9th annual Juneau EV & e-bike round-up

    The electric car round-up at 300 Egan Drive. (Photo courtesy of Jasz Garrett/KINY)

    Juneau, Alaska (KINY) - Duff Mitchell, Managing Director at Juneau Hydropower Inc. shared the future of electric cars and bikes Saturday afternoon.

    Mitchell said it was the first time they had e-bikes as part of the round-up.

    "We have two dealers here, Cycle Alaska and we have the Juneau Bike Doctor. They are offering test rides. It's kind of a new thing. This is a chance to come to see firsthand the different brands and how they work and ask questions about it."

    Below: Juneau Bike Doctor's e-bikes.

    Mitchell stated Juneau is an electric vehicle leading community.

    "Juneau continues to be an electric vehicle leading community. Regardless of where you are in life, there's an electric vehicle for you that saves you money. And it also helps our climate programs and our renewable energy strategy of the community so it really ties in nicely with our town. Someone gave me a call. There was a kind of press conference going on in Los Angeles and they mentioned how Juneau is like a leader. So we're even being recognized by other communities for what we've done. We have AEL&P working on helping to get chargers in the homes and into garages so people can get electric vehicles. We have a lot of teamwork with Juneau Commission on Sustainability with Renewable Juneau and the Juneau Electric Vehicle Association. So there's a lot of people rowing the canoe together in the same direction with Juneau Hydropower as well."

    Juneau is a national leader in per capita electric vehicle ownership, with one of the fastest growing EV communities in the country.

    Mitchell said Juneau is looking to receive more electric buses and an electric bus charger station at Capital Transit Center.

    "Juneau has this first electric bus. We'd have more but it takes so long to build them and every other town wants electric buses. So it's kind of like a waiting line with a supply chain. I think after you put in a request it's about two years."

    Mitchell said what changes he thinks we can expect to see in the next coming year.

    "You know, we go fill up my son's car and we're spending 50-60 bucks for just a fill-up and at $5 a gallon. Sometimes it's even higher if you got a bigger car or a truck. So electric cars, it's very economical. And you know, the maintenance is low on them, you put tires, put windshield wipers, they're very popular. And I think it's only going to become more popular as we have trucks and more SUVs and more vehicles that we like in Juneau being more of the all-wheel drive type. Battery technology is rapidly changing. So when I first got electric vehicles had like an 80-mile range, now most of them are coming out with a 250-350-mile range. So battery technology is also improving. I think we're gonna see a whole evolution of new makes and models that are coming in the next years. We have a cool Ford Mustang here today, that's one of the new ones coming out."

    Mitchell said why Juneau is so successful with electric vehicles.

    "Juneau is uniquely situated. All of our electricity is from hydropower. So we're really driving the reigns. So we are a sustainable community where we're not dependent on outside fuel interests to fuel our economy and transportation."

    Mitchell added where chargers are currently available.

    "We spearheaded this almost a decade ago. We got a bunch of chargers. We have a charger out at Eagle Beach, we have chargers at KTOO, and we got chargers at every library. A lot of businesses have them. They're free of charge. It's a safety net because if you charge at your home and you charge in your garage, and you forgot to charge last night or you're having problems, you don't want to get stuck on the side of the road. So Juneau has a really good safety net and chargers. But the CBJ is working with different community groups in different areas of town to even expand on it."

    The round-up is sponsored in part by the Juneau Commission on Sustainability.

    Find out more at juneau.org/engineering-public-works/jcos.

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