Local Utilities, the Izaak Walton League, and West Central Climate Action are hosting an electric vehicle (EV) event that will feature a ride and drive on Saturday, Oct.15, at First Lutheran Church in Detroit Lakes.

People interested in learning about the benefits and performance of an EV will be able to test drive various models for free from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., in a non-sale, no-pressure setting. There will also be 10-15 EVs on site for people to view, sit in, and talk with the owners.

Meteorologist, author, and entrepreneur Paul Douglas will be the keynote speaker for the event.

Douglas will begin his presentation at 11 a.m. inside First Lutheran Church. 

There will also be kids’ activities, live music, electric bikes, and tool demonstrations.

According to the event press release, today’s EVs are a smart, environmentally friendly, transportation choice. They cost less to operate than gas-powered cars. In fact, they can be three to five times cheaper to operate than gas-powered cars depending on gas and electric rates. Plus, their electric motors require less maintenance than traditional gas engines.

EVs can be charged at home with a standard 120V outlet, or a specialized 240V charger can be installed for quicker charging capabilities. EV range is typically around 80 miles to over 330 miles on a full charge.

Fully recharging the battery pack can take four to eight hours, but a fast charge of up to 80 percent battery capacity only takes 30 minutes.

Test driving new EV models will allow people to feel how electric motors provide quiet, smooth operation and stronger acceleration than gas-powered cars. In addition, utility staff and energy experts will be able to answer EV-related questions without the pressure of a sales environment.

This regional event will host local utilities, including Detroit Lakes Public Utilities, Lake Region Electric Coop, Ottertail Power, and Wild Rice Electric. Other entities supporting this event are the Izaak Walton League of America – Prairie Woods Chapter and the West Central Climate Action.