Ritter Environment and Transportation Fair showcases mean clean road machines

This week, the governor’s energy office hosted an Environment and Transportation Fair at the Colorado History Museum in Denver. Participants included green energy entrepreneurs and business representatives, environmental advocacy groups, and interested public observers. The event showcased an impressive selection of “clean vehicle technologies” available for sale here in Colorado.

All-electric fly-ride prototypes on display included 2010 sports cars and vintage favorites remade to run petrol-free.

Electric VW Bug

Electric 1965 Mustang

Are you a friend to the environment? Do you have a classic car that you love (like that ’65 Mustang pictured above)? And do you have an extra $30,000 to $50,000? If your answer is yes to all of those questions, contact Mike Owens at Eco-Classic Cars based in Westminster. He can restore and retrofit your baby with an electrical system that will keep your aging car spinning into the 21st century.

Tesla: The Electric Sports Car

Would you like to drive really fast and really clean? Do you have an extra $109,000 to $158,000? If yes to both, contact Nigel Zeid of Tesla Motors Inc., on Pearl St. in Boulder. He’ll set you up with a high-speed/acceleration (0 to 60 in just 3.7 sec!), reliable, and relatively long-lasting electric sports car.

“This is our means to an end technology,” Tesla’s Zeid told the Colorado Independent. “[This car] shows we can build a fast, long-distance, fast-charging, beautiful car. And now after this, everything will be built upon our reputation.”

In two years time, Tesla plans on rolling out a two-to-five seat four-door sedan for somewhere between $55,000 to $80,000.

Although Gov. Ritter has passed House Bill 1331 (HB 1331), “Incentives for Efficient Motor Vehicles”, to create tax incentives for consumers to purchase these “plug-in” vehicles, it will be years before options expand beyond the electric bike for we paycheck-challenged lovers of clean speed. Note: Electric bikes cost $2,700 but reach top speeds of just 30 mph.

Ritter has staked a lot of political capital on Colorado’s New Energy economy, betting that investment in renewable energy industries will draw businesses and jobs to the state and encourage new energy research and development. The governor’s plan so far has included raising the state’s renewable energy standard, so that within the next ten years, 20 percent of all electricity used in the state will come from renewable sources. Colorado ranks eleventh among the states in its use of wind power and sixth in its use of solar power.

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Taran Volckhausen is a freelance journalist who primarily writes about the environment, politics, and drug policy. His work has appeared on National Geographic, Christian Science Monitor, The Intercept, Mongabay, among others. He is also a former editor at Colombia Reports. Twitter: @tvolckhausen

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