Electric Vehicle Event Draws Test Drivers to Sioux Falls

SIOUX FALLS, SD (KELO) – A “Ride & Drive” event at the WH Lyon exhibition center on Thursday wasn’t just about showcasing electric vehicles, but also drive them. Lincoln County’s Bruce Schroder and Sioux Falls’ Arlene Brandt-Jenson 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 bit different,” Schroder said.

“I loved it,” Brandt-Jenson said. “It was fast, easy to accelerate, I could see myself doing that.”

When it comes to fossil fuels, Brandt-Jenson wants to be consistent.

“We want to walk and talk,” she said.

James Petree and Kasey Abbott, each from Sioux Falls, were at the event to showcase their electric vehicles.

“I’m a big believer that we need to decarbonize transportation and I’m concerned about climate change,” Abbott said.

“When you see you’re not spending that money at the pump, maybe your electric bill goes up $10 or $20 a month,” Petree said. “But they’re fun to drive, they’re the future, one way or another.”

Everyone says that the cost per mile of driving the vehicle is pretty cheap. But there are downsides.

“If you’re going longer distances, you’ll have to adapt to long-distance charging,” Petree said. “Right now, unfortunately, Tesla is the only one with a nationwide fast charging network, so if you use some of the brands that are out there, they slow you down a bit.”

“Especially for a Nissan LEAF owner like me, we don’t have the charging stations available with the Tesla yet,” Abbott said.

“There are always compromises, no matter what,” Petree said. “But the compromises are more than worth it.”

Ben, manager of beneficial electrification at Sioux Valley Energy, says different electric utilities worked together to organize the event.

“We get a lot of questions from our members about electric vehicles, and it’s newer technology, it’s something not many people know about yet,” Pierson said. “But we just wanted to give them the opportunity to come in and ask questions, get some first-hand experience, talk to some owners, drive one.”

About Robert Pierson

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