Electric vehicle promo events slated this coming week, sales push continues
Area dealers offering EV incentives, but nationwide sales so far down this year
Area auto dealers hope to make a dent in what’s so far been a lackluster year for electric vehicle sales with the annual EV group-buy promotions that continue in Garfield, Eagle and Pitkin counties through October.
“The last few years, it has resulted in a pretty good chunk of our electric vehicle sales for the year,” said Michael Payne of Mountain Chevrolet in Glenwood Springs, one of four participating dealers in Glenwood that are taking part in the sales event.
Carbondale-based Clean Energy Economy for the Region (CLEER) and the associated Garfield Clean Energy, an intergovernmental network that is sponsoring the group-buy event now through Oct. 31, are behind the push.
Along with another group known as Walking Mountains Sustainability, they are co-sponsoring another Experience Electric Roadshow tour, a series of educational and test-drive events starting in Rifle on Wednesday and continuing on subsequent Wednesdays in Glenwood Springs and Carbondale.
Wednesday, Aug. 14 — Rifle Library, 5:30-7 p.m.
Wednesday, Aug. 21 — Glenwood Springs Library, 5:30-7 p.m.
Wednesday, Aug. 28 — Carbondale’s Third Street Center, 5:30-7 p.m.
Wednesday, Sept. 18 — Walking Mountains Sustainability Center in Avon, 5:30-7 p.m.
“EV sales have been down this year nationally, and we’re not sure why,” Payne said; though he noted that there has been more of a marketing push for SUVs and pickup trucks.
“But the EV sales event here gets a lot of attention, and people do come in and take a look at them … and the rebates are bigger than they’ve ever been,” he said.
Discounts and tax credits
Mountain Chevrolet is offering $4,000 off two models, the all-electric Bolt and the plug-in hybrid Volt.
In addition, Phil Long Honda offers $2,373 off the Clarity plug-in hybrid, and Audi Glenwood Springs and Bighorn Toyota are each offering $1,000 off the all-electric Audi e-tron and the plug-in hybrid Toyota Prius Prime LE, respectively.
Since Nissan doesn’t have a local dealership, CLEER is working with Nissan corporate to provide discounts for local buyers on the Nissan Leaf.
The discounts are in addition to Colorado’s $5,000 tax credit for purchase (or $2,500 for lease), and a federal tax credit of up to $7,500, explained Matt Shmigelsky, transportation director for CLEER.
All-electric vehicles use only battery power, while plug-in hybrids can run off the battery over a limited range and switch over to gas as needed — something that will be explained at the corresponding educational sessions.
The sessions are designed to help participants learn about EVs on the market today, find out about discounts and tax credits, understand how EV charging works, talk to EV owners and test-drive cars, Shmigelsky said.
Other stated benefits
As for the “why,” Shmigelsky offers that, not only do electric vehicles qualify for tax breaks and discounts, they’re also much less costly to operate.
The electricity equivalent of a gallon of gasoline costs about $1.10 per “e-gallon.” All-electric vehicles save on many maintenance costs, since they have fewer moving parts and don’t need oil changes, he added.
“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.”
Last year’s sales event generated 38 electric vehicle sales in Garfield, Eagle and Pitkin counties.
The tri-county area is also actively working to bring more Level 3, high-capacity charging stations to the area. One such station is being installed outside the Target store at Glenwood Meadows, and others are nearing completion in Basalt and Eagle.
“It decreases the time it takes to re-charge, which is important for longer-distance travel,” Shmigelsky explained. “People are able to jump off the interstate and recharge in 30 to 40 minutes.”
By comparison, the lower-capacity chargers can take hours, he said.
To learn more about the upcoming EV learning sessions and to RSVP, visit ExperienceElectric.eventbrite.com, or call CLEER at 970-704-9200.
More details about vehicle pricing, discounts, tax credits and other rebates can be found at GarfieldCleanEnergy.org/ev2019.
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