Hundreds of spectators marveled at the plethora of different electric vehicles showcased at the Solvang's Centennial Plaza on Saturday where they learned about the benefits of owning cars that run clean without tailpipe emissions, outstanding performance range and almost no maintenance. 

The event, one of several shows across the country as part of Electric Vehicle Week, was sponsored by the Los Padres Chapter of the Sierra Club. BMWs, Nissans and Teslas were just a few of many different varieties of electric vehicles.

Rebecca August, of Buellton, is a member of the Sierra Club, and showcased her silver 2014 Nissan Leaf at the show for the first time. Her car runs on all electricity and has about 80 mile range, and not to mention, is very inexpensive to drive.

"It costs less for me to own this car and drive it than it costs me to drive my old gas car," said August. "The trend for electric vehicles is really taking off; two years ago when I first got this car, I never saw another driver at a charging station, and now when I find one, there's a queue of people waiting." 

"I hope it gets even more popular," she said. "It's very quiet, it's like driving a spaceship and there's low maintenance. I can drive from my house to Santa Maria and back again without having to charge my car, so I hope people will catch onto the trend." 

Gina Kim covers crime and courts for Santa Maria Times. Follow her on Twitter @gina_k210

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