West Slope dealers offer discounts on electric vehicles

A car dealership in Grand Junction has joined in an annual event offering discounts on plug-in electric vehicles.

The event, which runs through Oct. 31, will offer discounts ranging from more than $500 to nearly $2,000 on seven models of electric vehicles.

“We are building on the success of last year’s EV sales event, which led to sales of 42 plug-in electric vehicles,” said Matthew Shmigelsky, an electric vehicle expert with Clean Energy Economy for the Region, a public benefit organization based in Carbondale that offers clean energy services and programs in Western Colorado.

Red Rock Nissan in Grand Junction is among six dealerships in the program. Audi Glenwood Springs, Berthod Motors, Bighorn Toyota, Mountain Chevrolet and Phil Long Honda, all located in Glenwood Springs, also participate.

Red Rock Nissan offers discounts on the Nissan Leaf all-electric hatchback — $1,737 on the Leaf S, $1,822 on the Leaf SV and $1,951 on the Leaf SL.

In addition to discounts, a state tax credit of $5,000 is available for the purchase of electric vehicles and $2,500 for a lease. A federal tax credit of up to $7,500 also is available.

Smigelsky said electric vehicles offer other advantages, including reduced emissions and lower operating costs. “Using electricity instead of gasoline for driving reduces carbon emissions,” he said. “Electricity in Colorado’s statewide average power mix is 36 percent cleaner than gasoline. As more renewable energy is added to the grid, electric vehicles will be even cleaner.”

The electrical equivalent of a gallon of gasoline costs about $1.10, Smigelsky said.

Will Toor, transportation program director for the Southwest Energy Efficiency Program in Boulder, said about 15,000 electric vehicles are registered in Colorado. But sales grow 50 percent to 60 percent a year, he said. The State of Colorado has set a goal to have 1 million electric cars on the road by 2030.

Smigelsky said more charging locations will come on line over the next few years, adding to the ease of travel in electric vehicles.