Electric car showcase teaches students value of clean energy


Hannah Feuer

A student sits in EVADC member Wallace Rumbarger’s electric car. Rumbarger originally bought the Hello Kitty design for marketing, but now he likes the decor because it “makes people smile.”

By Danny Donoso

AP Environmental Science teacher Kelly Garton held an electric car showing in front of Whitman today with the The Electric Vehicles Association of DC to teach students about the importance of clean energy. 

Electric car owners, some of whom are Whitman parents, parked in the bus lane in front of the school to showcase their cars. 

EVADC member Wallace Rumbarger has owned an electric Smart Car for four years. Customized with Hello Kitty decal, his car garnered a lot of attention during the showing.

Though anyone could come and look at the cars, Garton organized the event with EVADC member Bob Erdman primarily to educate AP Environmental Science students about the benefits of owning an electric car.

“They’re smoother; they have less repairs; they’re simpler. They just have a battery and a motor,” Erdman said. “Today maybe they’re still a little more expensive, but they’re getting cheaper quickly.”

Whitman students had the opportunity to look at the cars and even get inside, depending on the owner. Junior Mark Canniff said he thought it was interesting to learn about how powerful the cars are even though they don’t run on conventional fuel.

“It’s crazy because in Bethesda you get to see these cars driving by but you never get to see them up close and see the inside of them,” Canniff said.

Garton is a firm believer in clean energy and said that electric cars are a great alternative for people seeking to lessen their carbon footprint. He stressed that electric cars are not just a fad.

“I think the shift from gasoline to electric is happening.” Garton said. “It’s going to take some time, but in this short time there’s already eight car models. And there’s only going to be more in the future.”