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MCE Launches Electric Vehicle Programs, Offers Competitive Rates

SAN RAFAEL and CONCORD, Calif. — MCE has launched a generous rebate program to lower the cost of installing electric vehicle (EV) charging stations at workplace and multifamily properties. The program also offers rebates to low-income qualifying customers on the purchase or lease of new and used EVs.

“Transportation is the largest greenhouse gas-emitting sector in our service area and in California,” said Dawn Weisz, CEO of MCE. “This program is grounded in our mission and is focused on our customers — particularly those in underserved communities, reduces vehicle-related emissions, and provides greater access to EV charging where people live and work.”

EV Rebates for Low-Income Qualifying Customers

MCE is offering a $3,500 rebate for low-income qualifying customers to purchase or lease either a new or used EV. Additionally, MCE can help qualifying customers combine this rebate with Federal, State, and local incentives for a total discount of up to $12,000 for a new EV or $9,000 for a used EV. The final price of a used EV could now be as low as $2,000 after rebates. Qualifying households must receive MCE service and either be enrolled in California Alternate Rates for Energy (CARE), Family Electric Rate Assistance (FERA), or have an annual household income at or below 200 percent of the federal poverty level.

EV Charging Station Rebates for Workplaces & Multifamily Properties

MCE’s EV charging rebate program covers both large and small charging projects (from two to 20+ ports), allowing market rate and low-income multifamily properties and workplaces of any size and sector (including local government agencies) to save on hardware and installation costs — up to $2,500 per port. MCE will provide technical assistance in the application and installation process.

MCE’s EV program aims to add over 500 charging ports and 100 EVs to low-income households within MCE’s service area by March 2019. Improving charger access (particularly for renters and commuters) and reducing the purchasing price of EVs addresses two of the top barriers cited for owning an EV.

“MCE’s rebate program supports EV adoption by providing much-needed charging infrastructure, while making EVs less expensive than fossil-fueled cars for people who may not have the budget for car ownership otherwise,” said Contra Costa County Supervisor and California Air Resources Board Member, John Gioia. “Replacing a single gasoline-powered car with an EV eliminates an average of 4.6 metric tons of air pollution, which is like avoiding a trip of over 11,000 miles in a car.”

MCE’s EV Charging Rates

MCE’s residential EV rates are lower than investor-owned utility rates, providing EV drivers a cost-effective way of charging their car at home. MCE’s EV rates are flat, based on the time of day when a car is charged, with incentives for charging during off-peak usage hours, like at night when charging is least expensive. This helps to support the grid by shifting load away from times of the day when usage is high and there is more strain on the grid towards times when generation is plentiful and overall usage is low.

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About MCE: MCE is a not-for-profit, community choice electricity provider that provides all customers with electricity supplied from 50% to 100% clean, renewable sources such as solar, wind, bioenergy, geothermal, and hydroelectric at competitive rates. MCE provides service to approximately 470,000 California customers in Marin County, Napa County, unincorporated Contra Costa County, and the cities of Benicia, Concord, Danville, El Cerrito, Lafayette, Martinez, Moraga, Oakley, Pinole, Pittsburg, Richmond, San Pablo, San Ramon, and Walnut Creek. For more information about MCE, visit mceCleanEnergy.org.

Electric Vehicle Owners Join up to Advocate, Share Info

There’s a new group in town — the Davis Electric Vehicle Association!

As an affiliated sub-group of the Sacramento Electric Vehicle Association (SacEV), a chapter of the national nonprofit Electric Auto Association, DEVA advocates for electric vehicle adoption and supports the development of EV infrastructure regionally.

DEVA is a special kind of car club made up of electric vehicle owners, prospective owners and enthusiasts from the Davis and Sacramento area and is a working group of Cool Davis.

DEVA held its first meeting, hosted by members of SacEv and Cool Davis, on Aug. 27, when 24 members gathered to share stories and enthusiasm for alternative fuel vehicles.

At upcoming DEVA events, community members can experience EVs from behind the wheel. Johan Verink/Courtesy photo

“I can do anything I need to do around town (in my Volt), and I don’t need gas,” said member Katrina Sutton, a program analyst for the Plug-in Hybrid & Electric Vehicle Research Center at UC Davis. “It’s just awesome!”

Sutton said she joined DEVA because she likes to talk to people “who are on the fence” about EVs, while encouraging EV adoption and sharing stories with fellow EV owners. She sees DEVA as an opportunity to “encourage people to reduce emissions and join the community in a fun way.”

DEVA meetings will host guest speakers presenting on various EV topics. The group’s first meeting featured Robert Haran’s presentation on vehicle-to-grid technology, a potential way for plug-in EVs to transfer energy back and forth to the grid.

Members discussed future meeting guest speakers (possibly from Tesla) and topics such as EV market updates, the Valley Clean Energy Alliance, EV charging and battery care, PG&E EV charging station rollouts and EV travel stories.

The group also proposed fun events like a Davis EV parade and field trips to the California Independent System Operator and the Wind Farm.

First up is an EV Show & Tell from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 16, on Fourth Street between C and D streets, adjacent to the Farmers Market. The event will feature ride-and-drive opportunities with dealer vehicles and several workshops, including “EV 101 — What EV is Right For Me?,” “Charging Levels, Power and Your Electricity Bill,” “EV/PV Driving on Sunshine!” and “EV Future — New Tech, Battery Backup and Autonomous Vehicles.”

Ride-and-drive vehicles will include Nissan Leaf, Chevy Bolt and Volt, Honda Clarity, BMW i3, Ford Focus, Ford Cmax and Ford Fusion.

Show-and-tell vehicles will include Fiat 500e, Honda Clarity, Kia Soul, Tesla S and X, Chevy Bolt, Nissan Leaf and Toyota Rav 4.

DEVA also plans to host an EV/PV Home Tour on Sunday, Oct. 22. Details will be forthcoming.

DEVA plans to meet every other month; the next meeting will be in October, with the date, time and location to be announced. For more information, email deva@cooldavis.org.

More resources:

* National Drive Electric Week: https://driveelectricweek.org
* Sacramento Electric Vehicle Association: https://www.saceva.org/cars

Electric Vehicle Owners Join up to Advocate, Share Info, by Jessica Driver, The Davis Enterprise, September 14, 2017.