Kalamazoo Electric Car Show Returns This Weekend | WMUK

Kalamazoo Electric Car Show Returns This Weekend

Sep 19, 2019

Karl Bloss with his Zero electric motorcycle at a Ride and Drive in Hastings last week.
Credit Sehvilla Mann / WMUK

They range from a motorcycle to an SUV, but the vehicles headed to an event in Kalamazoo Saturday do have something in common. They’re at least partly electric. And most of the 11 models scheduled to be there use no gas.

It’s the fifth electric “Ride and Drive” organized by local enthusiasts. One is Western Michigan University Physics Department Chair Paul Pancella. He says electric cars can be hard to find at dealerships. They take longer to explain and therefore to sell, so they’re not always stocked. And, he says, dealers make a lot of their money on upkeep.

“And one of the real benefits of electric vehicles, modern electric vehicles is almost a total lack of regular maintenance,” he told WMUK.

Pancella says the Kalamazoo event, which comes at the end of National Drive Electric Week gives people who are curious about gas-free autos a chance to check them out. Chevy Bolts and Volts, Nissan Leafs and Tesla 3s will be at the Kalamazoo show. One driver is bringing a converted Saturn Vue.

Karl Bloss is a proud owner of electric vehicles. He brought his 2016 Zero DSR motorcycle to a Drive Electric Week event in Hastings last weekend. Bloss says that driving electric is a very different experience from driving a regular vehicle.

“It’s really eye opening, and suddenly you realize it’s like the difference between coming from a flip phone to a smart phone. There’s just this leap of technology that goes way beyond the environmental aspect. It’s just a much better driving experience,” he said.

Bloss says he must make sure he’s seen by other drivers and pedestrians while driving his electric motorcycle. Electric vehicles are very quiet, which can be a problem since motorcyclists already struggle to be seen on the road.

Kalamazoo’s electric Ride and Drive starts at noon Saturday at the Midtown Fresh grocery store on Howard Street.