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Tech Presents Electric Vehicles Test Drives On Campus Saturday

/ The Upper Cumberland's News Leader
Tech Presents Electric Vehicles Test Drives On Campus Saturday

You can test drive an electric vehicle as Tennessee Tech hosts a “ride and drive” event on campus Saturday.

The free event allows anyone to test drive a variety of electric vehicles at the parking lot near Tech Village and Bush Stadium. Department of Mechanical Engineering Doctoral Student Maxavier Lamantia helped organize the project. Lamantia said visitors will have the opportunity to speak with Tech students and faculty about the vehicles, as well as ask questions.

“They drive relatively differently from your typical internal combustion engine vehicle,” Lamantia said. “So a simple test drive when you go to check one out and see if you’re ready to purchase, it’s not enough for most people. So, we try to bring people to these events, get them butts in seats, check out the cars without the stress of a dealership.”

Lamantia said with Tennessee’s incredibly low electricity cost, citizens could potentially save money instead of spending it on gas. Lamantia said the event is part of the larger Rural Reimagine Project, which demonstrates electric vehicles for outreach and education. Test drives take place 10am-3pm.

“We usually piggyback off events, we were at the Fall Fun Fest for one thing,” Lamantia said. “So it’s all connecting to the community trying to get the word out but when it comes to home events like this it’s a lot easier because everyone knows the Tennessee Tech name here.”

Lamantia said that the Department Of Energy project, which Tennessee Tech is part of, stretches over five different states.

“We like to keep one back here at home, just to represent, show that we still are still thinking of our hometown,” Lamantia said. “And just build the community up.”

Lamantia said that differences between electric cars versus traditional models include a single-pedal driving system similar to a golf cart. Lamantia said many citizens often have anxiety regarding the millage of electric vehicles, though he said this fear is often misplaced.


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