Several vehicles at EV show at Prairie Cinema Saturday

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Ron Leys of Prairie du Chien stands next to his Ford Mustang Mach-E at the EV Show Saturday at Prairie Cinema. Leys said his Mustang gets the equivalent of 100 miles per gallon. (Photos by Ted Pennekamp)

Andy Marshall (left) of Ferryville discusses the Ford F-150 Lightning with Sonny and Linda Sondreal of Prairie du Chien at the EV automobile show in the Prairie Cinema parking lot Saturday. The EV pick-up truck sells for about $39,974.

By Ted Pennekamp


Numerous owners presented their electric vehicles and gave information to attendees of the EV show held in the Prairie Cinema parking lot Saturday. 

“There are now several steps,” said EV owner Andy Marshall of Ferryville. “There’s gas, diesel, hybrid and fully electric.”

Sonny and Linda Sondreal of Prairie du Chien also had an EV at the show and among the people they chatted with was Marshall, who was pointing out various features on a Ford F-150 Lightning pick-up truck that sells for approximately $39,974, according to an electric vehicle guide available at the show. The Ford F-150 Lightning has a range of 230-320 miles per full charge. 

Marshall said more people are installing chargers in their garage, and can charge their vehicle at their convenience. The charger automatically shuts off when the vehicle is fully charged. 

Linda Sondreal said they installed a charger at home and Scenic Rivers Co-op paid for it. She said she and her husband get about 30 miles for the equivalent electricity usage of one load of clothes in the clothes dryer. 

Many people who buy EVs are buying them for the big cost savings. Ron Leys of Prairie du Chien noted the cost effectiveness, but also said he bought his Ford Mustang Mach-E from Fillback Ford of Prairie du Chien for environmental reasons as well. 

On a test drive around the parking lot of Prairie Cinema, the Mustang Mach-E had a quiet ride while exhibiting plenty of torque and fast, smooth acceleration.

Leys not only has a charger in his garage, he has solar panels on his house that power the electric needs of the house as well as the car.

“My electric bill is about $4 per month in the summer and about $30 per month in the winter,” said Leys. Leys said he pays about $15 per month to be part of the electric grid. “Sometimes I sell electricity to the power company and sometimes I buy it,” he said. 

Leys said he charges his car while he and his wife sleep. The charger shuts off by itself and does not overcharge the vehicle. 

Leys said he used to have a hybrid Chevy Volt and had no maintenance problems whatsoever. The Chevy Volt got the equivalent of $100 miles per gallon. Leys said fully electric vehicles have even less maintenance costs.

“There are very few moving parts compared to a gas powered car,” said Leys, who noted there is no transmission and no radiator. “Electric vehicles produce relatively little heat,” said Leys. “Therefore, no radiator is needed. There is no transmission, so electric vehicles can accelerate faster.”

Leys said his Mustang  Mach-E gets the equivalent of 100 miles per gallon. Plus, his charger is powered by his solar panels. Leys no longer even has to think about the price of gas. 

“I’m literally riding on sunshine,” said Leys.

According to the electric vehicle guide at the show, a Ford Mustang Mach-E sells for approximately $43,895. It has a range of 247-314 miles on a full charge.

“A lot of EVs don’t cost anymore than a new pick-up truck,” said Leys. “And, how many of those are people buying?” 

There were a few Chevrolet Bolt EVs at the show. Ted Finn of Prairie du Chien said he and his wife Janet bought theirs from Fillback for $30,000 and are quite pleased. The Finns also have a charger in their garage.

Of course, prices may vary, but EVs are becoming more affordable as they continue to be developed and refined. The number of charging stations, including fast charging stations, continues to grow as well. 

As with any product, there are several pros and cons involving EVs. Prospective consumers should conduct research and study the EV market thoroughly to decide if an EV is right for them or not.

Shows such as the EV show at Prairie Cinema on Saturday, provide a venue where people can ask questions and find out a lot more about EVs.

The EV show on Saturday was put on by the National Electric Vehicle Association and the volunteer president of the Wisconsin branch, Jeremiah Brockman of Prairie du Chien.

EV owners shared information with each other as well as numerous community members who attended the show from noon until 4 p.m. Some of the topics of the show included EV 101, home charging, local public charging, and road trips.

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