Nauna’s Bella Casa Ristorante (148 Valley Road, Montclair) is hosting the biggest electric car meet-up in New Jersey’s history on Sunday, April 15 from 10:30 a.m. – 1 p.m.

The event is co-sponsored by the NJ Electric Auto Association and Nauna’s. The organizers say that everyone is welcome, whether you own an electric vehicle or are just curious to learn more about them.

There will be over 40 electric cars, including the Tesla Roadster, BMW ActiveE, Chevy Volt, Nissan Leaf, Plug-in Prius and more. Dealers from BMW, Nissan and Mitsubishi will be on hand to answer questions.

Nauna’s owner, Tom Moloughney, is an early adopter, having purchased one of the first 500 fully electric Mini Coopers in 2009. He has held several similar meets at Nauna’s, but none attracted so much attention.

“The event has snowballed,” said Moloughney, who noted that people have called from as far as Pennsylvania to ask about the show and that the Star Ledger will cover it.

Attendees will be able to check out the cars and speak to their owners about the realities of owning an electric vehicle (EV).  “Don’t be shy, ask questions,” said Moloughney.  “There is a lot of misinformation out there, and we want to dispel some of the myths.”

He noted that many people think EVs are not practical for everyday driving, as they need to be recharged frequently. “I commute from 35 miles away,” he said, and he has no issue with recharging.  “And I haven’t bought gas in three years!”

Moloughney noted that Montclair is a great place for electric car owners.  “We are one of the few towns that have so many public charging stations,” he said, including four in town, one at the Hillside Square development and one at Nauna’s.  “People who are bringing their cars on Sunday can charge up here before they go home,” he said.

Since it can take as many as four hours to recharge, Moloughney suggested folks plug in and take a walk around town.  “They can go to a cafe or go shopping,” he said.  “It’s gonna be a fun day.”




26 replies on “It’s Electric (Cars) at Nauna’s Bella Casa”

  1. spiro – I was wondering where Sandy was! Would love to hear what he has to say.

  2. “Since it can take as many as four hours to recharge,”

    And they have one connection? I hope more than 2 cars don’t need a “fill-up”

  3. Hi Everyone,

    As for the recharging: Yes, if my car was fully empty (I drove 100 -120 miles) it would take 4 hours to recharge, but many of the people coming Sunday either have plenty of range for the round trip, or they might just need a little boost to make it home. Lets say they are coming from 60 miles away, they might need a 15 to 20% boost to get home so they’ll plug in for 45 minutes to an hour and walk around town. There are two public chargers in the parking lot behind Starbucks in Upper Montclair so you could walk around Upper Montclair a bit and then get a cup of coffee and you’re good to go. There are six chargers in Montclair, and another one at BMW of Bloomfield, and one at Lynnes Nissan in Bloomfield. So after the event up to eight people can be charging within a couple miles of here at once.

    Electric vehicles aren’t a magic bullet to solve all of our energy problems, and right now the earliest EV’s available can’t do everything for everybody. I use mine to commute and run errands and I drive it about 30,000 miles per year. I have solar electric at home so my electric bill is very small and some months zero. We have another car in the family that my wife drives so if we need to go far we take that.
    If anyone would like to take my car for a drive, they can. I like to let people experience what electric drive is, and answer any questions they have. I wasn’t sure I’d like it myself at first and had all the questions and concerns that most people have, but after almost three years of driving electric and logging about 80,000 miles so far, I’m convinced.
    Stop by Sunday and take a look, even if you don’t like EV’s. There are a lot of interesting folks coming with their cars and they’d love to try to change your mind! 😉

  4. It’s not for me. I do not have 4 hours to “walk around ans sight-see” while charging the thing. Furthermore, what if I was in an unfamilar area and suddenly….”Sputter-Putt” shows their head? Where to go and get “Electrified” ? Over there is a Sheel Station and over there ia Aan Amaco and back there is a Exxon…. Besides
    Nolw then…The Telsa Roadster is an exception, for some 9NOT ME) BUT it is a sexy car, for sure. I will stick with what I have, thank you.

  5. Even though Mr. Moloughney has solar panels, most electric vehicles would, for the most part, draw from the largely fossil energy grid; all they do is push the problem somewhere else. They do nothing to address the long term problem of sustainable energy use or production.

  6. mmmm: As I said, there is no magic bullet to dealing with our energy issues, but electric cars can be powered by clean renewable energy, like hydro and solar. Our grid is getting cleaner every year, while gas is getting dirtier every year because we need to drill deeper and further offshore to get the oil.
    Plus, I never really got involved in this for environmental issues. Many people assume that’s why everyone gets an EV, and believe me it’s not. Most of the people I know that drive EV’s locally aren’t Al Gore type environmentalists(I certainly aren’t). The economic impact of exporting over a billion dollars a day for foreign oil is crippling our economy. Electricity is a domestic product and 100% of the money in the generation and distribution goes to local and regional economies, and that money gets reinvested time and time again in those economies. Sixty percent of every dollar spent on gas leaves the US economy and a good portion of that money goes to radical regimes that hate us. Personally I’d prefer to use domestic electricity powered from coal that was mined in Virginia, sent by train to Pennsylvania to a power plant and delivered to my house by local and regional utilities over pumping gas in my car that originated from an oil well in Saudi Arabia or Iraq. Let’s drill more in the US, let’s continue to explore ways to extract natural gas safely and lets use electricity for our personal transportation. I don’t mind relying on China for my iPod, but I don’t want to rely on the Middle East for my energy, it’s just too risky.

    Touching on the charging. For what it’s worth, I’ve been driving electric for nearly three years now and I have never needed to use a public charger. I’ve never waited for the car to charge, it does that while I’m sleeping or while I’m working if I plug in at work. This is a special event where people are driving their EV’s here from long distances away – some from 150 mile away so they’ll need to plug in a bit to get home. That’s not what’s normal life with an EV. you are really never ‘waiting’ for it to charge.

    Sandy- I totally respect your position and I would never try to force anything on anyone. However, from your stance, I wuold think it’s safe to assume you’ve never really driven a real production electric car. Wouldn’t you like to at least experience driving one for a bit? You could then say “I’ve driven an electric car and I hated it! I’d never buy one!” and it would be more credible because you would be speaking from first hand experience? How about you stop by Nauna’s sometime and I’ll let you drive around town for as long as you want with me? No strings attached. You can then knock them all you would like, no hard feelings! I let a lot of people drive my car and virtually every one walks away saying they had no idea how great it would be – powerful, smooth, sporty, luxurious, etc. It’s an open invite, plus I’d just like to meet the famous Sandy anyway!

  7. Lets see if I czn do this, wearing 2 popsicle sticks under my fingers….
    OUCH !!
    The Tesla is a terrific looking (and costly) sports car that can turn heads whether it hsd a 400 Horsepower V-8 OR a 2-stroke motor. It’s a beautiful looking, and inviting car. Most people who own one, bought or its looks, the electric mill under the hood was a curious plus, to be not only sexy, but avant-Garde ! That exception noted, the rest of the clan of “Plug ‘N play” cars are all about … just that. Put a 4 Cyl. motor into them and nobody would be seen in them. But, if there is a market for them, the style will come later…maybe.

    Now, a note about me. In 1972 I was in a horrific car accident, on Route one in Princeton area. I was hit broadside by a guy who had one for the road… The person who slammed into me (at 40 M.P.H) totalled the 5,200 pound 1972 Imperial LeBaron (Mom’s car). I exited and walked away, dazed, but no broken bones, concussion, just a cut left elbow.
    The guy that hit me was taken to the hospital in “FAIR” condition.
    HE was wearing his seat belt….I was NOT.
    Weight & mass plays an important part in an accident, and yes, even though I was not really hurt bably, … since that day I ALWAYS buckle up.
    If everyone drove a Mini…. fine, but…. they don’t, and that is why I drive a Lincoln Town Car. 5,000 pounds – At least, I stand a chance of being around, to pay $4.00 a Gallon if such should ever happen again to me.

  8. Sandy, You’d be happy to hear my electric car weighs over 4,000lbs! I don’t have the MINI Cooper anymore, that program is over I’m driving an electric BMW now. Electric cars aren’t little tin cans like many people may think, they are as big as gas cars and actually weigh MORE because the battery is heavy. Since you mentioned Tesla, take a look what will be in Tesla showrooms in about three months:

  9. Tom, Don’t listen to the haters. You may be right, perhaps it isn’t a total solution. But it works for you and is a step in the right direction.

  10. The Fisker is Available, just like the Bugatti. You just won’t see one in everyone’s driveway. Justin Bieber has one. So does Ashton Kutcher.

    My question is for the EV owners: Is there a stand by drain on the battery? For instance, if I leave the car unplugged in the driveway for a week, will it be dead?

  11. tommoloughney,

    Fine, as long as people in general realize that EVs are largely powered by carbon fuels and are not as green as they might appear. Furthermore, it would be helpful to consider what impact EVs would have on the power grid. More demand, will translate into more coal burning (and mining) or more natural gas burning (and more fracking).

    For what its’ worth, I think that EVs might work well if you driving is local and trips are predictable inasmuch as they should have fewer moving parts are not going to be too far from an outlet.

    BTW, what do you do in the winter? How is the passenger compartment heated and is the range significantly impacted?

  12. ommoloughney, that car looks really good! But, look again…The exterior is 90% 2012 Buick LaCrosse, but with a 2012 Ford Taurus grille !
    I know, I know … it’s not about looks (or other stuff) it about the motor… I get it.

    If you venture into NYC you will see that every Livery car, every Limo and some older (and beat up) wind up as independant Taxis, and they are all Town Cars, and most have 300,000 miles on them and are still running.
    I am ashaimed to say how many cars I have owned in my life, all bought new, and all things considered, a Town Car is the one all professional drivers demand. They simply do not break. I too have learned that. I also like confort and convenience. My T.C. starts itself, from the kitchen, turns on the heated seats and the heater. When I or my wife walk torward the car, the car knows whom it is coming, and goes to that person’s pre-set driver seat posistion, ditto the radios pre-sets, ahd the power exterior mirrows, toO. We like that. it will also do the same, in the summer with the A/C going on from inside the house, if one sets it to do it.
    It’s very nice, it’s safe and the ride is heavenly. I am happy with it, and the prior Lincolns I have owned. If they put a electric car out, I might buy one, unless it is wildly expensive. I would definately try one.
    But, my dealer treats me like a Saint and I am not about to leave them.
    I get a Lincoln loner if I don’t want to “hang around”, they wash my car anytime it’s in for service, and it’s a hand wash done with a lamnbs wool cloth. For Passover they gave me a really nice rain coat (London Fog) and I was invited to the annual Chrristmas Party at the Meadowlands.
    SOOOoooo, when it says LINCOLN on it, I would give it a very fair chance to come home with me. 🙂 Nuff said…… finger really hurts, no more typing….Good Nite all

  13. I applaud you Tom. By having solar in your house, you are also not putting any more strain on the grid with your electric car. Still, haters in this thread seem to want to overlook that… Anyway, well done and thank you for doing your part.

  14. batman jammies,

    “Hater”? One can question the environmental benefits of EVs without being a hater.

    Additionally, solar panels have their own problems as they may not recover their energy investment. Without significant subsidies solar panels do not recover their costs and costs are a measure of resources use. One of these resources is energy and it remains an open question if the energy is ever recovered and if so how long it would take.

  15. Sandy: Great, were making progress! For the record, my electric BMW can also do most of what your TC can (remotely turn the heat/AC on, and basically control the vehicle from my smartphone) Oh, and I like Lincolns too – They have two electric vehicles quietly in development as we speak.

    PAZ/Jimmytown: As Jimmytown said The Fisker Karma is available. I’m not a huge fan of it though. Sure it looks good, but it’s a terribly inefficient vehicle and cost’s way too much to really matter. Perhaps it’s just a proof-of-concept vehicle for less expensive Fisker models in the future, but my money says Fisker won’t be around long enough to get to them. As for the battery, If I plug in my car ans charge it to 100% and then unplug it and let it sit for a month, it will be about 95% charged after 30 days. It loses about 5% per month due to parasitic loads. However once it gets very low, it goes into sleep mode and shuts off everything. I would have to let it sit untouched and unplugged for about two years to do any damage.

    Batman: Thank you. However I don’t look at the people here as haters. I do this a lot(post on electric vehicle stories) and you should see how I’m treated elsewhere- I have met some real haters in my day! I like the fact that the people here in Baristaville that have opinions against EV’s are intelligent enough to at least consider that electric vehicles may be OK, and are willing to listen to someone present their side of the argument. I understand 99% of the population has never owner or driven an EV and it’s easy to just say “I’d never want one of them!” without really knowing the facts. That’s what Sunday’s event is all about. There will be 30 or 40 electric car owners there to show off their car and answer questions that people may have. I urge anyone curious to stop by. Get the information first hand, instead of listening to pundits that have NEVER owned or even driven an EV.

    mmmm:I do think most people realize electricity isn’t necessarily ‘clean’, but that is hugely dependent on where you live. Our electricity here in the northeast does use a lot of coal for generation, and coal isn’t clean by any means. However there have been many studies by the DOE that show under the worst case scenario where your EV is powered by electricity that was made from entirely coal, the carbon footprint of the car is equal to that of the best gasoline powered car which is currently the prius. So even under the worst case, it’s equal to the best case for a gas car. Plus as I said, every year our electricity grid is getting cleaner, as the supply chain for oil is getting dirtier. I read recently that we are decommissioning 8 of the dirtiest coal power plants and replacing them with new, more efficient and less polluting plants.

    As far as EV’s working just for short local trips, I admit, currently they aren’t good for interstate travel, but short of that, I use mine for everything and I drive it over 30,000 miles per year. My daily commute is about 65 miles alone. I take my car to Citi field, to the Delaware water gap, and even to Point Pleasant. One thing I tell people that are thinking about an EV to do is to get a pad and leave it in your car. Every day reset your trip odometer at the end of the day and record your daily mileage. See how frequently you drove more than 110 miles (about as far as I can comfortably go without charging). Many people are surprised how infrequently they actually drive more than that in a day. Of course many people do need to drive far frequently and they wouldn’t be good candidates for today’s EV’s.

  16. FYI, there is a discussion on the Chevy Volt on WNYC’s Brian Lehrer show right now.

  17. Fine, as long as people in general realize that EVs are largely powered by carbon fuels and are not as green as they might appear.

    That’s true, but they have other advantages:

    –These cars have no emissions.
    –While electricity is produced using carbon fuels, less fuel is needed to produce the same mileeage you’d get for a gasoline car
    –Electricity is not imported from countries that hate us.

  18. tommoloughney,

    So that I might understand this better, let me know where I would find these DOE studies regarding the carbon impact of EVs.

  19. mmmm: Here’s one that is good because it allows you to enter your zip code so you can see how your electricity is generated:

    If you enter a zip that uses mostly renewable energy, like say in Washington state(primarily hydro power)then it’s even more in favor of EV’s, less so in states that get a majority of generation from coal. Even so, in all cases EV’s produce less pollution.

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