Carbon Day Brings Electric Vehicles to Copley Plaza

Posted by Noelle Swan

“You do not see a bike in the ‘hood like that,” shouts fourteen-year-old Stephen Williams of East Boston.

He was talking about the Stromer electric bike—a bicycle equipped with a motor that can assist or replace pedaling. The Stromer was one of several electric vehicles on display at Copley Square for the Third Carbon Day Festival.

Williams and several of his East Boston High School classmates came to the plaza with their physics teacher, Scott Hubeny, in hopes of seeing some electric cars. Vendors from all over New England were happy to oblige.

Kathy Wilkenson of Club Car Enterprises let the kids pile into the golf-cart-like Club Car and pose for a photo. At another station, they peered under the hood of the 2011 Wheego LiFe, a highway legal, electric car. Self-assisted bicycles—Williams’ favorite—and Segways, the popular two-wheeled standup vehicles, also were available for an up-close inspection.

Most electric vehicles can be charged in the standard 110-volt outlets found in homes and businesses all around the country. The electricity necessary to power the engine costs just pennies compared to the ever rising price of gasoline. A few charging stations have popped up around Boston and Cambridge, including three public stations on City Hall Plaza where residents can charge up their car for free. There are even several iPhone apps that help electric car users find the nearest charging station.

Representatives from the Electric Vehicle Urban Infrastructure Study discussed the problem of city dwellers who want to switch to an electric vehicle but who park their cars in different places every night. Study spokespeople encouraged residents to lobby city government to establish a network of city charging stations. Building up a network of charging stations is expected to help ease what eCars of New England co-owner John Zaeder refers to as “range anxiety.”


In addition to the electric vehicles, vendors presented a variety of educational opportunities. Large posters displayed information about the effects of carbon emissions from fossil fuels on the environment. Beyond addressing ways to reduce future carbon emissions, vendors also talked about using trees to help store the carbon that is already in the atmosphere. Representatives from the Sierra Club, the Urban Ecology Institute, and Boston University discussed their work in Massachusetts’ forests.

Festival organizers hope that participants will get involved in reducing their carbon footprint at home. More information about Carbon Day and ways to reduce and counter carbon emissions can be found at



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Posted by Noelle Swan on Sep 16 2011. Filed under Featured - For home page featured article, Technology. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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