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Positively electric

Posted March 05, 2014 in Ames, Community Featured
Brent Haverkamp with his Chevy Volt and his Tesla.

Brent Haverkamp with his Chevy Volt and his Tesla.

Real estate firm owner Brent Haverkamp bought a Chevy Volt three years ago after researching electric cars and becoming intrigued with the concept. It didn’t take long before he was sold on the technology, and added his name to the waiting list for a Tesla.

Six months later, it was home in his garage. The Volt still has a gas-powered engine that kicks in when the battery runs down, while the Tesla is fully electric. What that means fully hits home when Haverkamp pops the hood, revealing the “frunk,” or front trunk. What would be the engine bay in a conventional car is just empty space, ready for the extra cargo you can load for a trip taking advantage of the Tesla’s 265-mile range.

After showing off some of the car’s features, Haverkamp was quick to offer a ride. Critics have complained about the performance of hybrids and electric cars, saying they’re not powerful enough, but you won’t get that here. The Tesla goes from zero to 60 mph in less than five seconds, which Haverkamp happily demonstrated as he ticked off the advantages to his car.

“Obviously, there’s a cost savings,” he says, since he never has to stop at a gas station, saving him $15,000 to $20,000 during the life of the car. “Next, there’s the environmental factor,” as the car has zero emissions and the power used to charge the vehicle is put to work in a much more highly efficient way. Then he grins.

“But it’s also just really fun to drive,” he says.

Learning more about electric cars has led to interest in more energy-efficient pursuits. Haverkamp recently installed solar panels on his roof, and on many days is able to produce more electricity than his home requires, including charging both cars, lowering his home energy costs as well. Haverkamp believes electric cars are the way of the future.

“I’ve become convinced that it’s simply a better way to build a car,” he says. “Gas-powered vehicles haven’t changed much over the past 50 years, but this is a truly new and revolutionary technology.”

He thinks that as they catch on, people will find their efficiency and performance compelling.

“I think in my lifetime, you’ll see electric cars outselling gas-powered cars,” he says.

Contact Darren at 953-4822 ext. 304 or darren@dmcityview.com to recommend someone for an upcoming issue of “What’s In Your Garage?”

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