On March 14, 2019, Green Energy Consumers held a webinar about upcoming initiatives, programs, and policies related to electric vehicle (EV) charging in Massachusetts and Rhode Island. If you weren't able to make it, or you attended and want a review, I've highlighted the key points in this blog post.
The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) offers a federal tax credit of $2,500 to $7,500 per new electric vehicle (EV) purchased in the United States. Right now, both the Chevrolet Volt and Chevrolet Bolt qualify for the full $7,500 federal tax credit. However, as of April 1st, the credit will be cut to $3,750 as the tax credit phases out for General Motors vehicles. If you want a Bolt or a Volt, we highly recommend you get it before April 1st to take full advantage of this incentive.
Did you miss the “What’s New with Drive Green” webinar, but still want to know what’s new with Drive Green? We have you covered. Below is a brief overview of what we went over during our February 12th webinars.
Massachusetts and Rhode Island have both announced plans on how they intend to spend funds coming from the national Volkswagen “dieselgate” settlement. We’re seeing some solid ideas on how the states can use the VW settlement money to reduce air pollution from diesel fuel. This development is akin to turning swords into plowshares. While it’s horrible that VW deceived governments throughout the world about emissions from its diesel engines, there will be two lasting benefits from the settlement. Firstly, car-makers appear to be reducing their commitment to new diesels, as VW’s experience highlights the impossibility of making low-emission diesel vehicles. Secondly, the VW settlement money will help greatly to accelerate the transition to electric vehicles.
Edited by Mal Skowron
Holly Reid and Rich Shaw live in North Carolina. They have driven a Prius since 2006, but their ever-growing interests in reducing energy consumption drove them to consider purchasing an all-electric vehicle. They heard about the Drive Green program from their daughter, Indy, who worked at Green Energy Consumers Alliance in 2018.
Holly and Rich explored their options using the Drive Green webpage and decided to purchase an EV—even if it meant traveling up to New England to complete the deal and driving it back to North Carolina. And although their small town hosts six EV charging stations, the Reid-Shaws' plan to charge their vehicle at home using solar energy from the rooftop panels they installed on their historic home (ca. 1795).
Electric vehicles (EVs) are better for the environment than gas-powered cars not just because gas-powered cars rely on fossil fuels, but because EVs are more efficient.
Edited by Anna Vanderspek
In October, I wrote a few words about Tesla. I think my comments were very fair, but some asked why I was “picking on Tesla”. So I promised to write another blogpost to dig into what other companies are doing with electric vehicles (EVs).
On December 6, 2018, the state of Massachusetts announced that it will extend the popular electric vehicle (EV) rebate program, Massachusetts Offers Rebates for Electric Vehicles (MOR-EV) through June 30, 2019. However, as of January 1, 2019, the rules of the program will change: only battery-electric vehicles (BEVs) with a sales price under $50,000 will qualify for the rebate, which will drop from $2,500 to $1,500. Though we applaud the state’s efforts to extend this important incentive, we know the Commonwealth needs to be doing more to spur electric vehicle adoption.
In Massachusetts and Rhode Island, emissions from transportation are our biggest climate problem. Although emissions from electricity generation aren’t dropping as fast as we need them to, energy efficiency programs, renewable energy development, and the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative have put power-sector emissions on a downward trend. Unfortunately, we can’t say the same about transportation emissions when almost all of our cars, trains, buses, and other vehicles run on petroleum internal combustion engines. Vehicle electrification is absolutely necessary for us to attain our climate goals.
We believe electric cars are great. They reduce emissions by about 75-80% compared to gasoline cars. And they cost less to run because it’s cheaper to run on electricity than petroleum and they require less maintenance. But for the time being, without governmental incentives, the cost of the battery generally makes electric vehicles (EVs) cost a bit more upfront. So federal tax credits and state rebates are important for the next few years until battery costs come down a bit more. If you’re in the market for a new car and considering an EV (as you should!), here’s news you can use.