Officials from Garfield, Eagle and Pitkin counties gathered Wednesday in Glenwood Springs to announce the launch of the Electric Vehicle Sales EVent: REV Up Your Ride, a three-month campaign to drive up purchases of electric vehicles.
For the sales event, running from April 1 to June 30, four auto dealerships are offering discounts on seven models of electric vehicles. Participating dealers are Audi Glenwood Springs, Mountain Chevrolet of Glenwood Springs, Co’s BMW Center of Loveland, and Boulder Nissan.
For a limited time, the dealers will be offering discounts on plug-in electric and gasoline hybrids and on plug-in all-electric vehicles. The discounts can be combined with the state of Colorado’s $5,000 tax credit and a federal tax credit of up to $7,500 to significantly drive down the cost of a lease or purchase.
The Electric Vehicle Sales Event is led by Refuel Colorado, which is a program of the Colorado Energy Office, and Garfield Clean Energy. CLEER is organizing and managing the effort.
Funding for a three-month advertising campaign, along with teamwork to promote electric vehicles, is coming from CORE, City of Aspen, Town of Snowmass Village, City of Glenwood Springs, Eagle County, Town of Vail, Town of Avon, Holy Cross Energy, Garfield County Environmental Health and Walking Mountains Science Center.
The EV Sales Event goal is for the dealerships to sell at least 50 electric vehicles to residents and businesses in the three counties, said Vail Town Councilwoman Kim Langmaid. The Sales Event also set a goal of increasing public charging stations in the region by 25 percent, growing the current number of 160 stations to 200 by year’s end.
Langmaid was one of five elected officials from the region to announce the EV Sales Event at a press conference held Wednesday, March 15, at Holy Cross Energy headquarters in Glenwood Springs.
“Electric vehicles produce zero tailpipe emissions when they’re running in electric mode,” said Eagle County Commissioner Jeanne McQueeney.
“Using electricity instead of gasoline for your car also means fewer carbon emissions per mile,” McQueeney said. “Colorado electricity is 36 percent cleaner than gasoline. And as we add more renewable energy to the grid, electric vehicles will be even more clean-burning.”
Electric vehicles are also less costly to fuel, with the electricity equivalent of a gallon of gasoline costing about $1.10 per “e-gallon.” Aspen Mayor Steve Skadron said more affordable fuel and less overall maintenance means electric vehicles can help reduce the cost of living in resort communities.
Electric vehicles are shifting the transportation fuel market away from oil and toward electricity, a domestic energy source, said Glenwood Springs City Councilman Stephen Berhsenyi. That supports Colorado electric utilities and their fuel providers, he said, and raises consumer demand for more renewable energy.
Kristen Bertuglia, a Holy Cross Energy board member and environmental manager for the Town of Vail, announced the line-up of electric vehicles included in the EV Sales Event.
Audi Glenwood Springs will offer the Audi A3 e-tron Sportback plug-in hybrid, with a $2,200 dealer discount. The A3 e-tron can travel 16 miles in electric mode, with 380 miles total range using electric and gasoline.
Boulder Nissan will offer two options for the Nissan Leaf battery-electric car, the S and SV options, with an $8,000 dealer discount. The Leaf can travel up to 107 miles on its battery, and is fitted for slow and fast charging outlets.
Co’s BMW Center of Loveland is offering three models. The BMW i3 battery-electric car is offered with a $3,000 discount. It can travel up to 114 miles on its battery. An optional gasoline-powered range extender generator increases range to 180 miles.
BMW’s new 530e sedan, available in late April, is a plug-in hybrid with 20 miles of range in electric mode and 540 miles total range using electric and gasoline. It’s offered with a $3,000 discount.
BMW’s X5 40e sport activity vehicle, also a plug-in hybrid, has 15 miles of range in electric mode and 540 miles total range using electric and gasoline. It’s offered with a $4,000 discount.
Mountain Chevrolet of Glenwood Springs is offering two models. The Volt plug-in hybrid sedan is offered with a discount of $1,000. It can travel 53 miles in electric mode, and 420 miles total range using electric and gasoline.
And the new all-electric Chevrolet Bolt, named “Car of the Year” by Motor Trend and Green Car Journal, is offered with a $300 discount. The Bolt can travel up to 238 miles on a charge.
The Bolt discount is much smaller than other models in the Sales Event, noted Mountain Chevrolet owner Michael Payne. The Bolt is not yet available nationwide and in contrast, many dealers are marking up prices for the Bolt to handle very high demand.
More information about the vehicles and dealerships is available on the Garfield Clean Energy website, GarfieldCleanEnergy.org . People interested in driving an electric vehicle are encouraged to contact or visit any of the four participating dealers.