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Hundreds stop by Wilsonville's second annual event



Over 500 people came to Wilsonville's second annual Drive Electric Week event outside Lamb's Thriftway in Wilsonville on Saturday, Sept. 19. The event featured over 80 different electric vehicles for attendees to see and drive, several dozen more than were available at last year's event.

Joey Lebow of Hillsboro modified his 1983 Porsche 911 into an electric vehicle. “I wanted to build an electric car, so I picked the dream car,” he said. “I removed the engine, the gas tank and fit in a bunch of batteries, a motor and a controller.” Lebow said that he worked on nights and weekends for two years to complete the conversion.

SPOKESMAN PHOTO: JAKE BARTMAN - Joey Lebow's modified 1983 Porsche 911.SPOKESMAN PHOTO: JAKE BARTMAN - Joey Lebow's modified 1983 Porsche 911.

Electric vehicle enthusiast Rustam Kocher of Beaverton decided to buy a 2015 Mercedes B-Class electric vehicle after having leased a Nissan Leaf for two years. He said that he has put over 6,000 miles on the odometer in eight months, and that the $20 per month he spends on electricity to power the vehicle equates to a cost of around two cents per mile.

SPOKESMAN PHOTO: JAKE BARTMAN - Rustam Kocher in his 2015 Mercedes B-Class.SPOKESMAN PHOTO: JAKE BARTMAN - Rustam Kocher's 2015 BMW B-Class.

Nathan Forester’s 2014 BMW i3 has a gasoline engine for backup, but gets around 75-80 miles on electricity before the engine is necessary. “It gets rid of the range anxiety that a lot of people have, because you can put gas in the car and keep driving if you need to,” said Tony Foley, who owns an all-electric BMW i3.

“This car is all about the drive,” Forester said. “It’s definitely the BMW of electric cars.”

SPOKESMAN PHOTO: JAKE BARTMAN - Nathan Forester in his 2014 BMW i3.

The Tesla Model S was one of the most popular vehicles at the Drive Electric Week event, with 13 owners bringing their Teslas for attendees to explore. Gary Graunke of Hillsboro brought a 2013 Model S. “I’ve always dreamed of electric cars,” Graunke said. “The Tesla’s my dream car.”

SPOKESMAN PHOTO: JAKE BARTMAN - Thirteen Tesla Model S owners brought their vehicle for display at the Drive Electric Week event.SPOKESMAN PHOTO: JAKE BARTMAN - Gary Graunke's 2013 Tesla Model S is largely controlled via a 17 inch touch screen to the right of the steering column.

Contact Jake Bartman at 503-636-1281 ext. 113 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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