City organizers amped to show off electric vehicles at upcoming car show

Electric cars were on display during the 2017 Green Expo. The 2018 Hyattsville Electric Vehicle Car Show will be held Sept. 8. Photo by Krissi Humbard

By CHRIS TULP — The City of Hyattsville is revving up for its electric vehicle car show next month, which has grown from having just five cars at the 2016 show to having 30 cars at last year’s show.

The Hyattsville Electric Vehicle Car Show grew out of the city’s Green Expo, according to Sgt. Richard Hartnett of the Hyattsville City Police Department (HCPD).  This year, the Hyattsville Environment Committee and the Hyattsville Horticultural Society decided not to put on a Green Expo but the groups did encourage the continuation of the electric vehicle show.

No longer billed as a “Green Expo,” the Hyattsville Electric Vehicle Car Show will be held Sept. 8 and is being run by Hartnett and Joe Brewer from the Hyattsville Office of Code Enforcement.

Hyattsville City Police Sgt. Richard Hartnett and Code Enforcement Officer Joe Brewer, seen here charging their electric vehicles, are organizing the Hyattsville Electric Vehicle Car Show on Sept. 8. Photo courtesy of City of Hyattsville

“Joe and I are both electric vehicle owners and avid electric vehicle enthusiasts,” said Hartnett.

Electric vehicles seem to be gaining in popularity in the area.

“So far, this year’s show is looking like it will be even bigger than last year’s event,” said Hartnett. “As of now, there are 30 electric vehicles registered for display along with educational vendor displays such as the Electric Vehicle Institute (EV-I) in Baltimore, Maryland. EV-I is the company that supplied and installed all of the city’s public EV charging stations.”

Hartnett continued, “Also in attendance will be Arrow Bicycle, a long-time Hyattsville business that will be displaying ‘E-Bikes;’ a solar panel company; and representatives from Studio 3807, a new apartment/condo project in the Arts District of Brentwood which touts ‘extremely energy efficient’ residences and has free public electric vehicle charging stations in their parking garage. Sport Chevrolet will be on hand allowing licensed drivers to ride in or test drive the All-Electric Chevrolet Bolt, and Chesapeake Cycles will be displaying and possibly allowing test drives of the Zero brand of Electric Motorcycles.”

The third annual Hyattsville Electric Vehicle Car Show is an official function of National Drive Electric Week (NDEW), a nationwide event that takes place in various locations around the country during the third week of September.

This year, the first NDEW event in the Washington, D.C. area is Hyattsville, followed by Annapolis the next day, then Poolesville — which hosts the largest electric vehicle car show on the East Coast — on Sept. 15, and then the final event on Sept. 16 in Washington, D.C.  

Hyattsville has been very involved with electric vehicles, working hard to make it’s vehicle fleet “greener.” HCPD currently has seven non-polluting or less-polluting vehicles in operation. In addition, the department has equipped seven patrol vehicles and the Hummer Specialized Rescue Vehicle with anti-idling devices, which allow the officer to run the vehicle’s emergency lights, radios, etc., for long periods of time without the engine running.

“Hyattsville has always been a progressive city and is no stranger to finding ways to clean up the atmosphere by reducing the use of fossil fuels to power its government vehicles,” said Hartnett.

And HCPD is helping encourage the public’s use of electric vehicles.

Hyattsville’s Chevrolet Bolt police car is the first in the country, according to Hartnett. It has been featured in many online and printed publications as well as on display at many prominent government events.

“In June of this year, the HCPD electric police car and motorcycle were on display at the Ocean City Convention Center during the annual Maryland Municipal League Conference, and both vehicles will be back at the convention center Aug. 15-17 for the Maryland Association of Counties Conference,” said Hartnett. “General Motors recently featured an article about the Hyattsville Electric Police Car in their Chevrolet New Roads Magazine, and NBC Channel 4 News just featured a story on the EV police car, which also talks about the upcoming Electric Vehicle Car Show.”

Hyattsville has installed several charging stations around the city where police and the public can charge their cars for free.

“The first six of those stations are located in and around the Hyattsville City Hall, and are convenient to local restaurants, coffee shops and shopping,” said Hartnett. “The idea is that electric vehicle owners will plug their car in for an hour or two, while patronizing the local businesses or attending events at the municipal building. This not only helps the environment but helps the local economy as well.”

The 2018 Hyattsville Electric Vehicle Car Show will be held on Sept. 8 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the parking lot of the city building  at 4310 Gallatin St. Anyone can bring their electric vehicle to show off at the event. Register to participate at the National Drive Electric Week website for a chance to win $250.

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