Like many teenagers after getting their license, 16-year-old Zach Sharek inherited his dad’s old car.
But instead of suffering through most teenagers’ rite of passage of driving their first clunker, the Riverview junior gets to drive a five-year-old plug-in hybrid Chevrolet Volt, which he said he hasn’t filled up since March.
“I’m not gunking up the air, but I’m also having fun driving it,” Sharek said.
Driving green is important for Zach and his dad, Chris, who had bought a completely electric Tesla just months ago. The father-son duo will be among other electric vehicle owners and enthusiasts for Mote’s fourth annual Electrify the Island event from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday.
Sarasota resident Nigel Mould’s light blue Tesla Roadster jets off to 60 mph in under four seconds like a rocket ship.
After the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill belched out about 210 million gallons of oil into the Gulf of Mexico, Mould started looking for electric vehicles.
Five-and-a-half years later, Mould said the only problem he’s had is a nail in his tire.
“The car runs beautifully,” Mould said. “It runs as good as the day I bought it.”
Without an engine, electric vehicles don’t have the same oil, filter or general wear-and-tear problems like regular cars do.
Mould hopes the event will teach others the importance of lessening the dependence on fossil fuels. Those who attend the event will have the chance to ride in electric vehicles like Tesla models and attend forums to learn more about electric cars.
If you go
What: “Electrify the Island”
Where: Mote Marine Laboratory and Aquarium, 1600 Ken Thompson Parkway, Sarasota
When: Saturday, Sept. 10 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.