Alternatively fueled vehicles take over Church Street - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Alternatively fueled vehicles take over Church Street

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It's looks like a regular motorcycle, except for all the DeWalt Batteries that power it -- and how far you can actually go on it. The eco-friendly bike, one of dozens of vehicles lining Burlington's Church Street, highlighting power options for people that don't involve a gas pump

From natural gas-fueled trash trucks that fill up at two dollars-a-gallon, to so-called human-powered vehicles, better known as plain old bicycles. The Vermont Clean Cities Coalition's Tom McGrath said its about helping the public realize how far these cars have come and how much they can help. "All the vehicles that are here are emitting much less greenhouse gasses into the atmosphere," he said.

McGrath said alternative fuels aren't just about the environment-- but also about national energy security. "By using less petroleum fuel in transportation we'll increase our nation's energy independence by using more domestically produced fuels," he said.

And any one who thinks green cars are ugly and slow, hasn't met Henry Sharp and his ride.
"This car goes 0 to 60 in 3.7 seconds," Sharp said. And when he starts the car and revs the engine -- the silence from the electrically-charged engine is deafening.

Sharp said he can drive about 250 miles on a single charge and only pays about 3 dollars in electricity for every hundred miles. But the car also comes with a steep price tag. A new version of his Tesla Roadster starts at 109-thousand dollars.

While most electric cars don't cost that much, they still aren't cheap. "Right now the biggest obstacle is the up front cost -- that's deterring a lot of folks from having the initial capital to invest in the vehicles," Tom McGrath said.

But owners like Sharp say the more people buy these cars, the more affordable they'll become -- hoping the alternatives soon become the norm.

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