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Great timing! With gas at $5+ a gallon, Central and South Coast events highlight electric vehicles

Electric vehicles are being highlighted at a series of events on the Central and South Coasts this week.
Electric vehicles are being highlighted at a series of events on the Central and South Coasts this week.

Soaring gas prices make economics of the vehicles look even better.

Andy Sobel and his wife had an idea. What is they bought a used electric car, just to try out the technology? In 2018, the Ventura County couple bought a used Chevy Volt.

"We bought it for $11,000. We live in Santa Paula, my wife works in Oxnard... she teaches there," said Sobel. "Her commute is about 32 miles... the older Volt's range is about 38 miles, so it covers her commute."

Sobel admitted they were worried about getting stuck somewhere, so they got a car with a backup. The Volt has a small backup gas engine. They figure they are getting the equivalent of 115 miles a gallon when they are running strictly on electric power.

The couple loves it, and with gas $5 plus these days, having the electric car is a real bonus.

Electric vehicle advocates are trying to get more people interested in the vehicles this week.

"This is National Drive Electric Week. We're celebrating electric vehicles, and trying to do a lot of outreach, and get people to learn about the rebates, the incentives, and why people should make the switch." said
Nancy Clarin, who's an EV Coach with the Ventura County Regional Energy Alliance.

"This is where transportation is headed... private transportation... and public transportation," said Clarin.

An event at the Ventura County Government Center this week had a number of electrical vehicles on display, and some you could test drive.

Randi and Tim Dalgren of Camarillo came to check on the EV’s.

"Just seeing what it's like for the most part... obviously, I've had gas my whole life," said Randi Dalgren. "Hearing all the good things about it makes me want to test drive one."

Nearby, Brad Sherman is standing by a small fleet of brightly colored EV’s. He’s with Pizza Man Dan, a chain of pizza restaurants in the region which has five EV’s which they use for deliveries. He says their EV’s are more environmentally friendly than conventional vehicles, while also saving money.

National Drive Electric Week continues with multiple events on the Central and South Coasts.

There’s an EV Show at Thursday’s Oxnard Plaza Park Farmer’s Market, It’s from 9 a.m. until 1:30 p.m. Then, Thursday night from 6-9 p.m., there will be an EV showcase at the downtown San Luis Obispo Farmer’s Market.

On Friday, the Santa Maria EV Showcase will take place from 5:30-8:30 p.m., in the Santa Maria Town Center’s West Parking Lot.

Lance Orozco has been News Director of KCLU since 2001, providing award-winning coverage of some of the biggest news events in the region, including the Thomas and Woolsey brush fires, the deadly Montecito debris flow, the Borderline Bar and Grill attack, and Ronald Reagan's funeral.