Beltrami Electric Cooperative Showcases Electric Vehicles at Annual Car Show
Electric vehicles are gaining traction as more are hitting the roads. Some people are turning to these vehicles as alternatives not only for their wallets in response to soaring gas prices, but to help the environment as well.
Local businesses in Bemidji are coming together to help educate the public about electric vehicles through owner testimonies. With everything from bikes to pickups on display, the EV Car Show is a way for Beltrami Electric Cooperative to introduce the public to what some consider the future of the American highway.
“We started out with hybrids and small things, right, that could be maybe easier to power, but as battery technology has improved, the range has improved,” said EV car owner Gary Johnson. “In fact, trucks like … the Ford Lightning have a very large battery, so their range is very, very large.”
“There’s a lot of interest in electric vehicles and the supply chain has been challenging,” said Angela Lyseng, Beltrami Electric Communications Specialist. “People can’t go to a dealership and just check out the vehicles on their lot because there aren’t any. So this gives people the opportunity that want to see the vehicles that they come and see all the different models and styles in one place.”
13 electric vehicles were displayed at the car show. Questions about the interior and exterior of each vehicle were answered, but some vehicles showed off more than just their looks.
“[It’s] so simple in terms of what’s in here. There’s no transmission, there’s no oil changes, there’s no … engine,” added Johnson. “So it’s a very simple car and that’s just, to me, an advancement in technology that makes sense to embrace.”
With laws being passed in other states such as California, where the goal is to eliminate the sale of gas-fueled vehicles by 2035, some may wonder if Minnesota is headed down the same road.
“I don’t think we’ll see that in Minnesota for a while,” said Lyseng. “Challenges right now definitely are supply. You’ve got to be able to get the vehicles and right now, people that are interested, they have to order them years in advance to get them.”
Next year will mark the fifth annual EV Car Show from Beltrami Electric. Representatives say they hope to bring in more examples of electric vehicles to show the extent of what’s available with this technology.