Electric car show coming to Amesbury

AMESBURY — A new kind of car show will be headed to the downtown when the Amesbury Energy Committee presents a collection of electric vehicles in the Lower Millyard parking lot Sunday.
While the more traditional Carriagetown Car Show won't be hitting the city until July 1, the committee — working alongside the Mass Energy Consumers Alliance — will sponsor the city's first EV Car Show.
The show will give people a chance to get an up close and personal look at roughly 10 electric vehicles and even test drive a few.
"The variety of vehicles we have is quite broad," committee Vice Chairman Mike Browne said. "It goes from a Mitsubishi Outlander, which is a hybrid plug-in, to a Smart Fortwo, which is a fully electric, small, little car which is very affordable."
Browne said a pair of Tesla (Models X and S) electric vehicles will also be on hand as well as a Bailey Electric Car from 1907.
"We have been able to do this for a very long time," Browne said. "If we value fossil fuels for how valuable they really are and how long it took to develop them, then we would never have started pulling those out of the ground and burning them. We would have stayed with electric cars. They came first."
Browne, an Amesbury resident for 21 years, recently spent two years refitting his 1989 Jeep Wrangler to an electric vehicle that will also be on display.
"I got a little help from my friends on special occasions but I ended up doing it myself for the most part," Browne said. "So it took a few years instead of one year."
Refitting a gas-powered vehicle is "not as bad as it sounds" Browne said.
"You take out the gas engine and everything else that is a part of the internal combustion system," Browne said. "Then, you take a Sawzall and you pull everything out and it is kind of fun. Then, there is a ton of room left in the car."
Once the motor is attached to the drive train, Browne said all that needs to be done is to attach the electric controllers and batteries.
Browne's refitted Jeep "runs really smooth," he said.
"You start in second gear," Browne said. "It has so much low-end torque that you don't need to start in first gear. It is also very quiet."
While the cost of refitting his Jeep ran a bit steep at $10,000, Browne said the expense should even out in time.
"I am going to save more than that in gasoline over the course of the life of the batteries," Browne said. "The prices on electric vehicles are dropping all of the time, too. That is because more and more people are adopting the overall technology."

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