LANCASTER — Lancaster resident Matt Morlee wanted a full battery-electric vehicle with good range. The Chevy Bolt EV met those requirements.
He saved thousands of dollars on the cost of the car through Lancaster Choice Energy’s Ready, Set, Charge! electric vehicle incentive program.
Current qualified LCE customers can receive a voucher valued up to $3,000 in instant savings off the purchase of a new all-electric or plug-in hybrid vehicle, or $1,500 off a lease from a list of qualifying vehicles at participating dealerships. He also qualified for other rebates and tax credits.
“This was a home run,” Morlee said.
He had a battery-electric car previously. He leased an electric vehicle in 2016. He returned the car in January of this year.
“I’ve kind of been toying with the idea of getting another one because I enjoyed it,” Morlee said.
His previous electric vehicle had a 90-mile range. The Bolt EV has a 250-mile range.
“I’ve actually gotten 275 miles on a charge,” Morlee said. “I drove it to San Luis Obispo.”
He no longer suffers from “range anxiety” — the fear that a battery-electric vehicle has insufficient range to reach its destination and could strand its occupants. Part of that has to do with the Bolt’s increased range over his previous vehicle. There are also more places to charge the car’s battery.
“There’s so many chargers out there the infrastructure is pretty good,” Morlee said.
Many of those chargers are also free, he added.
“Basically, it costs me about five bucks to charge the Bolt — that’s 250 miles,” Morlee said. “That’s basically a gallon of gas so the economy is very impressive.”
He was one of the first LCE customers to take advantage of the Ready, Set, Charge! program. The program’s goal is to encourage the adoption of electric vehicles to help reduce local gas emissions.
In combination with local support from the Antelope Valley Air Quality Management District, participating Lancaster Auto Mall dealers and Antelope Valley Harley-Davidson, qualified LCE customers have the opportunity to claim up to $17,000 in instant savings, rebates and tax credits.
The AV Air Quality Management District is offering up to $1,000 to Ready, Set, Charge! participants. Qualified low-moderate income participants will receive an additional $1,500. Southern California Edison is offering up to a $1,000 rebate through its Clean Fuel reward program.
In addition to the local incentives from Lancaster Choice Energy and AV Air Quality Management District, up to $11,000 can be claimed in local and state incentive programs. Federal tax credits may also apply and vary by make and model. Details are available from each dealer.
The Bolt’s window sticker was $37,000. With the LCE instant savings and other rebates and tax credits Morlee paid about $17,000 out the door.
“I had to buy it, it would be silly not to,” he said.
Morlee bought the Bolt EV from Antelope Valley Chevrolet.
Qualifying vehicles for the Ready, Set, Charge! program include the Toyota Prius Prime, Honda Clarity Plug-In Hybrid, Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid, Chevrolet Bolt EV and the Subaru Crosstrek Hybrid. There is even an electric vehicle for motorcycle enthusiasts, the Harley-Davidson LIVEWIRE.
In addition to AV Chevrolet, the participating dealers are Toyota of Lancaster, H.W. Hunter, Antelope Valley Subaru, Honda Lancaster and Antelope Valley Harley-Davidson.
Lancaster resident Salvador Cornejo bought a Toyota Prius Prime from Toyota of Lancaster.
“I had looked but it wasn’t really serious,” he said of buying a hybrid vehicle.
But Cornejo could not pass on the incentives through the Ready, Set, Charge! program.
Cornejo is expecting several thousands dollars to come back to him after he submits his paperwork. He gets about 55 miles per gallon on his Prius. The car has other features that he likes.
“It has adaptive cruise control where you don’t have to speed up or slow down on the freeway, it does it for you,” he said.
Lancaster Choice Energy has about $200,000 in vouchers remaining through the Ready, Set, Charge! program. The program runs through Dec. 31, or whenever funds are exhausted.
“There’s still plenty,” Ready, Set, Charge! Projects Coordinator Alice Ferrin said.
In the City of Lancaster, people who own a battery-electric vehicle can charge their cars at City Hall, where the first two hours are free. The BLVD charging stations are free, with no time limit. In addition, approximately six charging stations are in the process of being installed at Sgt. Steve Owen Memorial Park.
LCE customers must apply for a voucher online or visit the utility’s office at Lancaster City Hall, 44933 Fern Ave. The purchase or lease of a qualifying new all-electric or plug-in hybrid vehicle from a participating dealer is required.
For details visit LancasterChoiceEnergy.com or call 661-723-6084.