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Eagle County has joined Garfield Clean Energy and 10 other partners in launching the first phase of a program to provide a special deal for electric car buyers. The aim is for local auto dealers to offer discounted pricing on electric vehicles for a 90-day period starting April 1.
“Garfield Clean Energy rolled out a request for proposals on Monday, asking auto dealers serving Garfield, Eagle and Pitkin counties to participate,” said Stuart McArthur, GCE chair and Parachute town administrator “We hope to receive proposals from many dealers, since so many auto manufacturers are now producing plug-in electric vehicles.”
The program is called “Electric Vehicle Sales Event: REV Up Your Ride.” The sales event is planned to run from April 1 to June 30, and will be promoted in Garfield, Eagle and Pitkin counties.
Garfield Clean Energy is working on the project with Refuel Colorado Fleets, a statewide program that promotes alternative transportation fuels such as electricity and compressed natural gas. CLEER is staffing the effort.
Other partners in the Electric Vehicle Sales Event are CORE, City of Aspen, City of Glenwood Springs, Town of Vail, Town of Avon, Holy Cross Energy, Garfield County Public Health and Walking Mountains Science Center.
“We watched very successful electric vehicle purchase programs happen in Boulder and Fort Collins in 2015 and 2016,” said Matt Shmigelsky, an energy coach with CLEER. “This idea offers tremendous potential in this region to boost electric car sales and get more of these clean-burning vehicles on the road.”
Electric vehicles generate about 40 percent less carbon emissions than comparable gasoline-powered vehicles, according to the U.S. Department of Energy. They are also less costly to operate, with reduced maintenance needs and fuel that costs the equivalent of about $1.10 per gallon.
“We expect a robust response from auto dealers that serve Garfield, Eagle and Pitkin counties. We’ve already seen a lot of interest in the concept,” Shmigelsky said.
The program is expected to offer limited-time discounts for both plug-in electric vehicles, which can also run for longer distances on a gasoline engine, and battery electric vehicles, which operate solely on electricity.
Auto dealers have until Feb. 23 to submit their proposals. Garfield Clean Energy will announce the full list of participating dealers and the automobiles on offer in mid-March.