All-electric automobiles offer ecofriendly travel options |

All-electric automobiles offer ecofriendly travel options

April E. ClarkGlenwood Springs, CO Colorado
Post Independent/Kelley Cox

GLENWOOD SPRINGS, Colo. Running out of gas is no longer an issue.Speeding won’t be a problem. Just don’t forget to recharge.The future of automobiles has arrived in Glenwood Springs, with electric-car technology debuting at Berthod Motors. The dealership – the first to sell the cars in the valley – has five all-electric, low-speed vehicles in stock.”Everyone’s very interested,” Berthod sales consultant Bob Freyschlag said. “People have done some test drives. It’s just a great product.”The zero-emmissions vehicles – priced, on average, between $15,000 to $17,000 – require a six-to-eight hour charge from any standard electrical outlet to travel around a 40-mile radius. Top speed is 35 mph, making the cars suitable for quick commuting, traveling in small communities or on college and corporate campuses.

“They’re perfect for in-town transportation … Popping over to City Market, for example,” Freyschlag said. “Especially for places like Aspen, Vail, Telluride, where the town is pretty secluded or self-sufficient.”One turn of the ignition key and the driver hardly knows it’s been started. The engine is virtually soundless, adding to its green appeal. “It’s environmentally friendly, from a pollution standpoint,” Freyschlag said. “But a noise-pollution standpoint, too.”Berthod offers two models of the Miles Automotive Group vehicles – the street-legal ZX40S, and the OR70, which reaches speeds of 35 mph but is not legal on roads. The vehicles do not have air bags. Miles Automotive will offer a high-speed electric car with speeds reaching 80 mph and a 120-mile range in 2008. “Safety is a primary concern,” Freyschlag said. “The big thing about these is will they go faster. A lot of things will change – it’s in its infancy now. The speed is low and there are no air bags, but I think this is fleeting once things start happening.”Freyschlag, who has worked at Berthod for 20 years, said talk of electric cars in the industry has been circulating for years. He foresees the popularity of all-electric vehicles gaining momentum in the next decade.”Electric cars, they’re probably inevitable. I’m excited about it,” he said. “Speed and safety are the two things that need to be addressed, not only in electric cars but in everything. They have very few moving parts compared to a regular automobile. I don’t think maintenance or upkeep will be a concern at all. Let’s hope do they take off.”

Contact April Clark: 945-8515, ext.

Post Independent, Glenwood Springs, Colorado CO

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