In what started as an effort to reduce local greenhouse gas emissions, Sonoma Clean Power has helped incentivize 1,258 electric vehicles for our customers over the past 3 years.
During each iteration of the Drive EV program, SCP customers were eligible to receive a combination of incentives, dealer discounts, and manufacturer discounts of up to $13,000 towards the purchase or lease of an electric vehicle or plug-in hybrid.
While SCP’s primary role is to provide electricity and accelerate California’s transition to renewable energy, our agency’s Mission widens our responsibility to addressing the climate crisis as a whole.
Transportation is the leading source of community-wide emissions, not only in Sonoma and Mendocino Counties but in many cities and counties throughout the world.
“In Sonoma County alone, the transportation sector makes up 60% of emissions county-wide. EVs are a great first step in reducing transportation-related emissions,” said Nelson Lomeli, the Programs Manager of SCP’s Drive EV program.
Replacing a gas-powered vehicle with an electric vehicle, and charging it with cleaner electricity, is one of the most significant measures an individual can take to reduce their carbon footprint. For example, by charging an EV with EverGreen, our 100% local, renewable electricity service, an individual can reduce their emissions by up to 98%.
Over the years, we saw a significant increase in the number of vehicles that were purchased with the program versus leased. In 2016, only 14% of the incentives went towards purchasing vehicles. However, in this last year, 53% of the incentives were used to purchase vehicles.
This trend supports the car industry’s prediction that more people will commit to making the switch to an electric vehicle as the technology, range, and batteries continue to improve.
After 3 successful years of the Drive EV program, we will be directing our focus and funds to improving the network of public and workplace charging infrastructure in Sonoma and Mendocino Counties. We believe that this effort is crucial if the region hopes to see a wide-spread adoption of electric vehicles.
“With the success of Drive EV, we have achieved our goal of market transformation. With all these new EVs on the road, we now want to shift focus on expanding charging infrastructure, which will lead to more EV adoption,” said Cordel Stillman, SCP’s Director of Programs.
SCP will continue to explore innovative ideas and programs that allow customers to reduce their emissions, knowing that both convenience and financial benefits are key to participation.
One of our most notable endeavors for 2019 will be the opening of an Advanced Energy Center in downtown Santa Rosa where the public will be able to test and purchase energy-efficient technology for their homes. Adoption of these technologies will be supported by incentives from manufacturers, SCP, and a grant from the California Energy Commission.
Other current SCP programs include efforts to promote building electrification, solar battery storage for commercial businesses, energy and water conservation, and demand-response.
To view the results of the 2018 Drive EV program, visit DriveEV.org for an interactive dashboard.