Just a decade ago, electric vehicles were a luxury available to the wealthy living in large cities, or were gasoline-powered vehicles creatively retrofitted by hobbyists to run on electricity.
But things have changed dramatically in the last few years. Nearly every car company offers at least one fully electric model, and used EVs are widely available with low-mileage at surprisingly affordable prices.
Clark Public Utilities is committed to helping Clark County experience the incredible fuel and maintenance savings, fun-to-drivability and tail pipe emissions-free lifestyle that comes with owning an EV. Through the utility’s recently approved Transportation Electrification Program, a new initiative which now offers financial rebates to put an electric car within reach of anyone who’s in the market for one.
“When the Clark Public Utilities Board of Commissioners approved this program, they wanted to ensure we opened the doors of EV ownership to all of our customers,” said Clark Public Utilities Energy Resources Program Manager Matt Babbitts. “From the start, our goal with the introduction of a used EV rebate program was to make EV ownership a reality for customers who wouldn’t have the opportunity to go electric otherwise.”
The board approved the Transportation Electrification Plan in March and the Used EV Rebate Program launched in early April. The full details are available on the utility’s website on the “Plug in, Power up and Drive” page, which includes a “customer input portal” where customers can provide suggestions and ideas for future EV programs.
The Used EV Rebate Program offers low- and limited-income households a rebate of $1,000 or $2,000 for the purchase of a used EV costing $20,000 or less. The rebate amount is based on the person’s income, not the cost of the vehicle. So, a qualified customer will get the same amount whether the car costs $20,000 or much less.
Many owners say it’s hard to overstate the benefits of going electric. Often EVs practically pay for themselves after a few years, thanks to the amount of money saved on gas, oil changes, and other basic maintenance owners would have otherwise spent on a gas-powered car. Plus, even the basic models are surprisingly quick, comfortable and fun to drive.
You can see your fuel savings potential with the electric vehicle calculator at myaccount.clarkpublicutilities.com/evCalculator.
“Not only do EV’s save consumers a lot of money in fuel costs, they’re also significantly cleaner than internal combustion vehicles, from an emissions perspective,” Babbitts said. “An EV powered by Clark Public Utilities electricity as fuel will reduce transportation emissions by nearly 90 percent.”
Electric vehicles can be charged at a standard electrical outlet, but it can take days to reach a full charge that way. A level II charger speeds up the process, but at 240 volts and up to 50 amps, these chargers may need to be installed by a professional electrician.
Another EV program will provide residential customers with up to a $500 rebate for the installation of an Energy Star-rated, and internet-connected level II charger, or a $100 rebate to install any kind of level II charger without internet connectivity. Business customers are eligible for a $500 rebate without a limit on the number of chargers per site.
Each program has specific qualifications that must be met before the rebate can be awarded, and requires customers to fill out anapplication. To find out more, call 360-992-3000 or visit our website and search for the Electric Vehicle Program.
Energy Adviser is written by Clark Public Utilities. Send questions to firstname.lastname@example.org or to Energy Adviser, c/o Clark Public Utilities, P.O. Box 8900, Vancouver, WA 98688.