Rotary Club, Sustainable Westborough host electric vehicle informational event

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By Dakota Antelman, Managing Editor

Electric vehicles sit on display during an information event in Westborough on Aug. 21. (Photo by/Dakota Antelman)

WESTBOROUGH – Local electric vehicle owners brought their cars to the Good Shepherd Lutheran Church in Westborough, Aug. 21, for a non-commercial informational session on electric vehicles. 

For Sharad Mehta, the event was an important step in an effort to encourage community members to make the switch from gas vehicles to electric ones. 

“We hear about climate change and global warming and things like that,” he said. “Most of the time, we just sit and watch it on TV and feel depressed and do nothing. But, when you look around and see, ‘What can we do, what can individuals, families and households do?’…This is one of those things.”

Mehta was a member of Westborough’s Climate Action Plan Task Force. He’s also the Chair of the Westborough Rotary Club’s Committee on the Environment and an electric vehicle owner himself. 

Mehta was in attendance as the Rotary Club and Sustainable Westborough hosted last month’s informational session at the Lutheran Church, inviting vehicle owners to showcase their cars and answer questions from curious community members.

A Westborough police officer speaks with a community member next to one of his department’s hybrid cruisers. (Photo/Dakota Antelman)

Westborough police officers were also present, answering questions about their department’s new hybrid cruisers. 

“This is just a group of community members sharing their experiences of owning an electric vehicle,” Mehta said. 

Mehta and the Climate Action Plan Task Force helped draft a plan to substantially decrease Westborough’s greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. That result would follow a state mandate with similar goals. 

While the Climate Action Plan highlighted a number of measures Westborough could take in conjunction with its business and resident communities, Mehta specifically highlighted the switch to electric vehicles as a way to help achieve those aforementioned goals.

As a result, Mehta is focused on education. 

“Most people think ‘Oh, climate change or global warming [means] I have to spend more money,’” Mehta said. “The case I am making is that, if you look at it, this is actually an opportunity to save money.”

Mehta said that while the initial cost of buying an electric vehicle is high, a lower cost of ownership due to fewer repair needs makes for a sound investment. 

Current state goals aim to have 20 percent of vehicles be fully electric by 2030. The state would then make a full switch in 2035, with all cars sold after that date being fully electric. 

In the meantime, the Town Manager and Sustainable Westborough are in the process of implementing the Climate Action Plan.

Mehta said he hopes to make this year’s electric vehicle informational event an annual gathering going forward.