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Davis, California

Thursday, October 21, 2021

Forum sheds light on alternative transportations

With worldwide movements geared toward creating a greener and cleaner environment, the Davis community is no different.

The Valley Climate Action Center and the City of Davis will hold a forum on today to discuss emerging sustainable transportation options. The discussion is free to the public and will run from 7:30 to 9:30 p.m. at the Davis City Council Chambers on B Street.

A variety of speakers will inform the audience about energy efficiency through plug-in and electric hybrid vehicles. Professor Andy Frank, UC Davis aeronautical and mechanical engineering professor, is the founder of the modern plug-in hybrid electric vehicle. Dean Newberry, founding partner of Talbott Solar and program manager of the UC Davis Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle Research Center Dahlia Garas will also speak.

“Personally, I’ll be talking about what the differences are between the different electric drive technologies,” Garas said. “Eventually students will get out of college and can buy a new car and will have to prioritize how to spend their money. There is not a lot of technology about all of this right now and I hope to educate those people about what the benefits out there might be when looking into buying a car.”

The primary objective of the forum is to provide information to the Davis community and others who are interested in novel transportation choices that will arrive in the near future. Speakers will focus on up and coming hybrid technology and how it can be applied at the community scale to where everyone is fully plugged in to this type of technology, said city of Davis Sustainability Program manager Mitch Sears.

The forum will primarily discuss the ways in which hybrids, plug-ins and electric vehicles can be environmentally and economically friendly. While there are limits to the electric vehicles, federal tax credits will offer consumers a rebate depending on the car’s battery size. The more expensive the car one buys, the bigger the battery, so car buyers will receive a larger rebate in exchange.

“What we are looking at as we go forward is how we can evolve our current transportation system, which is relatively good, but not nearly where we want to be in terms of energy efficiency and to reduce significantly our carbon footprint at a community scale,” Sears said.

The Davis community is also working towards offering other methods of transportation that challenge the way people travel.

UC Davis’ Transportation and Parking Services now offers the Zipcar program where students, faculty and staff can reserve a car online for hourly or daily use. This is an effort to take more cars off the road. The Zipcar program is $35 a year for UC Davis affiliates and $75 for the outside community.

“I think it’s been very successful since its launch in September, with now over 282 members,” said Mary Maffly, Transportation Demand and Marketing Coordinator for TAPS. “Those numbers are a good reflection of how the program is doing, and it has just been growing almost every week. I think this is a great option on a global level for the people who have the goal of using better transportation more in their life.”

To find out more information about TAPS’ Alternative Transportation Program for UC Davis go to goclub.udavis.edu.

SAMANTHA BOSIO can be reached at city@theaggie.org.

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