Start your engines…but keep the planet in mind.
That was the goal of the Forth Mobile Showcase on Saturday, run by the Environmental Center in Bend and the nonprofit Forth, which seeks to provide equal opportunity for people to avail of electric transportation.
Folks were welcome to come out and test drive electric vehicles and bikes for free to learn about more eco-friendly ways to get around.
Forth’s program manager JR Anderson said it was the most well-attended event they’d had this summer. Around 100 people had visited by noon.
“I think the thing that surprised me the most was the interest in e-bikes,” he said. “We don’t all need cars. We’re learning that as we get older that climate change is happening, traffic is crazy in a lot of cities, so let’s figure out a better way to do this, let’s work together and try to save the planet.”
They had a Chevy Bolt and a Volkswagen ID.4 available to test drive, as well as a few bikes.
“I think what people are starting to realize is that an organization like Forth which is brand agnostic, you can learn about the car, you can sit in the car and drive the car but you don’t have any sales pressure,” Anderson added.
The event was part of the Green Tour, a broader-scale event in Bend and Redmond that shared solutions to reduce energy use and increase solar production in homes and commercial buildings.
The last time the Green Tour happened in Central Oregon was 2019.
“I hope that the green tour inspires folks to realize that there’s a lot of different ways they can make their buildings or their homes more energy-efficient and just really consider contributing to a sustainable community through their living situations,” said the Environmental Center’s Associate Director, Lauren Williams. “Whether you’re a renter or an owner, there’s a lot of things from small to large that you can do to make a difference. Our buildings in Bend use a lot of energy so we’re hoping this event motivates people to make a change in their home.”
For more information about the Environmental Center, you can visit their website at envirocenter.org.