The Daily Tar Heel

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Thursday March 23rd

Carrboro to hold electric vehicle rodeo on Oct. 8 in Town Commons

A Tesla Model S electric car pictured on Stadium Dr. on Thursday, Sept. 29, 2022.
Buy Photos A Tesla Model S electric car pictured on Stadium Dr. on Thursday, Sept. 29, 2022.

The Carrboro Town Commons is hosting an "electric vehicle rodeo" on Oct. 8 from 3:30 to 6 p.m., featuring a range of electric cars, scooters and bicycles.

The EV Rodeo is a public event co-sponsored by Climate Reality Orange County, the Triad Electric Vehicle Association and the Town of Carrboro. 

The event will offer attendees a close-up look at several electric and hybrid vehicles, including three different Tesla models, a Chevrolet Volt and a Toyota Prius Prime. Other "light" vehicles such as e-bikes and e-scooters will be available to test drive.

At the rodeo, Carrboro community members will be able to receive information on sustainable transportation options, including the mileage, costs and charging options of each vehicle displayed. The rodeo will also feature a “veggie-mobile” race in which children will be able to create and race their own vehicles made out of vegetables.

By discussing the mileage and price of each vehicle and educating the community on charging options that fit their needs, the EV Rodeo seeks to connect Carrboro residents to affordable sustainable transportation.

Mark R. Smith, web and social media lead at TEVA, said the current version of the EV Rodeo in Carrboro is a result of the increased popularity of electric vehicles.

“The educational benefit for years has been awareness,” Smith said. “Now we’re moving, as electric vehicle adoption is far more mature, away from awareness and to the practicalities of, ‘Okay, if I get this electric vehicle, if I buy this Tesla, how am I actually going to charge it? What are the issues with owning it?’”

Margie Muenzer, the membership coordinator and secretary of the Orange County chapter of Climate Reality, said one of the goals of the event is to get people to consider buying an electric vehicle.

"We’re hoping that having this event will get people thinking that maybe this is something they should work towards,” she said. 

Muenzer owns a plug-in Prius, which can operate using an electric battery or gas.

Electric vehicles have become more accessible and affordable through incentives like tax credits, Muenzer said. Electric vehicle tax credits are part of a federal push to improve access to electric vehicles, offering thousands of dollars to those who invest in clean energy-powered cars, vans and even minibuses.

Noah Kittner, assistant professor of environmental sciences and engineering at UNC's Gillings School of Global Public Health, said more public policies need to be enacted to make electric vehicles more affordable.

He said focusing on transportation is a critical part of combatting climate change, as this sector produces the most greenhouse gas emissions in the U.S.

“Electrification will be really key for reducing our use of petroleum and other fossil fuel-based transportation options," Kittner said.

He said electric vehicles are currently more expensive than conventional vehicles, but this gap will likely close over the coming decades.

“It seems like technology that only rich people can afford, but with a lot of the tax credits and the Inflation Reduction Act, I think many people will be surprised about how the cost of electric vehicles may decline over the next decade,” Kittner said.

@DTHCityState |

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