Pinecrest

Local pols promote clean energy, electric cars

At the wheel of his 2014 Nissan Leaf Model S, Bill Broadfoot of Pembroke Pines explains the electric vehicle's controls to Art Rousseau of Miami, a visitor to the Pinecrest Electric Vehicle Tailgate Event on Saturday, Sept. 19, 2015 at Pinecrest Gardens as part of National Drive Electric Week. Electric vehicle (EV) drivers, enthusiasts, and those intrigued by the benefits of driving an electric vehicle attended the free event.
At the wheel of his 2014 Nissan Leaf Model S, Bill Broadfoot of Pembroke Pines explains the electric vehicle's controls to Art Rousseau of Miami, a visitor to the Pinecrest Electric Vehicle Tailgate Event on Saturday, Sept. 19, 2015 at Pinecrest Gardens as part of National Drive Electric Week. Electric vehicle (EV) drivers, enthusiasts, and those intrigued by the benefits of driving an electric vehicle attended the free event. mhalper@miamiherald.com

The red Tesla Model S P90D parked at Pinecrest Gardens burns no fossil fuels and gets 89 miles to the gallon on city streets.

Not to mention it’s downright “ludicrous,” going from 0 to 60 in 2.8 seconds, comparable to a McLaren.

Being in a Tesla is like being in a particle in a rail gun,” South Miami Mayor Philip Stoddard said Saturday morning, drawing laughs from a small group of enviros and electric car owners. “It’s a scary vehicle.”

The brand new Tesla product — which features the high-speed and acceleration “ludicrous” mode — was one of more than two dozen electric cars on display for an electric car “tailgate” meant to promote local government efforts to increase clean energy. Hosted by the village of Pinecrest and Mayor Cindy Lerner, the event, pegged to National Drive Electric Week, was 90 percent advocacy and 10 percent guilty pleasure.

Stoddard, an FIU biology professor, explained Saturday that he recently bought a used, electric Nissan Leaf with 15,000 miles on it for just $14,000, taxes and fees included. And he charges it at home, where he says solar panels allow him to get by with a monthly $7.50 power bill (the city is working with Goldin Solar to offer homeowners dirt cheap “South Miami” installation prices through the end of the year).

Plus, he says, his car is pretty sweet, too.

“It’s an absolute hoot to drive,” said Stoddard, who let a reporter get behind the wheel on a drive that may or may not have adhered to local speed limits. “It takes off like a bat out of hell. [But] not like a Tesla.”

Pinecrest, South Miami, and to a lesser extent Miami-Dade County, have begun investing in electric car technology to reduce their carbon footprint and encourage clean energy usage. Miami Beach placed charging stations in municipal garages several years ago. Lerner urged other local politicians to promote electric cars.

“Once you’ve had that experience,” she said, “you will never go back to a gas-guzzling vehicle.”

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