Andover Townsman, Andover, MA

Education

November 7, 2013

An eye-popping class guest

AHS students visited by $87,000 electric car

While “show and tell” are three words not frequently heard in the halls of Andover High School, students in one science course were treated to a special guest last Friday: an $87,000 electric car.

The school’s Environmental Sustainability Internship Class hosted an environmentally enamored, scientifically savvy couple from North Reading for a discussion delving into carbon consciousness.

The course taught by Melanie Cutler typically hosts a guest speaker every Friday. Last week, the speakers were North Reading residents John Rogers and his wife, Gigi Garcia-Rogers.

With them, the North Reading couple brought a lecture on reducing carbon dependency in an age where global warming and climate change concerns make headlines around the globe.

Their hour-long talk discussed ways students can reduce their carbon footprint at home and examples for how the Rogers’ household did it — in large part, by ditching the station wagon and buying a 2013 Tesla Model S electric car.

The vehicle, inside its sports car-like shell, is an electric car through and through. It charges through a power outlet, uses brakes that help recharge the battery mid-motion and can generally travel 240 to 260 miles per charge, Garcia-Rogers said.

While versions of the Model S go for around $40,000 to $60,000 to start, the Rogers invested in a number of upgrades in the vehicle to make it ready for the New England winter weather, bringing the final bill to $87,000, according to Garcia-Rogers.

After discussing their purchase and how they made the commitment, the couple surprised the students with a trip to see the car, which was hidden by the corner of the school’s field house.

The car left students buzzing as they examined the vehicle from front to rear, even getting inside to check out and go through its systems and built-in instrumentation and features.

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