George Murphey

Elk Grove Planning Commissioner George Murphey charges his electric vehicle.

The Sacramento Municipal Utility District (SMUD) and the Elk Grove city staff on Saturday, June 8, will present an opportunity for the community to gain more knowledge about electric vehicles.

This event will be held at the Elk Grove City Council Chambers and its parking lot, 8400 Laguna Palms Way, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Designed to serve as a basic informational event with no pressure from automobile dealerships, attendees will be able to test drive the market’s latest electric cars from BMW, Chevy, Nissan, Toyota, and VW. Those participating in these test drives will also receive a free taco lunch.

Local electric vehicles owners will present their cars as a stationary display in the parking lot and make themselves available to answer questions.

The EV static display will include the Tesla Model 3, Tesla Model S, Tesla Model X, VW e-golf, Hyundai Kona, Chevy Bolt and Kia Soul.

Guests of the event can also gain knowledge about SMUD’s incentive and special discount rate for EV drivers, and attend an EV 101 workshop at 11 a.m. or 1 p.m.

Various displays at the event will include SMUD’s Greenergy (green energy) booth and induction cooking demonstration, and an electric motorcycle display by Elk Grove Power Sports. Another attraction will be free face painting for children.

Elk Grove Planning Commissioner George Murphey said that this upcoming event evolved through the commission’s hearings on the Climate Action Plan, which was included as a segment of the city’s General Plan updating process.

Climate action plans are adopted by cities to help reduce greenhouse gas emissions that are linked to climate change.

“During our hearings on the Climate Action Plan, a group of citizens came up to the podium and asked to form a committee that would look into what actions would be relevant for Elk Grove to be incorporated in the next Climate Action Plan,” he said. “The idea was strictly initiated by the citizens and then the commission endorsed it.

“(The committee) is a small group of eight to 10 folks, and they’ve been working on (the electric vehicle topic) and a couple of other subjects to come forward at a later time.”

Murphey, who is an electric vehicle owner, also credited fellow Planning Commissioner Mackenzie Wieser for her “big role” in bringing this event to Elk Grove.

“We have worked on this project together since the idea of a citizen-led, organic effort to address aspects of greenhouse gas reduction was brought to and endorsed by the Planning Commission,” he said.

Murphey mentioned that the June 8 event was designed as a way to efficiently and simply present information about electric vehicles to the citizens of Elk Grove.

“That’s one thing that the City Council has adopted as far as the Climate Action Plan is to be encouraging changes and endorsing changes, not so much mandating changes,” he said. “This particular event (on electric vehicles) gives people a chance to ask questions, see if they might fit into their lifestyles.”