Westport Electric Car Club’s third annual Electric Car Rally

The Westport Electric Car Club (WECC) announces its third annual Electric Car Rally, a 40-mile event on Sunday, May 3, beginning at 1 p.m., at the Saugatuck Metro North Station in Westport. The WECC is partnering with the Wilton Go Green organization, which is holding its annual Go Green Festival on that day.

Driver check-in takes place at noon in front of the Steam Coffee Bar on the New Haven bound side of the station. As in past years, the rally master will devise a roughly 40-mile course winding through the back roads of Fairfield County. The course details will remain secret until they are provided to the drivers upon checking in for the rally. All drivers are required to have a navigator. The club will help find a navigator for any driver who needs one. Interested drivers can find more details and the entry form at  WestportElectricCarClub.com. There is a $50 entry fee per vehicle.

It takes about two hours to drive the course, which will conclude at the Wilton Go Green Festival, where there will be a designated EV area. Festival attendees can learn about EVs, speak to the drivers and enjoy the exhibits and food. The Go Green Festival takes place at the Wilton library and the town green.

The Rally is for plug-in vehicles, either plug-in hybrid or fully electric. It is not necessary to be a member of the club or to live in Westport to participate. Any and all EV drivers are welcome.

This is a rally, not a race. The competition is based on coming as close as possible to the official mileage as determined by the rally master without exceeding it. Prizes will be awarded to the winner and runner-up. Winners will be announced at the Go Green Festival.

Numerous models of plug-in vehicles have participated in the past two rallies. These have included the Tesla Model S, Tesla Roadster, Chevrolet Volt, Nissan Leaf, BMW ActiveE, BMW i3, Smart EV, Ford C-Max Energi, Toyota Prius Plug-in, Honda Fit, and Fisker Karma. We look forward to seeing which new models will be entered this year.

“We welcome the partnership with Wilton Go Green and together we will make the Rally and Festival a great day!,” Club President Leo Cirino said. There is a continuing stream of new EV models coming to market as well as upgrades to existing models as battery technology continues to improve. Our club members love their EVs. This is a great way to show that EVs are practical, fun, and, in our view, essential to reducing carbon emissions and pollution.”

Steve Smith is a building official from the Town of Westport who has worked with the club on a number of projects. “The town and the EV club enjoy a productive partnership as we continue to expand the number of public charging stations locally,” said Smith. The most recent installation was a level 2 charger in back of Town Hall and we are working on others. The town now has 8 public charging stations, all free, and most of them are solar-powered.”

2015 Wilton Go Green Festival Chair, Jana Bertkau, said that, “Wilton Go Green Festival is delighted to host the finish line for the Westport Electric Car Club EV Rally at our fifth annual festival. We will be ready to welcome, view and learn about the variety of EV models which are available today. The rally is wonderful testimony to the rising interest in sustainable transportation in our area.”

Photos from the two previous rallies are available on the WECC website. Updates also will be posted on the site.

The mission of the Westport Electric Car Club is to promote vehicle electrification and the supporting infrastructure in the service of reaching low or zero emission transportation. The club welcomes for membership anyone with an interest in electric vehicles. It is not a requirement to be an EV owner or to live in Westport. In fact, for anyone considering an EV purchase, the club is a great resource for information. Prospective members may join on the website.

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