Opinion: Taos can be clean energy model for the rest of rural America

Courtesy photo

Electric motorcycles on display during a Taos Electric Vehicle Expo. EVs require no oil changes and have rapid acceleration speeds.

In 2019, Jay Levine says that 400-500 people attended the Electric Vehicle Expo. That was the last year that it was held. The 2020 event was cancelled due to COVID.

This year, attendees will be required to provide proof of vaccination and wear masks. People might not have the chance to get as up close and personal with the spotlighted vehicles either. It will be on Saturday (Sept. 25) from noon to 4 p.m. at the Taos Public Library, 402 Cam De La Placita.

Levine, who is on the board of directors at Renewable Taos, said that the event would feature 10-15 electric cars, as well as electric bikes, electric motorcycles and electric scooters.

He said the speakers were mostly members of Renewable Taos talking about their experiences with electric vehicles.

“In the next 5-10 years all cars will be electric,” Levine said. “They are great. They’re even easier to manage (than gasoline-powered automobiles).”

Levine said that the work of Renewable Taos and the EV Expo is to normalize electric vehicles and encourage places to install charging stations.

He said that now the electric vehicle ownership movement is a trickle, but soon it will be a downpour and immediately after that, a flash flood.

When The Taos News spoke with Levine on the phone, he was in Vienna, Austria and said that Europe is changing with the times and including charging stations. He envisions Taos moving that direction quickly.

“The town and county need to change codes for buildings so no houses or apartments are built without electric car charging. (Renewable Taos) is working with a bunch of different people in town to install electric chargers,” he said. “Renewable Taos is willing to work with landlords and rental properties to do it.”

This year, the giveaways include a Heybike Cityscape eBike cruiser valued at $850 and donated by Renewable Taos, as well as a night at the Blake Hotel valued at $560 and donated by Taos Ski Valley.

The EV expo is sponsored by Kit Carson Electric Coop, Taos Ski Valley, Amerin, Nusenda Credit Union, among others.

Some who attend the expo will have the opportunity to ride in an electric vehicle, and meet experts, EV owners and dealers.

The expo is free to attend. No food or drinks will be available.

Levine said that the Friends of the Library will also be having a book sale and attendees will have the opportunity to register to vote if they haven’t already registered.

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