Drive Electric Week attempts to electrify the public for wider adoption

“How are we going to charge 35 million electric vehicles in California with a power grid that can barely handle air conditioning?” ask the skeptics.

Kent Bullard, Field Representative for Ventura County Electric Vehicle Advocates, hopes to share answers at upcoming events celebrating Drive Electric Week next week. “Time-of-use power tariffs convince electric vehicle owners to charge at night, when the grid is not overloaded,” he explained. “In addition, many electric vehicle owners are installing photovoltaic (solar) panels, generating their own electricity, and others are also buying backup batteries, returning power to the grid during peak hours, while storing energy when the grid has had enough.”

He also highlighted the emergence of “vehicle to grid” (V2G) and “vehicle to home” (V2H) technology integrated into a charger for the Nissan Leaf and which should soon become commonplace for other models. These two-way chargers allow a car battery to function as a backup battery for a home or the grid. After being fully charged during off-peak hours, a battery can power appliances in a home when electricity is expensive.

Of course, even if the public policy questions of skeptics are answered, the real challenge to realizing a vision for the future of the electric car lies in the purchasing decisions of individuals. Taking on the challenge of promoting electric cars to the public, Nancy Clarin, EV Coach for the Ventura County Executive Office’s Sustainability Division, helps organize events for Drive Electric Week. These events include information booths not only on the environmental and economic reasons for public policies in favor of plug-in cars, but also on the financial incentives available, ranging from tax breaks to reduced maintenance and fuel costs.

Most mainstream car shows showcase the latest models, meticulously restored classics or hot rods, all in immaculate condition, and crowds file past these gleaming aspirational objects, with many wishing they could afford such excellence. . While upcoming electric car shows will feature impressive new models of ambitious cars, the shows will also include cars that were affordable 10 years ago and are much more affordable now than used cars.

For example, these shows will host awesome new cars like the latest Tesla S, Lucid Air and Rivian Adventure pickup truck, all of which are hard to find for less than $100,000, despite base models slated to sell for around 20,000. $ less. On the downside, cars like mine will also be included, some of which have driven over 100,000 miles. At one of the shows, I’ll be displaying my 2014 Chevy Volt Plug-In Hybrid, which I bought in 2017 for just $15,477. Other than standard maintenance, the car hasn’t required any costly repairs and my electricity cost has been minimal, as the solar panels at home produce more power than I use, and I often charge for free. on one of the few remaining free public chargers. I also received a $700 incentive payment from Southern California Edison for the purchase of a used car.

The standard incentive to buy or lease used cars from Edison is now $1,000 and can be as high as $4,000 depending on income, location and type of car. Additionally, the recent federal “Reduction of Inflation Act” provides a tax credit for used electric vehicles of $4,000 or 30% of the price of the automobile, whichever is less. . The ceiling price for qualifying vehicles is $25,000.

The legislation also includes a $7,500 tax credit for new car purchases or leases, with requirements for parts made in the United States and limitations on batteries containing minerals from certain countries. Additionally, the Edison New Car Incentive, funded in partnership with the California Air Resources Board, is $750.

David Goldstein, environmental resources analyst with the Ventura County Public Works Agency, can be reached at 805-658-4312 or

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