OCTOBER 22, 2018 BY 

Electric vehicles operate at $1.10 per ‘e-gallon’

Steamboat Springs families are taking advantage of discounts on plug-in electric vehicles this season as part of the regional Electric Vehicle Sales EVent endorsed by municipalities and nonprofit groups including Yampa Valley Sustainability Council.

The Setter family, who live in Steamboat II, purchased a 2018 Honda Clarity plug-in vehicle that has a 47-mile range in electric mode backed up by gas-electric hybrid mode when needed for longer trips.

“We decided the vehicle technology progressed enough that we were ready to take the plunge,” Karla Setter said. “We wouldn’t typically buy a new car from a dealership, but the tax incentives made the car affordable for us.”

Car buyers looking for the gasoline saving and cleaner air advantages of driving a plug-in electric vehicle have until Oct. 31 to take advantage of discounts offered through the annual sale.

“I love that I can plug the car into a regular outlet at home,” Setter said. “I’ve been running all electric around town. I put the car into hybrid mode so it uses gas too when I take longer trips. The car is fun to drive with lots of power in both electric and hybrid modes. It has way more power than our 2002 Subaru whether I’m driving up Rabbit Ears or pulling out onto Highway 40 from Steamboat II.”

Discounts through the end of the month are available at five auto dealerships in Glenwood Springs and one in Grand Junction, since dealerships in Routt and Moffat counties do not stock plug-in highway-legal vehicles. Since the sale started Aug. 1, customers have purchased more than 24 plug-in vehicles, said Matthew Shmigelsky, electric vehicle advisor with nonprofit CLEER in Carbondale.

Electric vehicles produce less tailpipe pollution emissions and are less costly to operate. The electricity equivalent of a gallon of gasoline costs about $1.10 per “e-gallon,” Shmigelsky noted.

The dealerships are offering discounts of $515 to $4,000 for purchase or lease of six models. Those discounts can be combined with the state of Colorado’s $5,000 tax credit for purchase or $2,500 tax credit for lease, plus a federal tax credit of up to $7,500.

Steamboat Springs resident Molly Raphael was ready to shop for an all-electric, 238-mile range Chevy Bolt after driving a local resident’s Bolt during the EV Ride-n-Drive sponsored by the sustainability council in June at the Farmers Market.

“We have been thinking about a hybrid or an electric car. We were not sure which path to take until we saw the cars and test drove the Bolt,” Raphael said.

The EV Sales EVent is led by Garfield Clean Energy, CLEER and Refuel Colorado and sponsored by Holy Cross Energy, CORE, Walking Mountains Science Center, Alpine Bank, Colorado Mountain News Media and the municipalities of Glenwood Springs, Aspen, Vail and Eagle County. More information: www.GarfieldCleanEnergy.org or 970-704-9200