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Breckenridge business offers a practical electric vehicle

Kathryn Corazzelli
Summit Daily News
Summit Daily/Kathryn CorazzelliMotobreck co-owner Mary Patterson and her dog Roxy sit in the Polaris EV LSV, an electric, low-speed vehicle allowed on roads with limits of up to 35 mph. Patterson says the vehicles are perfect for around-town trips.
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One of Mary Patterson’s favorite documentaries is “Who Killed the Electric Car,” which explores the conception and the following downfall in popularity of the battery-powered electric vehicle in America. To her, it just makes economical sense to use one to get around town when a bike is too small, rather than constantly jumping in a car.

Patterson and her husband, John, own Motobreck at Farmer’s Korner near the high school, where they sell powersport vehicles like dirt bikes, ATVs and snowmobiles. Earlier this year, they also started carrying on-road electric vehicles.

The two models they sell – made by the companies Polaris and Stealth – are battery-powered vehicles that comply with the low-speed laws of Colorado, which means they have license plates, windshields, mirrors, blinkers, horns road-approved tires. Since the vehicles reach a maximum speed of 25 mph, they are only allowed on zones with up to a 35 mph speed limit. Both makers say their models can go 40 miles on one charge.

They make the perfect “all-around town” vehicles especially for those with only two people or a few things to carry, Patterson said. She and her family, who live in the Frisco area, like to use one to go to the grocery store or library, or even for moving wood around their yard, since the vehicles have a “turf mode” for driving on grass. The Polaris carries two people, while Stealth’s model can be converted to transport four.

“Most of the time we don’t have to leave Frisco,” she said.

The family also likes to take the vehicles over to Frisco’s Peninsula Recreation Area to drive the trails. Since the models are virtually whisper-quiet, Patterson says the vehicles could take away one of the biggest concerns most people have about motorized trail transportation: the noise.

Both models cost about $13,000, but with 2011 state and federal alternative fuel rebates, combined credits for the Stealth equal almost $6,000. The Polaris has a 10 percent federal rebate for 2011. Patterson said both are set to expire in 2012; she doesn’t know yet if they will be extended.

The vehicles are a good alternative to cars, and all it would take for more people to get on board with the models is a different mindset. It might take an extra two minutes to arrive at your destination, but look at how economically you’re doing that, Patterson said. Eventually, she would love to see packed-down trails so the low-speed vehicles could transport people from one town to the next.

A lot of people view powersport companies as behind the times when it comes to sustainability, but in reality they’re the ones coming out with the new technology, Patterson added.

Motobreck has demonstrations available by appointment. For more information, go to http://www.motobreck.com or call (970) 453-0353.


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