin Stein has been with the dealership for 7 years and bears witness to the rapid rise of demand for electric vehicles. The arrival of EVs to his dealership is recent.

Orillia KIa general manager Dustin Stein and an EV6

“At my lot in Orillia, last year. At our sister store (Richmond Hill) in 2016,” Stein said of when EVs were first delivered.

The models, an EV 6 and a Niro, on display at the event are really fresh.

“It’s a niche market, but there’s certain people who want an EV or want a plug in a hybrid, so most of our market is plug in hybrid. Sales are going; we can’t really keep one on the lot. We got these two yesterday and I’m sure they’re going to be sold by the end of next week. There’s always people looking for them. Once they get in and test drive them, they’re going to want to buy them,” said Stein.

Aside from the items already mentioned, you can see electric carts, a snow mobile, replacements for gas or wood burning fireplaces, heat pumps, and backup generators. You can even test drive some of the cars. The show is open Sunday, today until 4 p.m.

Taiga Nomad Snowmobile

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(Photos by Swartz – SUNonline/Orillia)


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