“There’s an E for Everyone”: Busy Ride-n-Drive Electric Vehicle Presents Options and Choices

Steamboat Springs resident Kelly Seibel (left) answers questions about her family’s all-electric Ford Mustang Mach-E (middle car) for Steamboat resident Barry Kaplan on Saturday, May 14, 2022.
Suzie Romig / Steamboat Pilot and Today

Steamboat Springs resident Barry Kaplan is ready to buy an electric vehicle. So he was happy to test out six different models at the EV Ride-n-Drive on Saturday, May 14 in Steamboat Springs.

Kaplan was having fun during a test drive of an all-electric, all-wheel-drive Ford Mustang Mach-E. During a powerful handling test in the high school parking lot, the rear-seat passengers grabbed the handholds as Kaplan squeezed through the turns. The passengers’ heads were pushed back against the headrests when Kaplan struck the motor of the electric vehicle.

The electric Mustang can go from 0 to 100 km/h in 4.8 seconds, and it’s only a mid-range model, said car owner Matt Park, a volunteer EV educator from Longmont.

“I got it because I love performance. This thing delivers,” Park said.

Steamboat resident Kelly Seibel spent several hours answering questions about her family’s Mach-E, which they travel about 1,500 miles a month for a cost of $40 via home charging. Seibel calculates that a round trip from Steamboat to Vail costs $4 in electricity, while his 20-mpg Toyota Tacoma costs about $35 for the same trip.

“It was the best value I’ve ever seen, and I’ve been looking at it for years,” said Seibel, owner of a local technology integration company.

Seibel made a down payment for the Mach-E and waited a year for delivery. That’s why Steamboat residents Kevin and Nikki Perkins were happy to check out Seibel’s Mustang and asked plenty of questions. The Perkins put down a deposit on a Mach-E in October 2021 and hope to receive their vehicle in late May, but Saturday was the first time they had seen a Mach-E in person.

The Perkins said they were buying an electric vehicle to replace a Toyota Tundra that gets around 15 mpg.

“There is no reason to use a gasoline vehicle if we can use an electric vehicle. It’s so much better for the environment,” said Nikki Perkins.

Steamboat Springs residents Nikki and Kevin Perkins were happy to see inside a Ford Mustang Mach-E in person for the first time at the local EV Ride-n-Drive as they placed an order on the model last fall to replace a pickup on Saturday, May 14, 2022.
Suzie Romig / Steamboat Pilot and Today

Seibel said he’s glad Steamboat Motors now has a technician trained to work on electric vehicles, since local car dealerships haven’t offered all-electric vehicles in recent years. Corey Brackmann, sales consultant at Steamboat Motors, said the store now has licensed EV mechanics and sells the Mach-E.

Two of the new EV owners at the event said they received their reserved vehicles faster than expected by checking in with dealerships and purchasing a reserved model that another customer did not pick up.

Denver volunteer Jared Canter took to Steamboat to let people test drive his 2021 Volkswagen ID.4 electric SUV, which came with three years of free charging on the Electrify America fast-charging network. Canter said he plans to fully charge his SUV in 30 minutes in Frisco on the way home.

The educational event was well attended and included a wide variety of electric vehicles on display or for testing, including a scooter, bikes, utility vehicle, cars and SUVs. Steamboat Pedego Electric Bike store owner Matthew Coop showed off a unique electric vehicle, a MoonBikes electric snowbike. After testing the French-made snowbike on Buffalo Pass in the winter, Coop signed on to be a local dealer.

Routt County resident Julie Daehn, who said she had a “noisy, smelly old snowmobile” at home, was a fan of the $8,500 snowmobile.

“It would be really great to have a nice way to navigate the backcountry and not be so loud,” Daehn said.

Routt County resident Julie Daehn, owner of a “noisy, smelly old snowmobile,” was a fan of the Moonbikes electric snowmobile on Saturday, May 14, 2022.
Suzie Romig / Steamboat Pilot and Today

Paul Bony, director of energy and transportation for the Yampa Valley Sustainability Council, said the ever-growing range of modelsoptions and choices for electric vehicles that emit zero tailpipe pollution mean there’s an E for everyone.

The co-sponsored event was part of the ongoing outreach of the City of Steamboat’s Electric Vehicle Readiness Plan which was completed in 2021. The next local EV Ride-n-Drive is scheduled for September 18. More information is available on the city’s EV information page.

Federal and state discounts still exist for most electric passenger vehicles. Currently, the federal government is offering up to $7,500 for an electric vehicle tax credit for the first 200,000 electric vehicles sold by a manufacturer. The state of Colorado offers an Innovative Motor Vehicle Income Tax Credit of $2,500 for the purchase of any plug-in hybrid or all-electric passenger vehicle.

An all-electric Ford Mustang Mach-E (left) owned by a Steamboat Springs family charges alongside a Tesla during the Ride-n-Drive EV community education event on Saturday, May 14, 2022.
Suzie Romig / Steamboat Pilot and Today.

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