Advantageous Prices Plug-In Cars – and a Direct Incentive:
Utility Promotes Employee and Company Fleet Electrification
Pacific Gas & Electric held the third of more than a half a dozen electric vehicle ride-and-drive events for employees on Wednesday. Fleet reps from local Ford, GM, Fiat, Mercedes-Smart, Nissan and Volkswagen dealers brought cars to the mid-day San Ramon gathering.
San Francisco-based PG&E is urging employees to buy an all-battery car or a plug-in hybrid, and has secured advantageous prices from dealers to help them do it. The deals are especially good for Ford and GM vehicles as PG&E leverages its fleet vehicle buying power and provides employees with a $2,000 cash incentive – net to the employee, as PG&E pays the income tax.
“We are challenging our employees to lead the way on EV adoption,” says spokesman Jason King.
$2,500 Discount Offered by GM
In addition to the $2,000 from the utility, GM is offering a $2,500 incentive for PG&E employees toward the purchase of a full battery electric vehicle or plug-in hybrid electric vehicle. Dublin GM brought Chevy Volt and Cadillac ELR Coupe PHEVs, and the 100% battery electric Spark EV to the San Ramon event. The GM discount offer remains in effect until the end of the year.
For Ford, says King, the PG&E employee incentives very by model. For the Focus battery EV, the incentives bring the price down on a base model to $25,455, before Federal and State incentives are applied. The Ford incentives expire on March 31.
Three eGolfs on Hand
Ron Dupratt Ford, of Dixon, Calif., brought a C-Max Energi PHEV to San Ramon.
Dirito Brothers Volkswagen brought three eGolf cars to the PG&E event. PG&E employees can lease the car for $308.14 per month, including taxes, with no money down until March 31.
Mercedes-Benz of San Francisco brought battery electric Smart cars, and Dublin Nissan brought the Nissan Leaf. Nissan is offering PG&E employees an all-battery car with a quick charge package for a lower down payment and lower monthly payments as compared with a standard Nissan Leaf, valid until March 21.
‘Aggressive Expansion’ of Workplace Charging
“In addition to special employee discounts that we have negotiated with Ford and GM, we are in process of an aggressive expansion of our EV workplace charging program,” King told F&F.
PG&E has thus far installed 84 charging cords at 13 sites, says program manager Brian Pepper. On the to-do list are more charge posts for employees in the San Francisco Bay Area, Sacramento, Stockton, Fresno, and the San Luis Obispo/Diablo Canyon area. All are connected with the ChargePoint network. The cost to employees is about $1 per gasoline gallon equivalent, PG&E says.
PG&E is a vocal backer of the fleet electrification program espoused by the Edison Electric Institute, by which utilities would boost their investment in electrified fleet to 5% of their total new vehicle purchases, approximately $1 billion, starting this year (F&F, August 3, 2014).
In line with that goal, PG&E showed a prototype work truck with ePTO power takeoff at the employee event this week. The Class 5 truck, engineered by EDI/Efficient Drivetrains, Inc., can generate enough electricity to power a building or even a neighborhood for disaster relief of to prevent outages during maintenance – 120 kilowatts (F&F, September 17, 2014). Pepper told F&F that PG&E is planning a solicitation to acquire ten vehicles of comparable capability.
Electrify Your Fleet Webinar on March 18
In addition to San Ramon this week, PG&E has held EV ride-and-drive events for employees in San Francisco and San Luis Obispo. Looking ahead, “We’ll be doing them in Sacramento, Stockton, Fresno, Bakersfield,” says King, “and then returning in the fall to do them in San Francisco and San Ramon again.”
PG&E fleet manager Ned Biehl will is one of the speakers for the Electrify Your Fleet webinar, hosted by ACT Expo organizer (and Fleets & Fuels publisher) Gladstein, Neandross & Associates and EDTA, the Electric Drive Transportation Association, at 11:00am Pacific time on Wednesday, March 18 (F&F, March 3). Also presenting is Matt Jarmuz of plug-in heavy duty hybrid vehicle supplier Odyne Systems.
The Electrify Your Fleet webinar is one of a series of informational events leading up to the 2015 Alternative Clean Transportation “ACT” Expo May 4-7 at the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center in Dallas.
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Source: Fleets & Fuels with PG&E in San Ramon