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USA: Boulder celebrates first Electric Vehicle Day with expo on CU-Boulder campus

University of Colorado research associate Noah Podolefsky spent a year and $10,000 converting a 1993 GSX-R Suzuki motorcycle into an electric bike.

hursday, he got the chance to show off his hard work.

Podolefsky’s motorcycle sat between a yellow Tesla Roadster and an array of electric-assist bicycles at Boulder’s Electric Car Expo in the parking lot next to CU’s Wolf Law building.

The expo was one of seven statewide events celebrating Colorado’s first Electric Vehicle Day and featured electric vans, cars, bikes, motorcycles, recumbent bikes, tricycles and scooters from 15 different vendors, said event planner Beth Powell.

Click on any photo to see photo gallery Podolefsky’s matte-black sport bike has a range of about 40 to 60 miles per charge, depending on the speed. The bike is recharged through a 120-watt average household outlet. The bike can reach speeds of at least 90 miles per hour, he said, but he hasn’t pushed it faster than that.

“I don’t usually need to go faster than like 50 anyway,” Podolefsky said.

The new Tesla Model S, expected to be released this summer, has battery options with ranges of 160 miles up to 300 miles while reaching zero to 60 miles per hour in 4.4 seconds, according to the company’s brochure.

A golf-cart-looking vehicle labeled CU-Police was parked across from a commercial van — the largest of the electric vehicles on display.

Kristin Epley, sustainability project manager at CU, said the Boulder campus is expecting a similar van later this summer that will be used to help the Environmental Center with recycling.

The expo also featured a Toyota Prius that is part of a smart grid study in Boulder and CU’s first charging station located outside Wolf Law. CU also has a fleet of about eight electric golf carts used by housing, grounds and maintenance crews that were not on display.

“In terms of electric vehicles, we’re definitely a hub of activity in the growing industry,” Epley said.

A group of CU employees were also eying one of the most unique vehicles at the expo, an electric tractor with solar panels.
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