Rick Snyder thinks Portland drivers are interested in saving cash and doing their part to help the environment. That’s why he opened Ecomotion, a car dealership specializing in new and pre-owned electric vehicles, in August.
Rick Snyder thinks Portland drivers are interested in saving cash and doing their part to help the environment.
That’s why he opened Ecomotion, a car dealership specializing in new and pre-owned electric vehicles, in August.
Snyder, CEO of the company, said that business has been good because people are tired of fuel costs and are becoming more environmentally conscious.
“More people today are looking for a cheap alternative to the rising price of gasoline,” Snyder said. “But a growing number of customers are interested in driving vehicles that don’t pollute the air we breathe as well.”
The cars sold at Ecomotion aren’t your typical cars-in fact, some of them look more like something out of a futuristic science-fiction film than traditional vehicles. These electric cars aren’t made by major car manufacturers, either. Instead, the vehicles come from smaller electric-vehicle companies, such as ZAP (Zero Air Pollution) and NMG (No More Gas), Synder said.
They only cost between 1 and 2 cents per mile to operate, with speeds ranging from 40 to 70 mph, Synder said. The cost for these environmentally clean cars is between $10,000 and $27,000.
Snyder stressed that these cars are for local use only.
“None of these cars are ideal for long travel,” Snyder said. “On the other hand, the myth that they’re dangerous because of sudden stops when they’re out of energy is not true.”
The cars give the drivers time to find an outlet to recharge simply by gradually slowing down, he said.
“If nothing can be found, many [drivers] simply knock on people’s doors to ask if they can plug in. I’ve never heard of someone being refused,” he said.
Ecomotion also sells pre-owned hybrid and EPA-standard “Smart Way,” or minimally polluting, cars from larger manufacturers.
Since opening their doors last August, Ecomotion has sold 30 cars and hopes to turn a profit this July, Snyder said. He said part of the appeal of his company’s cars is their unique look.
“Because our three-wheeled battery-powered cars are unusual looking, they attract attention from pedestrians and drivers on city streets,” he said. “This is exactly what many of our customers want-they hope to spread the message as heads turn to see ‘what that is’.”
-Steve Haske contributed to this article
Ecomotion is located at 1625 N.E. Sandy Blvd. For more information, visit www.eco-motion.com.