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Going Electric In Coal Country? It's Easier Than You Think, New Film Argues


Many Kentucky drivers may be proud "Friends of Coal," but a new documentary premiering in Lexington Thursday digs into the state’s bourgeoning renewable energy movement – and the creative ways advocates are shining the spotlight on alternatives. 

Louisville filmmaker Ben Evans enlisted the help of electric vehicle aficionados EvolveKY and Indiegogo crowdfunders to tell the stories of individuals and groups who hope to spark an energy revolution in the most unlikely of places: the heart of coal country. 

"In the context of what the whole country's resources and needs are, Kentucky seems like the main place where environmental and health advocates could be focusing their efforts," one speaker says in the trailer for EVOLVE: Driving a Clean Future in Coal Country.

Although those efforts may not always generate headlines, Evans reports they are making inroads and changing minds.

"What surprised me is that folks in Eastern Kentucky are a lot more enthusiastic about the prospect of new energy, energy like solar and battery technology, than I would have thought they might have been... or than I think national media leads us to believe that communities are out there," he says.

EVOLVE makes its Kentucky Theatre debut Thursday night at 7 p.m. While the event coincides with the upcoming kick-off of National Drive Electric Week, Evans says the film is also meant to jumpstart conversations the energy delivery systems needed to power electric cars.

"I'd love it if people started to think more broadly about the infrastructure that is necessary to support electrified transportation and how they can be a part of helping to make that change," the filmmaker adds.

On Saturday, Lexingtonians curious about kicking fossil fuels can peruse a variety of electric vehicles at Whole Foods Market from 10 a.m. - 6 p.m.

Watch the trailer here


Josh James fell in love with college radio at Western Kentucky University's student station, New Rock 92 (now Revolution 91.7). After working as a DJ and program director, he knew he wanted to come home to Lexington and try his hand in public radio.