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National Plug-In Day at South High Saturday

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Denverites will have the opportunity to see and drive the premiere electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles this weekend as the Clean Cities Denver Metro Coalition presents a special event at South High School, 1700 E. Louisiana.

The event marks the nation’s third annual observance of a call to take charge of automotive air pollution and our country’s energy independence.

The event will showcase cars such as the Ford C-Max Energi, the zero-emissions Nissan Leaf, the Chevrolet Volt hybrid, a plug-in conversion of a Pruis hybrid and the piece de la resistance of electric cars, the Tesla Model S.

Information will be available on the range of the cars, the recharging infrastructure already available in Colorado and the tax incentives that bring the cost of EVs and conversions within reason.

Quick Facts

  • In 2009, 378 million gallons of gas were consumed in the US every day.
  • A disappointing 8 percent of the US energy comes from renewable resources.
  • Only 34 percent of the petroleum products used in the US are domestically produced.
  • There are over 249 million motor vehicles in the USA.

The Cars at the Event

Members of the Rocky Mountain Automotive Press were treated to a preview event yesterday where we briefly drove the various vehicles available.

The Ford C-Max Energi is a plug-in hybrid vehicle that adds external power to the 43-mpg already achieved by the spunky five-door. In electric only mode the C-Max Energi will get an equivalent of 100 mpg for a range of 21 miles. That just happens to be the standard urban commute one way.

The Chevrolet Volt plug-in hybrid is a Chevy through and through with a new attitude – it delivers 38 miles of emission free, low cost mileage before the generator kicks in to produce the power that extends the range up to normal vehicle standards – 380 miles before needing to recharge or refuel.

The Nissan Leaf is a true all-electric car now in its third year. With a range of 73 emission free miles, constantly improving technology and a cost after tax credits and rebates of only $16,188, it is a sterling value in electric vehicles.

Boulder Hybrids will also be on hand to show you their conversion of Prius vehicles to plug-in versions. Though Prius makes plug-in models they are not sold in Colorado, so the firm’s conversion of 2004 and later Prius models involves a battery installation in the back deck plus a recharging plug and a switch on the dash, allowing the driver to switch modes readily. Best of all the process has no impact on existing warranties.

For those who have the means and the desire to go green in a big way, the Tesla Model S sits at the pinnacle of electric vehicles with a pure electric range of 300 miles and a zero-to-60 time of 3.9 seconds in a highly advanced car weighing over two tons.

A touchscreen the size of two iPads dominates the center of the console, featuring Google maps that zoom just like a smartphone. If you’re driving through construction areas, raise the chassis (up to 8 inches) to avoid any bumps or dips in the road surface. When you come to the end of the work area and depress the accelerator, the car resumes its standard height automatically.

All this and more awaits you as National Plug-In Day comes to Colorado from 11 am to 3 pm September 28 at South High School, 1700 E. Louisiana.

Forget what Kermit said – going green gets easier every day!

For more information on this and other related events, click here.

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