The Energy Consumer's Bulletin- a New England energy news blog

The Energy Consumer's Bulletin

Drive an EV now: group buy discounts in Massachusetts and Rhode Island.

Posted by Larry Chretien & Erin Taylor on Wednesday, November 02, 2016 @ 03:38 PM

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Electric vehicles (EVs) are ready today. And in the nick of time. Experts now say that widespread adoption of electric cars is necessary to solve the problem of climate change. Through Drive Green with Mass Energy (MA) and Drive Green with People's Power & Light (RI), you can purchase or lease an EV at a discounted price.

We've organized these EV buying group programs to accelerate the adoption of EVs in Massachusetts and Rhode Island. Drive Green is free to use and allows anyone to purchase or lease an EV  or plug-in hybrid EV (PHEV) at a pre-negotiated discounted price at one of our participating dealers for the program duration of November 2nd through February 28. And on top of that, EVs are cheaper to drive per mile than gasoline and require less maintainance. They're a win for consumers and the environment, and the Drive Green discounts make them even more affordable.

We are basing this program on the good work of others in Colorado and Utah. It's a natural extension of the “buyers’ group” models we have operated for energy consumers since 1982. On top of the deep discounts available through Drive Green, the cars qualify for federal tax credits that reduce your tax liability by up to $7500 and state rebates (MA here, RI here - make sure to read up on restrictions) of up to $2500.  Economically, EVs make sense today.

Here’s how to participate:0Judy vertical full.jpg

  • Vist the Drive Green website (MA here, RI here) and do your research.
  • Sign up for the program by filling out a simple form (MA, RI) on our website.
  • One or more of our participating dealers (depending on your vehicle preferences) will call you to answer your questions and schedule a test-drive.
  • Purchase or lease an electric vehicle at the pre-negotiated discount price before the deal’s expiration date. All purchases or leases must be made by February 28, 2017 to receive a Drive Green discount.

Which vehicles are discounted, and why?

We have negotiated several deals on your behalf. Our program is currently focused on the Nissan Leaf, Ford Fusion Energi, Ford C-Max Energi, and Chevrolet Volt. The Chevrolet Bolt is not yet available in dealer showrooms, so we have set up a waiting list to help encourage that a high volume of this next generation car comes to our region. Your Bolt might be rolling off the assembly line in Michigan as you read this! However, the waiting list alone won’t do the trick. Dealers need to sell lots of Volts to send the message!

We do not have the ability to include every possible choice. We may add some deals as the program goes on. As appropriate, we will update this list. The cars and dealers we have chosen have the right combination of:

  • Affordability. With the federal, state, and the dealer incentives we’ve negotiated, the cars in our program cost less than the average new car in America.
  • Availability between now and February 28, 2017. We know that some new EVs will come onto the market later in 2017 or 2018, but we have great options available now. Dealers who cannot commit to having EVs in stock are not included in our program.
  • Excellent electric range for all-electric vehicles (i.e. Nissan Leaf at 107 miles per charge and Chevrolet Bolt at 238 miles per charge).
  • Good electric range coupled with good gas mileage for extended-range plug-in hybrids (i.e. Chevrolet Volt and Ford plug-ins).

{Note on Tesla:  Many people have heard about the cars being sold by Tesla. In our view, the cars that Tesla has available today are exciting but more expensive than what most people can afford. Tesla is now developing a Model 3 that will have a price and range similar to the Chevrolet Bolt. The Model 3 will not be available during the time period of this program}.

To the best of our ability, the costs of cars in our program include federal and state tax incentives that you might qualify for, along with the Drive Green incentives from the dealer. Ultimately, it will be your responsibility to determine all costs, including taxes and fees. The final transaction will be between you and the car dealer.

Check out the cars:
Massachusetts
Rhode Island

Resources for smart EV shopping 

With Drive Green, we are trying to make choosing an EV easier and more affordable for you. If you need a car, we aim to convince you that it should be a plug-in (either an all-electric (or battery electric) or an extended-range plug-in hybrid (PHEV) which has a gas engine backup). Surveys show that the more people know about EVs, the more they want them. And people who already have EVs report very high customer satisfaction. 

We'll help you research your new car and schedule a test drive. Then it’s up to you to read up, visit participating dealers, ask them a lot of questions.

We’ve got a plethora of resources so you can get savvy on the subject. You can even compare the discounted cars. We have links to websites for several of the most popular electric cars, and plenty of insight on charging and range (range anxiety is a thing of the past!). We also have links to car reviews. See for yourself what the cars are all about:

Learn more about EVs

We recommend you look at what is being said by Consumer Reports, GreenCarReports, and others about each vehicle you’re considering

We also strongly recommend that you visit web sites sponsored by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and state of Rhode Island.  They also have excellent information about EVs and charging. And you would apply for the state rebate through those sites.

Happy shopping! We can't wait to help you go electric and make a difference one mile at a time.

Tags: renewable energy, energy efficiency

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