Mass Energize

DriveGreen (Green Energy Consumer's Alliance)

I want to buy or lease an electric vehicle at substantial savings

About this Action

1. Check if there are any Electric Vehicle "Test Drive Fests" in your neighborhood. EV drivers love their cars and arrange these Fests all the time, and you get to check out all kinds of models, with an owner (not a sales person). Can't find one? Request that we organize one (email [email protected])!

2. Ready for some estimates? FIRST go to the Green Energy Drive Green website, here. Green Energy has arranged with local car dealerships to provide large discounts for purchase or lease of many brands and models of EV’s. These deals change every month!

3. Test drive some cars at dealers. Just skip the sales pitch by showing the unbeatable MassDrive deal.

4. Let us know how it went! Email us at [email protected], or contribute a story here

Steps to Take

IMPORTANT ANNOUNCEMENT about changes to the EV rebate program. Read and act before December 30!

On January 1, 2019, the EV rebates will change.
For those with a touch of range anxiety 😉, those handy plug-in hybrid electric vehicles that have a gas tank back up (like the Chevy Volt and Toyota Prius Prime), will no longer qualify.
Also, the rebate for all-electric vehicles (like the Chevy Bolt and Nissan LEAF) will go down from $2500 to $1500.
It is also not clear if this rebate will continue after June 2019.

Moreover, the federal tax credit is expected to start phasing out in April 2019 as well.

Lastly, General Motors has announced it is stopping production of its popular plug-in hybrid Chevrolet Volt (53 electric miles, then switches to gas) next year. So, especially if you're considering a Volt, December is a *really* great time to get one!


EmissionsThe Union of Concerned Scientists estimates transportation accounts for 28% of the CO2 emissions from the typical American household.  That means that carbon emissions from the US transportation sector now exceed those from all the coal- and gas-fired plants in the country combined. In Massachusetts, it's worse. Transportation represents a whopping 40% of our greenhouse gas emissions! That's because burning a gallon of gasoline produces almost 20 lbs. of CO2. If you want to know how efficient/climate-friendly your car is, check it at CarbonCounter here, an app developed by MIT.

Electric vehicles—in combination with renewable, carbon-free electricity generation—represent the most economically efficient and environmentally impactful near-term opportunity to achieve the emissions goals established in the Paris Climate Accord and the dramatic greenhouse gas reduction standards required by Massachusetts law. That is because, according to the Union of Concerned Scientists, EVs have lower lifecycle emissions than gas-powered cars, even after accounting for extra emissions from battery manufacturing. 

And the choice grows every year. Most major car manufacturers now offer hybrid electric (HEV), plug-in hybrid electric (PHEV) and battery-electric vehicles (EVs) that range in size from compact models to SUVs. In March 2017, Consumer Reports published a comprehensive report, Electric Cars 101: The Answers to All Your EV Questions, here.

John DeVillars writes that "Electric vehicles are coming. There are going to be a lot of them and they are likely to be here sooner than most people think. In just the last few months, England, France, and India have all put in place a ban on the sale of new carbon-powered vehicles by 2040. China, where electric vehicles sales were up 70 percent last year, is about to do the same.  In the United States, sales of electric vehicles have roughly doubled year-to-year each of the past five years. Most industry analysts believe they will account for more than one-third of all vehicles on the road well before mid-century." (John DeVillars, here

Cheaper to run and maintain. The cost of charging an EV is much less than what you would pay for gasoline. A 12-gallon tank of gasoline costs $12.60, while the Chevrolet Bolt, which uses 0.28 kWh/mile, costs $9.33 at 0.14/kWh for a full recharge. According to the Department of Energy, electric vehicles can save as much as $1,200 per year in fuel costs. 

Fully electric cars also cost much less in maintenance. Electric motors are highly efficient, delivering three times as much power than internal combustion engines. EVs have fewer moving parts and are therefore much cheaper to maintain: they do not need oil changes, and have no transmission fluids, fuel pumps, timing belts and many other moving parts. Regenerative brakes also last longer than those found in gas-powered vehicles. Hybrids still have internal combustion engines, which will need regular maintenance.

Range anxiety? Fully electric vehicles (EV) are constrained by their battery capacity, which constrains their range. But EVs have made rapid progress over the past few years and now have a much better range. For example, the new highly-rated Chevrolet Bolt has a range of 238 miles. The Tesla Model S has a range of 210 miles. Also, there is already an extensive network of charging stations all across the country that continues to grow. Some people have no issue with the shorter range. Read here about a Wayland family that owns only one car, a LEAF, which is an EV. With a little planning in advance, a trip from Wayland to NY is "no hardship at all." For longer trips, or trips to places where chargers aren't that ubiquitous, they rent a hybrid. For most families with two (or more) cars, one of those could easily be an EV (for shorter trips), the other could be a gasoline car, or any type of hybrid - a hybrid electric (HEV), or a plug-in hybrid electric (PHEV). Read here about how to extend the battery in winter. 

Charging in Wayland. Though you can plug your car straight into any standard 110-120V outlet and require about 12 hours to store power for about 50 miles of driving.Many EV and plug-in owners install a Level II 240 Volt charger, which speeds up charging time up to 6X faster. Equipment and installation of these chargers cost in the range of $1,000 to $1,200. This cost is tax deductible. There are many apps that help you locate public charging stations, what kind they are, if they work, and even if they're occupied. There are several public charging stations in Wayland.

+ 2 charging stations, 2 ports each, in the parking lot behind the Town Building (free of charge).

+ 5 GE charging stations, 4 with 2 ports each, one with one port (9 ports total) near the Stop$Shop on 109 Andrew Ave.

Where is the electricity from? If the electricity that runs the car is generated by your own solar panels (here) or other renewables (Make the Switch here), a fully electric vehicle's emissions are just from its manufacturing. If the electricity comes from fossil fuels, driving an EV is obviously not entirely pollution free. Still, according to the Union of Concerned Scientists, EV's and plug-ins have a much smaller carbon footprint than conventional cars no matter what the source of the electricity. 

IncentivesThere are federal tax rebates of up to $7,500 and State tax rebates up to $2,500 for EVs and PHEVs (but not HEVs).
You can also get a 30% Federal tax rebate on the cost of battery charger installation.
DriveGreen provides resources and information as well as special deals on EVs and PHEVs at selected car dealerships.

About DriveGreen with the Green Energy Consumers Alliance. Green Energy has arranged with local car dealerships to provide large discounts for purchase or lease of many brands and models of EV’s. Don't walk into a dealership without knowing about their deals!

So what, again, are the different car options and how do they work? HEVs have both a gas engine and electric motor. The battery is charged by burning fuel and from braking; there is no need to plug in. A combination of gasoline combustion and battery energy is used to deliver better fuel economy than that of a gas-powered engine. HEVs are a good choice when plugging in your car to recharge is not practical. The Toyota Prius (52 mpg) is a popular model. If you need an SUV, the Toyota RAV4 hybrid (31 mpg) is a good option.

PHEVs run on battery power as long as it lasts and then switch to gasoline power, which may be beneficial for those who drive long distances or have limited opportunities to plug in to recharge their batteries. If driven short distances, they have similar fuel efficiency to HEVs but that decreases if you drive longer distances and run on gasoline power. Overall they are still much more fuel-efficient that gasoline-powered cars. For example, the Chevrolet Volt has a range of 53 miles on battery power and 420 miles with a full charge and a full tank of gas. It has reported fuel economy equal to 105 mpg when battery-powered and 38 mpg when running on gasoline.

EVs have an electric motor only and no internal combustion engine; the battery must therefore be regularly charged. These cars have the highest fuel economy. The Union of Concerned Scientists calculated that the average EV in New England got the equivalent of 86 mpg in 2015.

A great information resource = the Alternative Fuels Data Center here.

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