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Alternative Energy Fair Features ‘Electric Car Cruise’

Car cruises are a popular weekend getaway for many, but how often do you get to take a spin in an expensive electric car?

Marcellus Outreach Butler, a Butler County nonprofit group promoting alternative energy, will host its 3rd annual Fossil Free Energy Fair at the lower Kohl’s parking lot at Cranberry Commons in Cranberry Township on Saturday featuring a $100,000 Tesla and other hybrids available for rides.

The fair will offer documentaries, presentations and other activities highlighting climate change and fossil fuel alternatives, including electric car manufacturers like Tesla on-site with their latest models.

Fair coordinator Lou Hancherick said the original idea was borne out of a focus group the group held regarding natural gas production and fracking.

“Our focus group was saying, ‘But we need this gas’ … And our response was, ‘No’,” he said. “We have technology today that can replace fossil fuels for our energy sources.”

The Electric Car Cruise coincides with the start of National Drive Electric Week, which runs Sept. 12 to 20.

“Despite criticism, there is climate change happening and we believe it is manmade,” he said. “The fuel that we’re burning in our cars and our trucks contribute to global warming. We’re actually slowly killing ourselves and killing this planet if we continue.”

Ideas promoted at the fair are intended to spark incremental but meaningful change in residents' everyday lives, Hancherick said. This isn't an energy overhaul, he said.

“I live in an ancient home, it’s not solar powered and I’m still driving an internal combustion engine car,” he said, laughing. “I do have plans on changing that transportation to all-electric.”

The fair is powered by solar energy provider Zero Fossil. Free snow cones, made using solar powered equipment, will also be served.