GJ entrepreneur unveils street-legal electric vehicle

Zarlingo’s Golf Cars owner Larry Zarlingo had 30 people waiting at the door when he opened his Grand Junction showroom for a demonstration July 18.

The steady crowd for the rest of the day reaffirmed Zarlingo’s belief that electric cars have a place in Grand Junction.

Fairplay Electric Cars President Keith Andrews agrees with that assertion. His Grand Junction-based business sells electric four-wheel vehicles. Its newest vehicle, the EVE, which stands for Electric Vehicle Engineering, can be used on streets with a posted speed limit of up to 35 mph. The EVE, which resembles a golf cart and runs entirely on six rechargeable batteries, can go up to 25 mph and stay charged for 25 miles.

Andrews and his crew showed off the EVE at the Colorado Green Expo at Two Rivers Convention Center on Saturday.

The EVE is produced in China with additional work done in California, but Andrews said he would like to have the car manufactured in Grand Junction or California. He said he hopes to hire 45 people who would make the car in either location within the next five years.

Andrews can offer savings to buyers through the end of the year, thanks to the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. The act has provided funds for the Treasury Department to offer tax credits to buyers of electric vehicles. The tax credit for EVE buyers is $4,234, which brings the sale price down to $2,261.

Andrews expects the tax credit, along with advances in electric-car technology, to help his sales climb. Business already is good in this community and others where residents of gated and golf communities use golf carts and electric cars to get around, he said.

“I got into the electric-vehicle business because of the economic and environmental opportunities,” he said.

Zarlingo said he’s looking forward to adding the EVE to his line of cars, which includes some three-wheeled cars and zero-emission, no-noise vehicles. He said he drives electric cars everywhere he goes for business.

“I’ve cut my business fuel costs by one-third driving electric all the time,” he said.


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