COLCHESTER, Vt. —“We’re here showing that this isn’t some far off futuristic thing this is here and now,” said Duane Peterson, co-president of SunCommon. Solar connoisseurs and admirers from around Vermont checked out electric cars Sunday at SunCARnival in Colchester.

“With solar it can power your homes, fuel your car, it can heat your home, the opportunities are maybe endless,” said Clary Franko, the lead solar organizer at SunCommon.

The inaugural event was organized by SunCommon, a startup that’s been encouraging customers since its inception in 2012 to tap into the sun’s potential. They say now that about 500 people have gone electric on the road in Vermont, the solar home professionals wanted to help get the word out about driving green too.

“They’re really awesome cars and they make a lot of sense,” said Franko.

About 450 people stopped by to check out the 19 vehicles on display. Some drivers were more familiar with greener alternatives than others.

“We really like our Prius because it gets us a long way without filling up constantly,” said Dottie Bergandahl.

Electric car owners volunteered their time and offered up test drives to anyone interested. They answered questions about everything from driving in the snow to “where can I get one?”

The family-fun event featured free Open Hearth pizza, Ben & Jerry’s ice cream and a sun-powered bounce house.

“People are getting really excited about solar,” said Peterson. “And now the notion that you can fuel your car with solar energy – people are really excited about it.”

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