California’s 12-cent gas tax increase went into effect this month, and you’ll soon see the impact at gas stations throughout the state. We have a couple of ways for you to beat the tax hike: Share the Ride – Whether you call it ridesharing or carpooling, it’s the same thing – sharing a ride and splitting the cost. Now that most people have smartphones, apps make it possible to carpool to work with just a little advance notice. The first step: visit our Carpooling Page. We’ll walk you through your options (some app-based, some not) and even tell you how carpooling might qualify you for a $25 incentive.
If you commute by driving to BART, there’s an additional perk for you: Scoop carpools are guaranteed a parking spotat a number of Contra Costa BART stations when they arrive before 10am. No need to get up super-early to get a space or roll the dice on a spot being available when you arrive – use Scoop to find a passenger for that empty seat & parking is yours! Plus, parking is free. Get an Electric Vehicle – If you’re not ready to commute without driving, leasing or purchasing an electric vehicle not only lets you avoid paying the gas tax, but vehicles which are 100% electric get toll-free access to the Express Lanes. Electric vehicles are also allowed in the HOV lanes during carpool hours, even if it’s a solo commute.
For more information on the benefits of driving an electric vehicle, visit our Electric Vehicle Incentive Programs page.
If you’re considering purchasing an electric vehicle (EV), visit San Francisco the weekend of November 23 & 24 for an Experience Electric event, where you can test drive EVs from a variety of manufacturers for free.
The test-drive weekend is part of a series of Experience Electric events put together by the Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC), Bay Area Air Quality Management District (BAAQMD) and Center for Sustainable Energy. The goal of the series is to spur electric vehicle adoption by offering thousands of free test drives around the Bay.
At the event, licensed drivers can test vehicles from a variety of manufacturers free of charge with no sales pressure. Participants should check in at the EV test drive area outside the main entrance of the Moscone Center. Experience Electric Test-Drive Event Moscone Center (outside main entrance) 747 Howard Street, San Francisco Monday & Tuesday, November 23rd & 24th – 10am to 4pm
For more information, check out the MTC press release.
The City of Concord will soon be installing an electric vehicle charging station near Todos Santos Plaza. Although this isn’t the first car-charging station in Concord, it is the first one owned by the City.
The purchase of the charging unit was made possible by a $7,000 grant from 511 Contra Costa using Bay Area Air Quality Management District Transportation Fund For Clean Air funds and Contra Costa Transportation Authority Measure J Commute Alternative funds. The City of Concord provided $4,325 for installation costs. 511 Contra Costa has also helped fund charging stations in Martinez, Walnut Creek, Contra Costa Centre, Brentwood, Pleasant Hill and Pittsburg.
The car-charging unit at Todos Santos Plaza, will be able to charge two vehicles at a time and will be installed on the first floor of the parking garage at 2051 Salvio Street. The fee for charging your vehicle will be $1.75 per hour with a 3-hour time limit. The City of Concord has estimated that the fee will generate about $2,362 annually which is enough to cover the City’s management and electricity costs. See the full article in the Contra Costa Times.
Concord’s new charging station will be part of Coulomb Technologies’ ChargePoint network. In order to use the station you will need to have an active ChargePoint account.
As we mentioned earlier this week, the Bay Area will receive $5 million for electric vehicle charging stations as part of the Spare the Air program. This should be welcome news indeed for any current electric vehicle owners or to those considering making the switch. One of the current deterrents to going electric is the fact that a fully charged battery may only withstand short journeys (typically up to 100 miles). More charging stations would provide drivers with more flexibility and help to reduce anxiety- more charging stations would mean that a battery could charge while a driver is at work or out and about fulfilling errands.
The Bay Area Air Quality Management District (BAAQMD)’s approval for funding is just one of many signs that the electric vehicle movement is not far from appealing to a wider audience. President Obama has demonstrated his interest in the subject by not only visiting a Kansas electric manufacturer in July, but also by test driving a Chevy Volt, a new hybrid, a couple of weeks ago. Other companies, such as BMW and Renault, are working to develop sportier and highly durable models, which would show that electric cars will not always be left in the dust of their gas-dependent counterparts.
Soon many more people will have the ability to try out electric vehicles for themselves. Car rental companies, like Enterprise Rent-A-Car and Hertz, will begin offering the Nissan Leaf, a fully electric car, to customers in certain cities early next year.
California based startups are also getting in on the Electric Vehicle, otherwise known as EV, action. California’s Zero Emission Vehicle program allows smaller companies to sell zero emission credits to larger companies. The longer an EV can travel on zero emissions, the more credits it’s worth. One such startup is CODA, which aims to make EVs more readily available and affordable to drivers around the world.
Getting excited yet? We certainly are. If you’d like to learn more about purchasing an EV or a hybrid we highly recommend that you visit DriveClean, which offers a buying guide and tools for measuring smog and global warming scores.
Have you or any of your friends gone electric? If so, please share your experiences with us in the comments!