first_img Pinterest on August 15, 2017 LinkedIn Google+ Facebook By CBN E-Headlines Twittercenter_img Share. Electrifying Central Oregon One Car at a Time (Photo above: Joette Storm one of the first purchases of a LEAF with the group buy discount | courtesy of The Energy Challenge)Electric Vehicle Group Buy Program extended, offers deep discounts on new cars.Since May 1, 2017, 38 all-electric Nissan LEAF vehicles have hit Central Oregon roads. This is triple the number of electric vehicles sold by the local Nissan dealership, Smolich Nissan, in all of 2016.Why the sudden increase in sales? With some major manufacturers looking at phasing out cars solely powered by gas or diesel within the decade, electric vehicles have been in the news a lot lately. However, this isn’t the only thing driving a threefold increase in sales.Starting in May, Central Oregonians have been able to purchase the all-electric Nissan LEAF at the best price in the country. The Energy Challenge has partnered with Smolich Nisan in Bend to organize a Group Buy program to demystify electric vehicles (EVs), and offer a deep discount for purchasing a new car.The current offer is $10,000 off when purchasing a new electric vehicle. This can be coupled with a federal tax credit of $7,500. In total, Central Oregonians could get up to up $17,500 off the cost of an electric vehicle. This can cover more than 50% of the cost of a car.“This car will also save you on fuel and maintenance costs,” said Lindsey Hardy, Program Director of The Energy Challenge.Hardy became an electric vehicle owner in November 2016. Over the past nine months, she has been working to learn the ins and outs of her car so that she can share information with others.“I’ve had so many conversations about my car in parking lots all over Central Oregon. It has really emphasized how important education is,” said Hardy. “People are so curious about electric cars. I just want to make sure everyone has the opportunity to assess whether an electric car might fit into their life. For most people, it makes so much sense.”The Energy Challenge is hosting educational workshops to bring people together and answer common questions at once. Topics covered include: charging at home (you can just plug into a regular wall outlet), range, battery life, and how to travel.“I open up by telling people there’s no such thing as a silly questions because we’re all here to learn about electric cars together,” said Hardy.At each workshop, participants will be able to talk to EV owners and learn about home charging, planning trips, and see LEAFs first-hand.The educational workshops will also highlight how to pair an EV with solar. In conjunction with this program, local solar contractors are offering to install customers’ Level 2 charging stations for free with the purchase of an electric vehicle. These charging stations charge the cars in as little as four hours. Customers have to purchase their own charging stations and the solar contractors will take care of the electrical work to get them installed.There are three upcoming workshops:Wednesday, August 16 at 5:30 pm at the Deschutes Public Library in RedmondThursday, August 31 at 5:30 pm at the Deschutes Public Library in SistersWednesday, August 30 at 5:30 pm at The Environmental Center in Bend. Prior to and after the workshop, electric vehicles will be available to test drive.Joette and Gene were some of the first Central Oregon residents to purchase a LEAF with the group buy discount and are powering their car with a newly installed solar electric system. They had been considering an electric vehicle and knew this was the perfect opportunity to seriously check out electric vehicle options.“We both like the way the car drives and its smooth operation. We have solar panels on our roof and have been charging the car about every three nights and still have not had an electric bill since the purchase.”If you’re itching to get behind the wheel of an electric car, you can stop by Smolich Nissan to take one for a spin. Nissan will even loan a car out for one to two days for perspective buyers to get a sense of what day-to-day life is like with an EV.The Energy Challenge of Central OregonThe Energy Challenge is a project of The Environmental Center, a Bend nonprofit organization whose mission is embed sustainability into daily life in Central Oregon. The Energy Challenge is a collaborative effort to help Central Oregonians save energy and make their homes more comfortable. For more information, visit or contact Lindsey Hardy at 541-385-6908 x11 or [email protected] 0 Tumblr Emaillast_img

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