Community Agriculture Alliance: Take advantage of National Drive Electric savings | SteamboatToday.com

Community Agriculture Alliance: Take advantage of National Drive Electric savings

Suzie Romig
For the Steamboat Pilot & Today

STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — Drivers across 49 U.S. states plus Canada and New Zealand will participate at 314 National Drive Electric Week events Sept. 8 to 16 representing the world's largest celebration of plug-in vehicles.

Rural Colorado is on board too with four community ride-and-drive events in Eagle, Glenwood Springs on Tuesday, Sept. 11, Avon on Wednesday, Sept. 12 and Aspen on Friday, Sept. 14 as part of an Electric Vehicle Sales EVent organized by Western Slope nonprofits and municipal groups.

Local Yampa Valley Sustainability Council is helping promote the current discounts that are available to Routt and Moffat county drivers and companies. The sale runs through Oct. 31 and offers discounts up to $1,950 on seven pollution-reducing models from Chrysler, Toyota, Nissan, Audi, Chevrolet and Honda from six car dealers in Glenwood Springs and Grand Junction.

More affordable fuel and less overall maintenance means electric vehicles can help reduce the cost of living in resort communities, noted Carbondale-based Matt Shmigelsky, one of six Refuel Colorado fleet coaches who provide free assistance statewide.

"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."

Although most drivers charge EVs at home or work, Colorado has 624 public charging stations across the state, Shmigelsky said, and that charging infrastructure will grow rapidly in the next 18 months thanks in part to funds from the Volkswagen national clean air violation lawsuit settlements.

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Steamboat Springs already is home to seven community charging stations, and a Charge Ahead Colorado grant was approved this summer for a new public charger installation at Alpine Bank Steamboat near City Market.

As of April, Routt County was home to 24 all-electric and 132 hybrid electric vehicles. Hundreds of people learned from local drivers of greener vehicles during the annual EV Ride-n-Drive sponsored by YVSC in June at the Steamboat Springs Farmers Market.

Driving an electric-powered vehicle can translate to the equivalent cost of $1.10 per gallon and cut the carbon footprint of a car by 36 percent, including zero tailpipe emissions in electric mode.

Basalt resident Chris Lane purchased an all-electric Chevy Bolt that he said is "pure joy" to drive, climbing mountain roads and taking curves with plenty of power and going from 0 to 60 mph in less than seven seconds.

"Once you have an electric vehicle, you'll never go back to an internal combustion engine," Lane said.

The models featured in the sales event, including a Chrysler Pacifica plug-in minivan, are eligible for a full $5,000 Colorado tax credit and up to $7,500 in federal tax credits.

Shmigelsky highlighted the impressive 238-mile range of the Chevy Bolt that boasts 119 miles mpg-e (miles per gallon gasoline equivalent) as well as the substantial discount available — up to $3,000 off through Sept. 30 — on the 151-mile-range, all-electric Nissan Leaf.

Complete information on the EV Sales EVent is available at GarfieldCleanEnergy.org or for other questions call 970-704-9200.

Suzie Romig is Yampa Valley Sustainability Council’s energy outreach director.

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