SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — A “Ride & Drive” event at the W.H. Lyon Fairgrounds on Thursday wasn’t just about showcasing electric vehicles, but also driving them. Bruce Schroder of Lincoln County and Arlene Brandt-Jenson of Sioux Falls each took a test drive in one.
“Well, I thought it was fun, it doesn’t make a lot of noise like a regular vehicle, so it’s a little bit different,” Schroder said.
“Loved it,” Brandt-Jenson said. “It was speedy, easy to accelerate. I could see myself doing this.”
With regard to fossil fuels, Brandt-Jenson wants to be consistent.
“We want to walk the walk and talk the talk,” she said.
James Petree and Kasey Abbott, each of Sioux Falls, were at the event showcasing their electric vehicles.
“I have a strong belief that we need to decarbonize transportation, and I’ve been concerned about climate change,” Abbott said.
“When you see that you’re not spending that money at the pump, you, maybe your electric bill goes up by 10 or 20 bucks a month,” Petree said. “But they’re fun to drive. They’re the future, one way or another.”
Each says that the cost-per-mile of driving the vehicle is quite cheap. But there are downsides.
“If you are going longer distances, you are going to have to accommodate for charging on long distance,” Petree said. “So Tesla right now unfortunately is the only one that has like a nationwide fast-charging network, so if you’re using some of the other makes that are out there, they kind of slow you down a bit.”
“Especially for a Nissan LEAF owner like myself, we don’t have the charging stations yet that are available with the Tesla,” Abbott said.
“There’s always tradeoffs, no matter what,” Petree said. “But the tradeoffs are more than worth it.”
Ben Pierson, a manager of beneficial electrification with Sioux Valley Energy, says different electric utilities worked together to bring about the event.
“We get a lot of questions from our members about electric vehicles, and it’s a newer technology, it’s something that not a lot of people know about yet,” Pierson said. “But we just wanted to give an opportunity for them to come out and ask questions, get some first-hand experience, talk to some owners, actually drive one.”