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Environment

EV Fest brings electric vehicles to The Brick Works

Posted by Roger Cullman / October 25, 2011

EV Fest 2011Bringing EV Fest -- Toronto's fall festival of electric cars -- to The Brick Works from last year's event held in a Toyota-Lexus dealership made sense on many levels.

EV Fest 2011 showcased electric car and bike offerings in a space where nature, culture and community intersect. Held in The Kilns and Holcim Gallery on Sunday, it was neat to see such modern-day transportation options inside such the heritage property.

EV Fest 2011The all-electric Tesla Roadster Sport (pictured in the lead photo) was quite the head-turner. But at over $110,000 price tag, I think I'd rather wait until their Model S comes out next year, at a mere US$57,400 estimated price.

EV Fest 2011Perhaps equally as impressive, but on another level, was the pride and dedication that eco-enthusiasts applied towards converting their vehicles to running on electricity or other, more environmentally friendly options.

Eco Steve showed off his '84 Fiero that he converted to electric for about $1,000 worth of recycled parts -- and countless hours of labour, no doubt.

EV Fest 2011Then there was the bright yellow Z2T Electric Roadster, that Scott converted from a Suzuki Swift GTi.

Tim Sheppard proudly displayed his Volkswagen TDI Beetle with 600,000 kms on it. It travels 500 km daily and has been to Saratoga Springs, NY and back using 12 gallons of waste vegetable oil.

EV Fest 2011Electric motorcycles are different beasts altogether.

Ed Stepanik converted a 1991 Suzuki GSX600F "Katana" which he nicknamed El-Kat (Electric Katana). At over 140 hours research and buying parts, 150 hours building and at least $10,000 conversion cost (mostly for lithium batteries, motor, motor controller and chargers) I guess you could say it's a labour of love.

EV Fest 2011For the those who prefer to have their eco-ride fully built for them, there's Zero Motorcycles, represented at the EV Show by Mitchell Cycle in Mitchell, Ont. Tempting, but until the prices come down to something comparable to the top speed and range of their gas counterparts, I think I'll stick to my gas scooter for now.

EV Fest 2011For those who prefer the pedal-assist electric bicycles, there's the sturdy Ultramotor A2B bikes, which EV Fest attendee Joshua Brassé was eager to test drive.

EV Fest 2011The Brickworks is also a site for AutoShare's new EV Program, featuring the Nissan Leaf.

I'm sure that, in just a few years, we'll find this instruction video rather quaint:

PlugNDrive was there too, as part of their cross-Ontario road show promoting EVs to businesses and drivers.

If you live in a condo and are thinking of buying or leasing an EV and you're concerned with the challenges of charging an EV, ParkPlug Power may provide some solutions.

Altogether, the EV Fest was a neat glimpse into what an electric vehicle future could have in Toronto. Once we get past the range anxiety, er... awareness and sticker shock over the cost-of-ownership of these fossil-fuel alternatives, we'll be well on our way to a greener transportation options and the environmental and economic benefits that they can bring.

Photos by Roger Cullman Photography.

Discussion

11 Comments

Rob Ford / October 25, 2011 at 10:53 pm
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i don't like it.

i'm a fat turd. i'm afraid of the CBC!

i'm hungry.

everyone hates me.
JS / October 25, 2011 at 11:50 pm
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I don't know. Are electric vehicles the proper direction to go in? If we had more green energy sources I would be more into it. Although, we are going to be building another nuclear reactor in Ontario soon which isn't an intelligent move. If everyone started driving electric vehicles the smog would go down but our dependency on electricity will greatly rise. Isn't there another technology we can develop that is more sustainable?
Chris replying to a comment from Rob Ford / October 26, 2011 at 12:28 am
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Does every article on this site need to have a couple dozen "Rob Ford" posters, regardless of the topic?

We get it; he's not liked.

I'm by no means a fan of him but its annoying as hell to read about it in every damn post.
lowrez replying to a comment from JS / October 26, 2011 at 12:47 am
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JS, why do you think a nuclear reactor is a bad idea?
lowrez replying to a comment from JS / October 26, 2011 at 12:48 am
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It isn't, and I'll explain why, but I want to hear your reasons first. Sorry if that sounded like baiting.
Mr. S. replying to a comment from lowrez / October 26, 2011 at 08:45 am
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"JS, why do you think a nuclear reactor is a bad idea?" Three words: 'Fukushima Dai-Ichi'. Don't get all righteous: 'we have no tsunami', 'we have no earthquakes', 'we have better oversight'. All true, but we share one thing: human error.
Nick replying to a comment from JS / October 26, 2011 at 11:05 am
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@JS: one big point source of emissions (from an electricity plant, e.g. one that's natural gas-fired) is a lot easier to treat than millions of little ones (tailpipes). One could imagine the CO2 from such a plant being captured in the not-to-distant future. Electricity can also be produced in a multitude of ways, so it's a good currency.
lowrez replying to a comment from Mr. S. / October 26, 2011 at 12:11 pm
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Mr S: if you're going to go ahead and assume arguments before they're made, I may as well assume you're one of those anti wind turbine idiots.

Tell me: how many people do you think died as a result of the Fukushima meltdown?
seanm replying to a comment from JS / October 26, 2011 at 06:56 pm
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Every new (more) sustainable alternative to petroleum fueled cars will be shot down until everybody is forced to ride transit and bike everywhere. Most of the anti-car nuts just hate cars because they can't afford one, and won't stop until we're all forced to commute like sardines in a tin can.
Robert / October 27, 2011 at 10:22 am
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As for me - Electric and Solar have been shown by my data to be fine to cover the energy needed to drive to work and back! Even Living in an Apartment! If you have a way to store the wind, as compressed air (Should not be too hard!) - I would consider an Air Car!
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