Edwin L. Aguirre
Do you want to know what it is like to drive an all-electric vehicle? You will have that opportunity by attending the Electric Vehicle Summit and Workshop on Wednesday, Oct. 6, at the UMass Lowell Inn & Conference Center in Lowell from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
For example, be among the first New Englanders to test-drive the new Nissan LEAF, a compact five-passenger, zero-emission car powered by a lithium-ion battery and an 80-kilowatt AC electric motor that has a range of up to 100 miles per charge and can go up to 90 miles per hour. It is 100 percent electric and requires no gasoline.
The summit aims to raise awareness and understanding of green vehicles and the need for a network of charging stations and to provide information to public and private organizations on how they can best support the growth of this important industry.
Sponsored by the Massachusetts Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs (EOEEA), the Department of Energy Resources (DOER), the Massachusetts Clean Cities Coalition and UMass Lowell, the event is free and open to all who register by Oct. 4. To register, send an e-mail to William.Dirtion@state.ma.us.
Chancellor Marty Meehan will speak about innovation and sustainability at UMass Lowell at 12:30 p.m., and a luncheon panel of faculty will talk about research related to renewable energy. Among the University experts and researchers expected to participate are Vice Provost for Research Julie Chen and Profs. Ziyad Salameh, Christopher Niezrecki, John Duffy and David Turcotte. Richard Lemoine, director of UMass Lowell’s Environmental Health and Safety Department, will also participate as an expert on renewable energy and conservation measures being implemented on campus.
Following the luncheon panel, Secretary Ian Bowles of the EOEEA has been invited to deliver a keynote address on the Commonwealth’s commitment to clean energy technology.
Linda Benevides of the EOEEA will moderate a panel discussion on electric vehicles (EV) and infrastructure in the state that will include EV manufacturers and industry leaders such as Nissan, AeroVironment, Ford, Azure Dynamics and General Electric, while Stephen Russell of DOER and Clean Cities will moderate a panel that highlights green vehicle industry and safety and will include representatives from the Regional Vehicle Initiative, the National Fire Protection Association, the Department of Fire Services and IBEW Local 103.
In addition to panel discussions, attendees will be able to “Ask the Expert” at four different workshops starting at 1:30 p.m. The workshop topics range from vehicles and batteries to infrastructure installation, safety and permitting. Lemoine, along with industry representatives, will participate in the workshop on the “Cost-Effective Pursuit of Going Green.”
Exhibits will be available for viewing all day. The public will also get a chance to ride or test-drive a variety of all-electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles before 9:30 a.m. and after 3:30 p.m.