Lake Tahoe Electric Transportation Forum Sept. 29 seeks to improve air quality, water clarity

Submitted to the Tribune

SOUTH LAKE TAHOE, Calif. – Organizers of the first annual Lake Tahoe Electric Transportation Forum September 29, 2023, at the Lake Tahoe Community College are emphasizing that auto emissions and other air pollutants are a significant threat to the water quality of Lake Tahoe, as well as to human health and climate.

“We greatly appreciate the sponsors of this inaugural event who are accelerating the use of battery electric and fuel cell electric transportation at Lake Tahoe, the Sierras, and region,” said Kevin McGehee, a government affairs professional and forum organizer.  “They’ve enabled us to convene local, regional, and national leaders who share a vision of making the Lake Tahoe Basin a world-renowned model of clean transportation. Together we can mitigate the air pollution that threatens the environment, quality of life, and sustainable economic development of the Lake Tahoe area.”  

“We have outstanding line up of speakers on panels that will cover topics ranging from exciting new products such as electric watercraft and hydrogen fuel cell electric buses and ferries to new federal and state grants, tax credits, utility incentives, and other financing opportunities that significantly improve the economics of electrifying transportation,” said Lina Tanner, a Nevada energy and natural resources attorney serving as the forum’s moderator.

“In addition to great speakers, we have many other private and public sector participants who will share information and connections, building and enhancing relationships that will lead to more clean transportation at the lake and surrounding areas,” McGehee added.

The forum coincides with the National Drive Electric Week and features a showcase of All Wheel Drive Electric Vehicles, courtesy of the Sacramento Electric Vehicle Association the Eastern Sierra Electric Vehicle Association.

“Owners of several all-wheel drive EVs will be on hand to share their own electric driving experience,” said Guy Hall of the Sacramento Electric Vehicle Association. “We’ll also have information about California, Nevada and Federal EV incentives, charging infrastructure and costs, road trip histories, and more.”

An electric school bus will also be on display in the morning, courtesy of the Lake Tahoe Unified School District.  

“This forum is an important first step,” said McGehee. “Participants will help us plan for an event in 2024 that will include exhibits and demonstrations of electric sports and recreational products, ride and drives of electric cars, and demonstrations of electric and hydrogen fuel cell electric watercraft.”

 “We thank our sponsors for getting a series of events off the ground especially our Gold Level Sponsor, Liberty Utilities; our Silver Sponsors: the City of South Lake Tahoe, the Regional Transportation Commission of Washoe County, NV Energy, and the Nevada Battery Coalition; and our Bronze Sponsors: the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency, the Tahoe Chamber, the El Dorado County Air Quality Management District, Washoe County, Sacramento Clean Cities Coalition, the (national) Electric Vehicle Association, the Sacramento Electric Vehicle Association, the University of Nevada, Reno Business Environmental Program, the Guinn Center, and the American Institute of Building Science,” McGehee said.  “We encourage other government agencies, businesses, and organizations to get involved and help us develop future events and educational forums.”

Participation in the forum is $100 with registration at Eventbrite. A limited number of free registrations is available to students and volunteers.  The showcase of All Wheel Drive Electric Vehicles in the Community College’s parking lot is free to the public, but registration at the National Drive Electric Week website is required.

For more information or for sponsorship and exhibit opportunities, please contact Kevin McGehee at 775-240-7619.

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