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Thursday, February 22 News

Plugging alternate power: Electric cars to rally Sunday in Westport

The 2nd annual Electric Car Rally -- a 40-mile event for vehicles powered by alternative energy -- will be sponsored Sunday by the Westport Electric Car Club.

The rally begins and ends at the Saugatuck Metro-North train depot.

Registration will take place in front of the Steam Coffee Bar on the New Have- bound side of the tracks, next to the 4 EV charging stations. There will be a mid-rally stopping point at the Wilton GoGreen Festival, and a public event at the finish in Westport. Rally registration begins at 9 a.m. and the rally will start at 10 a.m. The cars are expected to finish at 1 p.m. when the public will have an opportunity to speak with car owners, learn about the technology, visit sponsor tents, and enjoy snacks and drinks.

"The partnership between the town and the Westport Electric Car Club began with the installation of 4 EV charging stations at the Saugatuck Metro-North depot parking area," said Stephen Smith, the town's building official. "We have continued to work together as we have expanded the number of charging stations locally."

Last year's rally was the first of its kind in Connecticut and the largest in the nation, according to information from the club. This year the club expects between 50 and 100 vehicles to be entered. Entrants must be "plug-in" vehicles, either partially (plug-in hybrid) or fully electric.

Eligibility this year has been expanded to include plug-in motorcycles and scooters. It is not necessary to be a member of the club to participate.

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.

Visit www.westportelectriccarclub.com for more information.