Tesla, Rivian, Lucid EVs, an e-bus, and many e-bikes at the Connecticut State Capitol as lawmakers consider SB 214 for direct sales and SB 4 for clean air

Posted by Paul Braren on Apr 16 2022 (updated on Apr 25 2022) in
  • Efficiency
  • EVs
  • Tesla
  • Tesla-Rivian-Lucid-at-Connecticut-State-Capitol-on-April-13-2022-by-Paul-Braren
    All photos in this article by Paul Braren on April 13 2022.
    Middletown CT’s Electric School Bus from DATTCO in New Britain, CT. No gas or diesel, no tailpipe, it's electric.
    Jazz Cup Bandit from Spark Cycleworks, Branford, CT.
    "The burden of air pollution is not evenly shared. Poorer people and some racial and ethnic groups are among those who often face higher exposure to pollutants and who may experience greater responses to such pollution." - American Lung Association.

    Hope for a better future is a powerful thing. That feeling of hope was pervasive during these electrification-themed EVents held right by our State Capitol on this glorious spring day in Hartford, one of many cities whose residents are more affected by Disparities in the Impact of Air Pollution.

    Several have written about these special events already, so my article will only briefly re-cap my experience as an exhibitor and attendee, then quickly focus to the fun and advocacy through hi-res photos and 4K videos.

    I recently volunteered for some booth duty a the e-bike event, coming up with a modest EV Club of Connecticut table where I was quickly surrounded by a family-fun vibe as soon as I arrived. There were plenty of kids looking around, getting a glimpse of the future with their parents. Some folks test-rode e-bikes, and a few others had their very first ride-along experience in an EV. At least one journalist and one legislator got to ride both! In the e-bike area, there were many generations represented, with creakier joints making the allure of an e-bike that much stronger. A novel way to get around a little easier and far more efficiently than any car, especially fun on gorgeous blue-skies days like this. Many folks had a LOT of questions about EVs too. Of course I was happy to oblige, deep-diving away into the brave new world of EV pickups with a representative from the City of New Haven Transportation, Traffic, & Parking for example.

    At the EV event featuring representatives from Tesla (Model 3), Rivian (R1T), and Lucid Motors (Lucid Air with >500 miles of range), I met a local news cameraman who was 6' 6" tall was keen on determining whether he could actually fit in the world's first electric pickup truck, the mid-sized Rivian R1T. In short, yes, although a little of his usual head-ducking to get in was required. Plenty of headroom once seated.

    Later on, I got to nerd out over the tech under the hood, under chassis, and inside the cab of an insanely clean fully-electric school bus from Middletown Connecticut that is actually in operation today! It uses Ford for the E-350 front-end/chassis, Collins Bus Corporation for the body, and Motiv Power Systems for the motor and battery pack. My detailed overview is included in my video library below. Please feel free to leave comments below this article of the videos, feedback is always appreciated!

    In short, I had a blast, and I certainly appreciate being invited, all thanks to Thomas Regan-Lefebvre, Barry Kresch, and Analiese Mione!

    Table of Contents


    What better timing that holding these events on the dawn of new bills that are before the lawmakers of Connecticut right now, along with easy ways for Connecticut residents to contact them:

    If you're interested in my EV bill testimony, here's my submissions for 2021 2022, with both of these current bills SB 4 and SB 214 under consideration right during upcoming Earth Week 2022!

    • Author Paul Braren is an IT Professional from Wethersfield Connecticut who also writes for his TinkerTry.com blog and creates EV videos that include the EV Owner Show & Tell series. You can subscribe to his EV content here. Paul is also a member of the EV Club of Connecticut Leadership Team, and volunteer EV advocacy group. He also helps out with their Twitter @EVClubCT and YouTube Channel, and attends events like this to share his passion for all things related to a more sustainable future.

    E-bike exhibitors

    1. Bici. Co - Center for Latino Progress, Harford, CT.
    2. Bikers Edge - Bristol, CT. Torrington, CT.
    3. The Cutting Edge - Berlin, CT.
    4. Trek Bicycle Newington - Newington, CT.
    5. Spark Cycle Works - Branford, CT.
    6. The Bike Cellar/Northeast Battery Systems - Avon, CT.
    7. Super Pedestrian - Electric scooters.
    8. Suburban Sports - Berlin, CT.
    9. Ridgeline Bicycles - Avon, CT.
    10. Watch For Me CT - Roadway safety.
    11. East Coast Greenway - Connects 15 states and 450 cities.
    12. CT Rides - Driving alone less.
    13. EV Club of Connecticut - EV Advocacy.

    Event announcements


    • E-bike fest at the CT State Capitol
      EV Club of CT

      A fun e-bike fest at the CT State Capitol on Wed, Apr 13th, 11am-1pm. Bike shops from across CT will be there, along with environmental leaders, local leaders, legislators, e-bike riders, and the e-bike curious. The event is in support of SB-4, from the angle of affordability, equity, and EV-micromobility.

    Event press

    • EV Owners Join Supporters At Connecticut State Capital In Favor Of SB 214
      Apr 25 2022 by Johnna Crider at CleanTechnica

      EV owners across all brands recently showed up in the Connecticut State Capital to show their support for Senate Bill 214. Paul Braren, writer at TinkerTry, was invited and he shared his perspective in a recent post with several photos. Paul noted that Tesla, Rivian, and Lucid were all represented at the event and there were several e-bikes and even an electric school bus at the capitol.

    • Dan Haar: What I learned riding an e-bike and driving an electric truck
      Apr 14 2022 by Dan Haar at New Haven Register

      ... I pulled out of the state Capitol parking lot as one of the first drivers in the state to try out the new, 800-horsepower Rivian R1T pickup truck. What happened next, I did not expect.
      It was Electric Vehicle Day at the Capitol. EV folks of all stripes gathered to talk up their favored bills, which could pass or die over the next three weeks, and show off their goods: e-bikes; affordable Tesla models; an all-electric school bus from Dattco; a $169,000 Lucid Motors Air Dream Edition luxury sedan; electric mopeds designed and made in Branford by Spark Cycleworks.
      “This is the first ever electric pickup on the market,” said John Stephenson, the Rivian director of state policy, who drove the vehicle up from metro D.C. Tuesday night with a colleague, Kaitlin Monaghan. “It can tow 11,000 pounds.”

    • E-Bikes Make Their Way To the Capitol
      Apr 13 2022 by Katie Cerulle at CT News Junkie

      HARTFORD — Hartford bike shops and e-bike advocates gathered at the state Capitol Wednesday to host an E-Bike demonstration day.

      The event was created to “highlight the benefits of E-Bikes as a sustainable, reliable, and enjoyable mode of transportation” according to a press release.

      The bikes are also part of SB 4, a bill that would reduce carbon emissions in the state by expanding public and private utilization of electric vehicles. In order to do this, the bill would give $500 vouchers to low-middle income residents to purchase an E-Bike that costs $3,000 or less.
      Casey Dooley, from Trek Bicycle in Newington, said that some of the first Trek electric bikes to hit the market in 2001 were made for commuters, but the industry has grown into mountain bikes, road bikes, commuter bikes, and bikes simply for leisure.

    • E-Bike Day in Hartford highlights sustainable transportation
      Apr 13 2022 by Daniela Doncel at WTIC NewsTalk 1080

      The Clean Air bill would expand public and private use of electric vehicles. For example, it would implement a program that would offer $500 vouchers for lower income residents to help them buy an e-bike.

    "We really think [the vouchers] would help people in Hartford because many of them don't have access to a car and sometimes transportation is not that effective for their needs," Coordinator Thomas Regan-Lefebvre with the advocacy program Hartford Transport Academy said.

    • Tesla, Lucid and Rivian show off cars as electric vehicle bills sit before state lawmakers
      Apr 13 2022 by Jodi Latina at News 8

      HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH) — Will this be the year lawmakers allow direct sales of electric vehicles in Connecticut? On Wednesday, several companies showed off their electric vehicles at the Capital.

      Because of laws on the books, Connecticut consumers have to go online right now to purchase one of these cars. There are two bills before lawmakers that could change that.

      Transportation is the greatest contributor to dirty air in Connecticut. But unless you are a car dealer with a franchise license, you cannot sell any of these electric vehicles to Connecticut drivers concerned about the environment.


    TinkerTry | Paul Braren - Family outgrew Model X, ordered Rivian R1S, here's their first look at similar R1T electric pickup!
    TinkerTry | Paul Braren - Look mom, no tailpipe! In depth tour of DATTCO's electric school bus from Middletown Connecticut.


    All photos below taken by Paul Braren on April 13 2022 in Hartford, Connecticut.







    See also at TinkerTry







    See also

    • ct.gov/e-bus

      Battery Electric Bus (BEB) Projects and Partners
      Electric Bus LogoThe Connecticut Electric Bus Initiative is a partnership between the Connecticut Department of Transportation (CTDOT), Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (CTDEEP) and CTtransit. It will showcase Connecticut’s commitment to providing a reliable, safe, sustainable, clean energy transportation system.

    EV Club of Connecticut - Overview of Bridgeport Connecticut's Proterra Electric Bus during National Drive Electric Week event

    Lemon Laws do cover direct sales EVs

    Lemon Law clarification in response to this article, reprinted here with author's permission, removing only his email and mailing address:

    -----Original Message-----
    Sent: Wednesday, April 13, 2022 7:28 PM
    To: mpazniokas@ctmirror.org
    Subject: SB 214

    Hi, Mark.

    I am writing to dispute the position of three CT auto dealers (as published in the CT Mirror this morning) who claim that SB 214 will allow EV manufacturers to circumvent CT’s Lemon Law. This is not the case.

    All CT consumer protection laws are applicable to EV manufacturers (currently Tesla, Rivian and Lucid). If a claim is filed by a CT resident, the vehicle manufacturer is the responsible party to answer. The dealer network is not a party to such a claim and their concerns have no basis.

    I am writing as a Rivian customer and advocate of EV vehicles. The current franchise law protects auto dealerships and limits consumer choice. As a state, we need to correct this restriction in order to provide EV access to all CT residents.



    Roger F. Joyce


    My family owns no stock in Tesla. Tesla doesn't advertise at TinkerTry, or anywhere else, and this is not a sponsored post. We purchased two Tesla Model 3s, replacing my 2006 Honda Civic Hybrid in December of 2018 and replacing my wife's 2005 Honda Civic EX in December of 2019. These big moves to an all-electric household were an expression of our mutual desire to go green, avoid gasoline, be safe, have fun, and save money in the long run. Mostly for my job, I drive a lot, 25,000 miles in 2019 for example, and I thoroughly enjoy sharing what I've learned with you. I hope you can tell!