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KPS' electric schoolbus was the breakout star at a recent EV show in Kalamazoo

Several electric cars lined up in a parking lot with hoods up while people talk with one another.
Cori Osterman
Electric cars lined up in the Midtown Fresh parking lot for a drive electric event.

Electric vehicle owners, would-be owners and enthusiasts gathered for a National Drive Electric Week event at the Midtown Fresh in Kalamazoo September 24th.

Event-goer Rick Freiman brought his Honda Clarity to the show. The Clarity is a plug-in electric car meaning an electric vehicle with gas backup. Freiman bought the car in 2018 and said he loves it.

“Its nice on the highway, it runs really smooth. And inside, its very quiet. The engine noise is not there at all,” Freiman said.

Also featured at the event was an all-electric school bus owned by Kalamazoo Public Schools. It proved the most popular vehicle among attendees. Fully charged, the bus gets about 120 miles depending on the terrain and driver.

KPS’ Lane Bertrand was in attendance to give bus rides and answer questions.

“It’s very quiet, obviously, the kids really enjoy it. And it’s also a bit roomier than our other busses, about six inches wider,” Bertrand said.

Western Michigan University student Joe Walega was there as well with the Sunseeker Solar Car and its engineering team.

“We have a huge focus on sustainability and making sure that we can continue to make the world a better place, so putting solar panels on electric vehicles is definitely the next step in innovation," he said.

The event happened not after President Joe Biden signed the Inflation Reduction Act into law. The Act is aimed at boosting sales of electric vehicles. It offers tax credits for new and used electric cars. It also removes a cap on the total number of electric vehicle credits available to consumers.