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Green talk: Electric cars for the real world

While electric vehicles have proved fairly popular they may become even more attractive — to consumers and manufacturers — with tough new standards recently announced by President Obama. The corporate average fuel economy standards — known as CAFE — will boost the average gas mileage of new cars and trucks by nearly double over the next 13 years. A manufacturer’s fleet of new cars and trucks will have to average 54.5 miles per gallon by 2025, compared to 28.6 mpg at the end of last year.

It’s a “very steep” incline for auto makers, said automobile journalist and blogger Jim Motavalli, “and they will have to start working pretty hard to get towards that goal. An electric car is good for the ratings.” An electric car can have a miles per gallon equivalent (mpge) rating of 115.

Mr. Motavalli will discuss electric vehicles, the electric vehicle industry and his book, High Voltage: The Fast Track to Plug in the Auto Industry, when he visits Wilton on Sunday, Sept. 9, from 4:30 to 6 at Wilton Library. He will be the first guest in the new WGG/WLA Green Speaker Series co-sponsored by Wilton Go Green and the library.

“One of our objectives is to educate Wilton on ways to live sustainably,” said Jana Bertkau, president of Wilton Go Green. “We look constantly for ways of doing this. One of the ideas that came up was a speaker series.

“Jim was very timely,” she said of the decision to ask Mr. Motavalli to lead off the series. “We have a charging station at the library now. We would love to get some more — at the train station, maybe town hall. With the new CAFE regulations, there may be more of an interest in driving electric vehicles. We want Wilton to be ahead of the curve,” she said.

A second speaker, Doug Mcdonald, has been confirmed for Nov. 18. Mr. McDonald has retrofitted a home in Westport using German sustainability techniques. “His bills for power usage are just minimal,” Ms. Bertkau said, adding Mr. Mcdonald is an engaging speaker and “any ordinary layman can go and get really excited.”

A third program is in the works with a date yet to be set.

At the program Sunday, copies of Mr. Motavalli’s book will be for sale and there will be a reception following the talk. To register, visit wiltonlibrary.org and click on Events or call 203-762-3950, ext. 213.

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