Check drive electrical automotive at free Guelph occasion

With gas prices hitting record highs in recent months, eMERGE Guelph is hoping that people will be motivated to consider alternatives like electric vehicles.

The organization, which focuses on fighting climate change by helping people reduce energy use, is hosting an EV test-drive event on June 5 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at 42 Carden St.

If you’ve never driven an electric car before, you’ll have fun trying one out, said eMERGE executive director Evan Ferrari.

“The nature of electric motors is that they’re instantaneous,” he said, explaining how quickly the cars can accelerate.

But the hope is not just to hook people with the joy of driving electric vehicles, but also to educate people on their environmental benefits and to combat what eMERGE Guelph sees as a worrying trend.

Almost 80 per cent of new vehicles registered in Guelph in 2021 were what Ferrari calls “gas guzzlers” — pickup trucks, SUVs and vans.

This is an increase from 66 per cent in 2017, said an eMERGE news release.

The number of people opting for light trucks over smaller cars is “continuing to rise at a time when gas prices are through the roof,” said Ferrari.

These vehicles cause 87 per cent more “climate change pollution” than a new mid-sized car, the release said.

“Guelph has been an environmental leader in waste management and water conservation, but somehow we’ve decided that burning 87 per cent more gas in larger vehicles is OK,” Ferrari said in the release.

Taking into account maintenance costs and the cost of fuel, EVs are more cost effective, in addition to being more environmentally friendly, said Ferrari.

To help people learn everything they need to know about buying an electric vehicle, eMERGE Guelph is also offering EV101 classes during Sunday’s test-drive event.

“In an hour it dispels a lot of the myths,” Ferrari said.

The classes, which are offered at 11 a.m., 1 p.m. and 3 p.m., are free, but registration is required. To register, visit

Those only interested in test driving a vehicle do not need to register in advance, and there will be eMERGE EV ambassadors — local EV owners — on hand who can answer questions.

The event is being offered in partnership with Plug’n Drive and Alectra.


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