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Greensburg GreenTown is a charitable nonprofit organization working in Greensburg, Kansas to rebuild the town following the devastating tornado in May of 2007. The town has made a remarkable comeback, reinventing itself as a model for sustainable building and green living now recognized around the world. GreenTown works to make green building and living easily understood, appealing and accessible to all.

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Charged Up for Sustainability

Ron Shank shows the new electric car charger.Going green is an important aspect of Dwane Shank Motors.  From the dealership’s sustainable building features to their new offering of the Chevy Volt, an electric car, their commitment to sustainability is evident.

This past month finds Dwane Shank Motors with a brand new electric car charger.  The charger is hooked up to the existing electrical grid inside of their garage.  The charger reaches two stalls inside the garage and can also reach outside for any passersby who may need to charge up a car.  Anyone may stop by during business hours to use the charger and as of now there is no cost to charge up your car.  Not many know of this service at the Shank dealership, so tell an electric car-owning friend.  Dealership operator Ron Shank says that they will add an additional car charger soon.

Image from Dodge City Daily GlobeThe decision for adding the electric car charger is tied to the new addition of the Chevy Volt to the dealership’s offerings.  The first unveiling of the Volt at a dealership was in Greensburg back in November of 2008, when several General Motors executives traveled from Detroit to attend Shank Motors groundbreaking for their new facility.  During that celebration, Ron got to take a Chevy Volt for a spin - becoming the first dealer in the country to get to drive the car.  It is natural that Dwane Shank Motors would carry the car.  “With Greensburg’s focus on being green, it felt like a good fit.  It was something I thought I should do,” said Shank.  The dealership’s first Volt is being built this week.  Before the dealership was allowed to sell the car, the staff was trained in electric car know-how through General Motors.  The Volt is expected to be available at the dealership in a month.

While the Volt can be plugged in to any regular outlet to charge, it charges more quickly with a car charger.  The 240 volt charger brings a car to full power in 4 hours compared to the 8-10 hours of wait with the use of a regular outlet.  Shank’s charger is also compatible with any electric car, so a visitor who may have a different make of electric car may use the dealership’s charger.

Though the initial cost to the consumer for the Volt is about $40,000, with a tax credit of $7,500, the savings in gas is substantial.  It only takes about $1.60 worth of electricity to fully charge the car.  The car has a range of 35-40 miles fully charged, but it also has an onboard gasoline generator that works when the car needs to travel further distances.  “With this feature you can drive the car coast to coast,” Shank says.  This alternative way of fueling your car may take some time to get used to, but it is made much easier through the flexibility of the combined use of gasoline.

Dwane Shank Motors is keeping in step with Greensburg’s dedication to green.  By providing both an electric car option for shoppers and car charging station, a new sustainable innovation is brought to the Greensburg area.