NEW PORT RICHEY — The city gathered the public on Oct. 2 to educate residents about the benefit of driving electric cars.
Third Annual National Drive Electric Week Tailgate Party showcased about 20 different electric vehicles, including Mayor Rob Marlowe’s own Tesla Model 3LR (long range). Those who attended the event at Railroad Square had the chance to view various models of EVs on display, including a motorcycle from Harley-Davidson, with the opportunity for test drives (or rides). Every 30 minutes, the city held raffles for attendees and vehicle participants for $50 gift cards, plus some National Drive Electric Week swag.
“The city would like to encourage people to make the switch to electric when they feel like they can so that we can have a cleaner, healthier community,” said Tom Diaz, marketing director for the city of New Port Richey. “The change from combustible engines to EV is an initiative that the city strongly believes.”
The city has added more charging stations, in addition to replacing some of the city fleet with electric vehicles such as Nissan Leafs. Additionally, in the past few years, city staff has noticed an increase in the electric charging stations being used. Now, New Port Richey is up to nine stations, with the new garage behind Keiser University offering double ports.
“The elimination of reliance on fossil fuel and the reduction of its emissions will prevent environmental damage due to climate change which not only makes it safe for the planet, but healthier and cleaner for people,” Diaz said. “Mayor Marlowe also thinks it’s important to look to the future and with this newer technology, we will be buying electricity from renewable energy sources that are consistent and reliable, unlike shortages and the high prices of fossil fuel.”
Although the city doesn’t currently offer any incentives for residents to switch to EVs, it’s not something council members would be averse to considering if it helps people make the move, Diaz added.