Events around the state geared to drive excitement for electric vehicles
Plug-in electric vehicles (EVs) are making inroads with Vermont drivers; as of July there were 3,288 passenger EVs registered in the state. But with more than 40 percent of Vermont’s greenhouse gas emissions coming from the transportation sector, the push is on to encourage even more Vermonters to get charged up about EVs.
A series of events across the state, organized in conjunction with National Drive Electric Week starting Sept. 14, aims to help Vermonters get a closer look at EVs – many of them driven by their neighbors who are lending their cars to the cause – and learn more about the many advantages EVs offer over conventional gasoline-powered cars, including cleaner air and thousands of dollars in potential savings on fuel and maintenance.
Electric bicycles, mowers, and buses will also be featured at these events as additional options to go electric and save money, time, and improve communities.
Incentives valued at up to $15,000 are currently available to Vermonters to reduce the cost of an EV purchase, including a federal tax credit and Vermont electric utility offers for purchasing/leasing an EV. The State of Vermont is also developing an incentive program expected to launch later this year.
Vermont’s events are among more than 300 across the country (and around the world) where electric vehicle owners and their neighbors will hold electric car parades, “tailpipe-free” tailgate parties, recognition of leaders promoting EVs, launches of new public EV charging stations, and other public events.
The Drive Electric Week festivities are free and open to all. To entice more people to join in the fun, people who register to attend one of the events listed below will be eligible to win a $250 prize:
· Sat, 9/14 – Upper Valley Drive Electric Event in White River Junction
· Sat, 9/14 – Montpelier State House Drive Electric Event
· Wed, 9/18 – Bennington Drive Electric Event
· Fri, 9/20 – Burlington EV display at Burlington High School homecoming game
· Sat, 9/21 – Grand Isle Drive Electric Event
· Sat, 9/21 – Bethel Forward Festival EV Event
“Whether you are mildly curious about EVs or at the tipping point of purchasing one, these events are a great opportunity to learn more – and have fun in the process,” said David Roberts, Drive Electric Vermont Coordinator. “There’s also a wealth of information available on www.driveelectricvt.com, including all the EV incentives in Vermont, the many models now available, charging locations, and many other helpful tips that make it easy to go electric for your next vehicle.”
"As Transportation is responsible for nearly 50 percent of Vermont's climate emissions, we believe that vehicle electrification can be a major solution for Vermont's rural populace that is both cost-effective and produces measurable carbon reductions. We hope that these Drive Electric events are showcases for Vermonters to see what is possible by going electric and gets them to plug in." Robb Kidd, Vermont Sierra Club, Montpelier Drive Electric Day.
Most Vermont electric utilities offer EV incentives to their customers and are supporting local events next week, including:
· Burlington Electric Department (BED)
“Burlington Electric Department is pleased to partner with Burlington High School’s Seahorse Pride during this year’s Drive Electric Week.,” said Darren Springer, BED General Manager. “Not only are we committed to working with our customers to help them trade in their fossil fuel burning cars for electric vehicles as a step toward achieving our Net Zero Energy goal, but also we’re excited to display a fleet of EVs that Burlington’s next generation of EV drivers can examine.”
· Green Mountain Power (GMP)
“Switching to electric driving is the biggest thing you can do to reduce your own carbon footprint, and not only do GMP incentives make it easier and more affordable for you to drive green with up to $2,500 in rebates plus a free Level 2 home charger, they also help to reduce costs for all GMP customers,” said Mary Powell, President and CEO of Green Mountain Power. “And, as an EV driver myself, I know how fun and convenient they are to drive!”
· Stowe Electric Department (SED)
“As our electric grid is getting cleaner and greener, electric vehicles can be a big step for Vermonters to reduce their carbon emissions without needing to sacrifice comfort, convenience, or safety,” says Ellen Burt, SED’s General Manager. “Drive Electric Week is the perfect time for consumers to learn of all the advances in EV technology and the benefits the vehicles offer. In addition to there being more vehicle options, EV’s are more affordable than ever before with many utilities, including Stowe Electric, offering rebates on eligible purchases. Our customers should make sure to try out a Nissan LEAF during this week, and they may be eligible for up to $6,100 off the purchase of a new one.”
· Vermont Electric Company (VEC)
“Electric vehicles will be a big part of Vermont’s transportation future and will help us reduce the climate impact from transportation,” said Rebecca Towne, VEC’s chief executive officer. Noting that better technology and new vehicle models are coming out every year, she urged VEC members and anyone else interested in the fast-moving technology to attend the Grand Isle event to take a close look at these cars, and talk with their owners.
· Vermont Public Power Supply Authority (VPPSA)
“Vermont’s electric grid runs largely on renewable energy, so plugging in is a clean and reliable way to power your transportation,” says VPPSA’s General Manager Ken Nolan. “Every Vermonter can get money back on the purchase or lease of an electric vehicle, including customers of the small municipal members of VPPSA. We’re proud to have already given back more than $20,000 in electric vehicle rebates and encourage more community members to take advantage of the incentives we offer. Together we can ensure that we meet the state’s climate and energy goals.”
· Washington Electric Cooperative (WEC)
“The devasting impacts of climate change will require all Vermonters to take steps toward reducing carbon emissions,” said Patty Richards, WEC’s General Manager. “Switching from gas powered vehicles to electric is something that will have a real impact for all of us. Making that switch is an important and big step and it will take time to get everyone over to an electric vehicle. We encourage all WEC members to attend these terrific and educational sessions. WEC has up to $1,900 to offer for incentives and members can reduce the sticker price by another $5,000 with dollars from Nissan that can be used toward their 2019 Nissan Leaf. There’s never been a better time to purchase an EV. ”
The national organizers of Drive Electric Week include Plug In America, the Sierra Club and the Electric Auto Association.
Drive Electric Vermont is a project of VEIC in partnership with the State of Vermont, industry representatives, and a broad array of stakeholders advancing electric vehicle technology. www.DriveElectricVT.com