Electric vehicle owners gather on Earth Day to accelerate green transition

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Electric vehicle owner Jeff Fuller stands next to his Hyundai Ioniq 5. Ta'Leah Van Sistine/WMNF News (2023)

A group of electric vehicle owners from the Tampa Bay area gathered on Earth Day to encourage more people to drive electric.

Over 20 electric vehicles were displayed in the parking lot at Ford’s Garage in Brandon.

Participants and attendees wove around propped hoods and open doors, exploring different makes and models and asking questions about making the switch to electric.

Javier Guerrero is the president of the Tampa Bay EV Association. He said the organization strives to accelerate the adoption of EVs.

“It’s going slower than it should go,” Guerrero said. 

According to the Environmental Protection Agency, transportation accounts for 28% of annual greenhouse gas emissions.

EV owners said mitigating the negative impacts of climate change was a significant reason for switching.

But owners like Jeff Fuller said saving money was also an important factor. 

“I was spending about 8, at least 8 grand a year in just fuel,” Fuller said. 

After transitioning to electric, Fuller estimates charging his vehicle now costs him $8oo or less a year.

The Tampa Bay EV Association has been holding these events since 2019.

EV owners said gathering and meeting one another at these events also helps validate their purchases.

Fred Van West, an owner of a Tesla Model 3, said he enjoys talking with prospective buyers and discussing the benefits of EVs.

“As an EV driver,” Van West said, “you have a story.” 

Van West said conversations about EVs are important to have, but on a day like Earth Day, they’re “the best conversations to have.”

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