Energy groups, Garfield County towns push electric-vehicle sales |

Energy groups, Garfield County towns push electric-vehicle sales

Chris Lane of Basalt charges his 2017 Chevrolet Bolt all-electric vehicle at Whole Foods Market in Basalt. Lane purchased the vehicle through the 2017 Electric Vehicle Sales Event. The 2018 EV Sales Event runs through Oct. 31.
Heather McGregor / CLEER

Six EV manufacturers featured

The EV Sales Event includes five dealerships in Glenwood Springs and one in Grand Junction.

• Audi Glenwood Springs is offering the Audi A3 e-tron Sportback plug-in hybrid SUV crossover, with a $4,500 manufacturer discount and a 6 percent dealer discount. The A3 e-tron can travel 16 miles in electric mode, with 380 miles total range using electric and gasoline.

• Mountain Chevrolet is offering two models, both with a $1,000 discount. The Chevrolet Volt plug-in hybrid sedan can travel 53 miles in electric mode, and 420 miles total range using electric and gasoline. The Bolt all-electric is a compact hatchback with a range of 238 miles on a charge.

• Berthod Motors is offering the Chrysler Pacifica, a minivan with capacity for up to eight passengers, with a $1,000 discount. The Pacifica can travel 33 miles in electric mode, with 566 miles total range using electric and gasoline.

• Phil Long Honda is offering the Honda Clarity and Clarity Touring plug-in hybrid sedans, with discounts of $515 for the Clarity and $711 for the Touring. Both models can travel 47 miles in electric mode, with 340 miles total range using electric and gasoline.

• Red Rock Nissan, in Grand Junction, is offering the Nissan Leaf all-electric hatchback with three discount packages. The Leaf S is offered with a $1,737 discount, the Leaf SV with a $1,822 discount, and the Leaf SL with a $1,951 discount. Nissan USA is offering an additional $3,000 discount on all Leaf models through Sept. 30. The Leaf can travel up to 151 miles on a battery charge.

• Bighorn Toyota is offering the Toyota Prius Prime plug-in hybrid hatchback with three packages, all with a discount of $1,000. All three models can travel 25 miles in electric mode, with 640 miles total range using electric and gasoline.

More information about the vehicles, dealerships, discounts and tax credits is available on the Garfield Clean Energy website, , or call CLEER at (970) 704-9200.

Source: Garfield Clean Energy/CLEER

Area municipalities, energy efficiency groups and local auto dealerships are teaming up to promote sales of electric vehicles in Garfield, Eagle and Pitkin counties.

The effort is backed by Refuel Colorado, the consortium of Garfield County governments that make up Garfield Clean Energy, and Carbondale-based Clean Energy Economy for the Region (CLEER).

It offers discounts of up to $16,500, combining dealer, state and federal credits, for the purchase or lease of plug-in electric vehicles from six area auto dealerships through Oct. 31.

“We are building on the success of last year’s EV Sales Event, which led to sales of 42 plug-in electric vehicles,” Matthew Shmigelsky, electric vehicle expert with CLEER, said in a news release.

Five Glenwood Springs dealerships and one in Grand Junction are offering discounts of between $515 and $4,000 on seven models of electric vehicles. Dealers include Audi Glenwood Springs, Mountain Chevrolet, Berthod Motors, Phil Long Honda and Bighorn Toyota, all in Glenwood Springs, and Red Rock Nissan in Grand Junction.

Discounts apply to plug-in electric-gasoline hybrid models, and to plug-in all-electric vehicles, according to the release.

Dealer discounts can be combined with a $5,000 state tax credit for purchase, or $2,500 tax credit for a leased vehicle, plus a federal tax credit of up to $7,500.

“Together, they can significantly drive down the cost of a lease or purchase,” according to the release.

The auto dealers and sponsors will host a series of four ride-and-drive events in Glenwood Springs, Eagle, Avon and Aspen for people to check out the vehicles and take a short test drive.

cleaner air, and jobs

Electric vehicles are less costly to operate, says CLEER’s Shmigelsky. The electricity equivalent of a gallon of gasoline costs about $1.10 per “e-gallon,” he explained.

More affordable fuel and less overall maintenance means electric vehicles can help reduce the cost of living in resort communities, Shmigelsky also noted.

“Using electricity instead of gasoline for driving reduces carbon emissions,” Shmigelsky said. “Electricity in Colorado’s statewide average power mix is 36 percent cleaner than gasoline. As more renewable energy is added to the grid, electric vehicles will be even cleaner.”

Electric vehicles also support Colorado jobs and industry by shifting the transportation fuel market away from oil and toward electricity provided by Colorado electric utilities, he said.

In 2017, the state of Colorado set a goal of 1 million electric vehicles on the road by 2030. Today, 15,000 EVs are registered in Colorado, and sales are growing by 50 to 60 percent per year [Source: Will Toor, transportation program director for the Southwest Energy Efficiency Program (SWEEP), in Boulder].

To help make up for not paying the state gasoline tax at the pump to support highway improvements, electric vehicle owners pay an added annual fee when licensing their cars.

And an infusion of funds from Volkswagen’s legal settlement with states for the automaker’s cheating on emissions will pay for new fast-charge stations across Colorado and other states.

“As charging locations come on line in the next few years, the ease of travel in an electric vehicle will become comparable to a gasoline-powered vehicle,” Shmigelsky said.

drive event Sept. 11 in Glenwood

Test drive events in Glenwood Springs, Eagle, Avon and Aspen this month will coincide with National Drive Electric Week, Sept. 8-16. Altogether, 300 community electric vehicle events will be happening in all 50 U.S. states and seven Canadian provinces.

Eagle County hosts its event from 4-6 p.m. this Thursday, Sept. 6, at the Eagle County Administration Building, 500 Broadway, west side, in downtown Eagle.

Then, Garfield Clean Energy, CLEER and the city of Glenwood Springs host an event from 4:30-6:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 11, in the 800 block of Cooper Avenue, near Glenwood’s Downtown Market.

Walking Mountains Science Center hosts an event from 5-6:30 p.m. Sept. 12 at 318 Walking Mountains Lane in Avon; followed at 6:30 p.m. by a free lecture, “The Science Behind Electric Vehicles.”

Finally, Aspen hosts the last event from 1-4 p.m. Sept. 14 at the Community Banks parking lot, 210 N. Mill St., in downtown Aspen.

Area drivers who already own plug-in electric vehicles are invited to attend the events and talk about the experience of owning and driving an electric vehicle.

The electric vehicle sales events are also sponsored by Holy Cross Energy, the Community Office for Resource Efficiency, Walking Mountains Science Center, Alpine Bank and Colorado Mountain News Media.

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