Electric vehicles converge at Satellite Beach car show – Florida Today
Tesla’s most affordable option, the highly anticipated Model 3, can do 0-60 in under 6 seconds and get at least 215 miles per charge.
SATELLITE BEACH — Two Septembers ago, the Space Coast EV Drivers club only drew about a dozen electric vehicles to a car show at Melbourne City Hall. Last fall’s edition in Satellite Beach attracted about 35 registrants.
Exponential growth continues: Saturday, 112 registered EV enthusiasts boasting a combined 605,673 miles behind the wheel of electric vehicles congregated at the David R. Schechter Community Center for a six-hour showcase.
Organized in conjunction with National Drive Electric Week, these early adopters registered 13 models including the Tesla Model S, BMW i3 REx, Toyota RAV4 EV and Zero Motorcycle.
The rarest on display was likely a red 1969 Austin Healey Sprite — retrofitted with a General Electric motor and McLaren P1 battery — owned by Will Smith, who moved to Melbourne in July from Farmington Hills, Michigan. The British sports car has about a 40-mile range and tops off at 70 mph.
“This is the cheapest way to go. You can buy electricity in Detroit for 5 cents a kilowatt, which averages out to the equivalent of 35 cents a gallon,” Smith said, standing alongside the Sprite.
“Plus, it’s cool. It’s really the coolness factor, too. People are like, ‘Oh wow, it’s an old car. Electric? I didn’t know they made electrics back then.’ They didn’t,” he said.
Space Coast EV Drivers co-founder Josh Pritt drives a black 2015 Chevrolet Volt with nearly 17,000 all-electric miles on the odometer. The Schneider Electric software engineer said his club adds roughly one member per month.
“It was Carl Sagan who said, ‘When you’re in love, you want to tell the world.’ We love these cars, and people need to know — because there’s no commercials,” Pritt said.
“If Chevrolet would just make one commercial, put it on TV, and show how you can buy four gallons of gas every three months, and your power bill goes up $17 a month — that’s all it takes to fuel this car to drive 1,000 miles a month — they would not be able to build them fast enough,” he said, pointing at his Volt.
Saturday’s show featured two food trucks, informational booths and an address by James Fenton, director of the Florida Solar Energy Center in Cocoa. Brevard County Sheriff’s Cpl. Robert T. Rose drew stares by tooling around the parking lot atop his agency’s futuristic electric motorcycle.
The “Tron”-esque bike was donated in September 2012 by Parker Brothers Concepts from the Syfy reality series “Dream Machines.”
“This is the future of law enforcement. This is the future of our country. I can’t think of anything more important than being out here, and showing the people in Brevard and the little kids what the future brings,” Rose said.
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