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CEC Holds Drive Clean Workshops

Continuing on the path of the Central Coast Electric Vehicle Readiness Plan it published last year, the Community Environmental Council is hosting two alternative fuel vehicle workshops for the Central Coast in the final months of 2015. 

Workshop Dates

The first event, Drive Clean Ventura, is in partnership with the Ventura County Air Pollution Control District and the City of Ventura, and will take place from 6 p.m. – 9 p.m. on Wednesday, November 18 at the City of Ventura Maintenance Yard, 336 Sanjon Road in Ventura.

The second workshop, Drive Clean Santa Barbara, is in partnership with the Santa Barbara County Air Pollution Control District and the County of Santa Barbara, and will take place from 6 p.m. – 9 p.m. on Thursday, December 3 at Santa Barbara MTD – Public Meeting Room, 550 Olive Street in Santa Barbara.

Workshop Descriptions

The workshops will include a brief presentation on the full suite of alternative fuels being used today– including electricity, hydrogen, natural gas, biofuels, and propane – and the different vehicles currently available or in development. As the most readily-available alternative to gas or diesel, electric vehicles (EVs) will be discussed in depth.

Local EV owners will then take the stage for a short Q&A session about their experiences, and experts on alternative fuels will also be on hand to answer questions. The bulk of the workshop will be reserved for allowing participants to test drive their pick of several electric vehicles.

Social & Environmental Impact

Speaking to the compelling need to raise awareness about electric and other green vehicles, CEC’s Energy Program Associate Cameron Gray commented that few people realize transportation accounts for close to half of California’s greenhouse gas emissions, and that it has serious consequences for health as well.

“The air pollutants emitted from conventional gas or diesel vehicles, such as fine particulate matter and nitrous oxide, cause an increase in respiratory illness among young children and other vulnerable populations,” stated Gray. “Alternative fuel technologies being rolled out today give us the power to end these negative health impacts and address global climate change at the same time. ”

The Drive Clean workshops are part of a larger statewide effort, funded by a California Energy Commission grant, to raise awareness so community members and businesses will be more likely to consider the purchase of a low-to-no emission vehicle. There’s also a hope to encourage more organizations, community centers, and businesses to apply for grant funds to install publicly accessible EV charging stations. The workshops also work toward the goals set forth in CEC’s 2007 carbon-neutral plan, A New Energy Direction: A Blueprint for Santa Barbara County.

 How to Participate

All community members are encouraged to attend, from those who have never before considered purchasing an electric vehicle to those who want help determining the best alternative fuel vehicle to fit their needs. Attendees can RSVP at CEC’s Facebook event, and community members can also learn more about driving electric by visiting www.cecsb.org/choose-electric.

Local EV owners who would like to participate by sharing their experience or bringing a vehicle to the workshop can contact Cameron Gray at 805-963-0583 Ext. 111 or [email protected]

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