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Wood Family Dealerships help school districts go electric

Featured image: The 2022 Chevrolet Bolt Electric Vehicle from The Wood Family Dealerships that will be utilized by BHSC driver’s education students.

Driver’s ed students from two area school districts will now plug in instead of filling up the car in which they’re learning their skills.

The Wood Family Dealerships has presented the driver’s education classes in both the Batesville School District (BSD) and the Southside School District with their own 2022 Chevrolet Bolt Electric Vehicle (EV).

“Electric vehicles are the wave of the future,” said Scott Wood, owner/dealer principal with The Wood Family Dealerships.

Wood, who is also a former Batesville School Board president, made the comments when he presented the Batesville High School Charter (BHSC) driver’s education class with their Bolt.

“It’s a situation where I thought it would be best if young people were exposed to the electric vehicles and saw their capabilities as they begin their driving careers,” he said. “So, it seemed natural to me now that the electric vehicles are on the market full-scale that we use an electric vehicle as a driver ed unit.”

In 2017, BHSC committed to clean energy by implementing over 1,400 solar panels to the school district with the goal of increasing teacher pay and all-around energy efficiency, according to a BSD release about the presentation of its Bolt.

The 2022 Chevrolet Bolt EV is just another step toward BHSC’s goal of energy efficiency, and the Wood Family Dealerships said they could not be more proud to assist in making these goals a reality for their teachers and students, the release said.

“I felt like the Bolt was another way the district could display their ability to help protect the environment, and something green we could do for the district,” Wood said.

“The biggest thing is the cost,” said Neely Norwood, driver’s education instructor at BHSC. “The cost of gas right now cuts down on that expense when driving. The Bolt gets around 240 miles on one charge which is very convenient. After we drive for the day, we can just hook it up, and it will be ready for the next day.”

Norwood explained that all students will be taught how to check their oil and pump gas with the other driver’s education vehicle in the BSD fleet. Teaching students how to operate a gas vehicle safely is just as important as looking at what the future holds for the vehicle industry.

“This is kind of a head-start learning opportunity for the students to get into the electric vehicles,” said Norwood.

The students will spend the first 20 hours of the class learning about vehicle safety before they take the road. Students will then learn how to check the oil, change a flat tire, and parallel park, the BSD release said.

Southside Superintendent Dion Stevens told White River Now’s Gary Bridgman that thanks to The Wood Family Dealerships, Southside driver’s education students can experience the future of EVs today.

“This was his idea to give some of our students some hands-on experience with electric vehicles. We just appreciate that and appreciate the opportunity,” Stevens said.

The Wood Family Dealerships said the Chevy Bolt EV comes with standard Chevy Safety Assist along with a suite of advanced safety technologies and driver-assistance features, including front pedestrian braking, forward collision alert & automatic emergency braking, and lane keep assist with lane departure warning.

Images provided by The Wood Family Dealerships and the Batesville School District.

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