Get Charged Up About Electric Vehicles

A public car-charging station — not ours, this is in Buffalo, NY.
Rick Denzien, for the Shuttle

A charging station of one’s own

Saturday, Feb. 24, 1-4:30 p.m., Weavers Way Ambler, 217 E. Butler Ave.

In this “Build Your Own EV Charge Station” workshop, participants will build a personal electric vehicle charge station for home or business, or sponsor one for the Weavers Way Ambler parking lot.

The cost of $395 covers all materials and instruction. Registrations MUST be received by Feb. 16 to receive kits in time for the workshop.

EVERYONE is welcome to stop by to observe, learn about the electronics and science of EVs and about installing a home charge station; and to join discussions on eliminating fossil fuels at home and work.

To learn more and register, visit or call or text workshop instructor Rick Denzien at 215-962-6495.

With the climate-denying agenda in Washington, it’s more imperative than ever to step up individual actions to cut back on greenhouse gas emissions. Weavers Way members are in a good position to “walk the talk” of sustainability when buying local and organic food, cutting back on meat consumption or eating a vegan diet to reduce our greenhouse gas footprint.

Our next big choice: Retiring our internal combustion engine vehicles, and making the switch to all-electric vehicles to yield the largest reduction in carbon dioxide emissions. 

Electric Vehicles: Just the Facts 

Many people are under the impression that electric vehicles are expensive or somehow just as polluting as gasoline-fueled cars. Not true! Despite oil company lobby groups that disguise themselves as “experts” to promote skepticism, the fact is electric vehicles emit ZERO pollution, and electric vehicles charged by fossil-fuel energy sources are still about 60 percent cleaner than the cleanest gas car.

Electric vehicles are also 85 percent cheaper to operate and maintain. The initial cost is lower for new and used electric vehicles. For 70,000 gasless miles, the savings in gasoline and oil alone is about $12,000. Low maintenance costs make savings even greater. 

EV batteries can be repurposed as stationary electrical storage and are 100 percent recyclable at end of life. Unlike gasoline, the chemical material in the battery is a non-consumable that can be reused. Electric vehicles can also serve as backup battery storage for home or business energy use. 

Driving Cleaner Air and Water

The exhaust from gasoline-fueled internal combustion engines delivers poison directly to our lungs as we walk along busy streets, drive, fly or do lawn maintenance.

Gasoline vehicles also drip oil on streets and parking lots, which washes into waterways when it rains. The storm pipes in the Weavers Way Ambler parking lot drain directly into Tannery Run; the creek flows through an encased cement channel beneath the lot and under the store, on its way to the Wissahickon.

The cumulative effect of all parking lots and all cars dripping oil in all watersheds is conservatively estimated at over 5 million gallons per year — larger than the Exxon Valdez oil spill, happening every two years. The good news is that electric vehicles don’t leak motor oil because they don’t use it.

Supporting the Transition to Cleaner Transportation

As more drivers switch to electric vehicles, charging stations are needed to support them. Homeowners are installing home charging stations, for which tax incentives are available, and which enhances the value of a home. Businesses are also installing charging stations. 

Weavers Way Ambler hopes to install electric-vehicle charge stations this year, which could contribute to a vital infrastructure that attracts electric vehicle owners to Ambler as a destination, and set an example promoting clean transportation. 

Weavers Way Ambler will also be a host site for the Philadelphia Area National Drive Electric Week in September. Visit or for more info.

The Co-op is also sponsoring a Feb. 24 workshop for participants to build their own electric vehicle charging station, complete and ready to mount! See info box for details and registration info; everyone is welcome to stop by the day of the workshop to observe, learn about the electronics and science of electric vehicles and about installing a home charge station and to join discussions on eliminating fossil fuels at home and work.

By being aware of what is at stake and making informed lifestyle choices, everyone will reap the benefits. Take part now in the world’s transition from fossil fuels to clean transportation.

Rick Denzien is a Weavers Way member.