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Orlando Gets Behind the Wheel at Lake Eola Electric Car Event


September 27th, 2013 | WMFE - An event in downtown Orlando Sunday offers the chance to take a ride in an electric vehicle. Lake Eola will host a gathering of electric car experts and promoters, along with more than two dozen cars available for test drives. The event aims to debunk misconceptions and get people comfortable with electric cars.

[Image: A Nissan Leaf electric car charging]

Potential electric car drivers express one common concern so often, it now has a name - “range anxiety.” 

“People are concerned that if they get into an electric car, they are going to run out of electricity before they can get to where they need to go," explains Jennifer Szaro, Renewable Energy Manager at Orlando Utilities Commission. However, she says, distance isn't usually an issue for electric vehicle owners. "We found that the average commute is probably in the range of 40 miles per day and the Nissan Leaf, for example, will go 80-plus miles on a charge.” 

Szaro says OUC’s role in easing range anxiety involves installing and maintaining public charging stations for longer drives. Currently, there are 100 OUC charging stations across Orlando, with more on the way. 

Sunday’s 10:00am to 2:00pm event is one of 60 happening nationwide that are designed to familiarize the public with electric cars, which Szaro says are becoming more popular.

“Most people who go electric don’t go back,” she notes. 

There are about 1,000 electric car owners in the Orlando area so far.

 

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