City Club of Eugene: Driving Towards a Low-Carbon Future with Electric Vehicles

Dec 9, 2019

Recorded On: December 6, 2019

Air Date: December 9, 2019

From the City Club of Eugene:

The increasing urgency in dealing with climate change has accelerated the pace of developing alternative energy sources to reduce carbon emissions in the atmosphere. One international focus is on replacing the gas guzzling cars and trucks that are a primary source of carbon emissions with electric vehicles. For 2020, such major automobile manufacturers as Chevrolet, Ford, Volvo, and Volkswagen are joining Tesla to offer their own electric models to the driving public. Cities around America are also converting their fossil fuel bus fleets to electric charged vehicles. Locally, the Lane Transit District (LTD) has been testing electric propulsion technology and has a commitment to convert at least 10% of its fleet to electric buses within the next two years.


Philip Barnhart, J.D, PhD represented portions of Lane and Linn Counties in the Oregon Legislature from 2001 to 2019.  This year he founded the Emerald Valley Electric Vehicle Association. Previous to that he served as a member of the Eugene 4-J School Board.  His careers include law and clinical psychology. He has driven an EV since 2012. Mr. Barnhart will focus on light vehicles such as passenger cars and smaller trucks and touch on such topics as battery range, reliability and longevity, carbon content of charging electricity in Eugene, as well as price, cost, and performance of electric cars and light trucks and why you should drive an EV.

Kelly Hoell is LTD’s Sustainability Manager. Ms. Hoell has overseen the initial testing of the electric buses now in operation. She is also launching an evaluation of all available fuels and technology to help formulate LTD’s long term plans for a low carbon bus system. Ms. Hoell earned a BS in Environmental Studies from the University of Denver and an MBA from Oregon State University. She will discuss her carbon study involving public transit and LTD’s long term plans to electrify its fleet.

Michael Graham is Director of Policy and Communications for the Columbia-Willamette Clean Cities Coalition, a 501 (c) (3) organization that provides resources, professional support, and “fuel agnostic” expertise to help its private and public members navigate and adopt alternative fuel and fleet efficiency solutions. Prior to that Mr. Graham served as an energy research analyst for the Oregon Department of Energy, where he co-authored the State of Oregon’s first statewide Biogas and Renewable Natural Gas Inventory. He will provide an overview of the development of heavy electric vehicles, when they can be expected, and issues that need to be resolved.