This post is sponsored by the Clean Vehicle Rebate Project of California. All opinions are my own.
Since moving to California in December, I’ve noticed a lot of differences. But one of the major differences is how many more electric vehicles and charging stations are available here vs. in Boston. I recently learned that California is leading the nation in clean vehicles and they have more plug-in electric vehicles than any other state.
Electric Vehicles in California
Have you ever considered an electric vehicle? I have. For the longest time, I actually wanted to get a hybrid vehicle, but my dad always told me the economics didn’t make sense. That’s before I moved to California and noticed the massive shift toward electric vehicles.
California has so many more charging stations than anywhere else I’ve seen. They are leading the way to shift away from gasoline and move toward electric. I was shocked to learn that there are more than 500,000 electric vehicles on the road in California. I also learned there are electric vehicle tax credits and rebates, not to mention all of the environmental benefits of driving an electric vehicle.
Recently, I had the opportunity to join the large electric vehicle fleet in California. I was given the chance to try out an electric car for a week, to see if it was something I could envision adopting in my own life. Let me tell you, in only a week, I’m a true believer in the benefits of an electric vehicle.
Where to Charge Your Electric Vehicle
To start, I downloaded the Turo app and was able to find an electric vehicle near me that I could rent. I ended up choosing a Nissan Leaf and I was able to pick it up near my home. The owner of the vehicle was super helpful. He talked me through the entire process of charging the vehicle and offered me a lot of tips on where I could charge my vehicle and apps I could use to find charging stations.
Lucky enough, I live right by a mall, and there are several free charging stations. I also learned there are different types of charging stations. Some could charge the car in an hour or less, and others would take longer. The fast charging stations did require a fee, but the price depends on how much you need to charge. I spent only about $6 to charge the car, far less than the price of gas. Most people choose to charge their cars right at home overnight. To find charging stations is really easy with the PlugShare app.
My Experience Driving an Electric Vehicle
Overall, I really enjoyed having an electric vehicle. At first, I was a little concerned the 150 miles I had in a fully charged vehicle would go too quickly and I’d get stranded somewhere. I quickly realized that was a silly mindset. Generally, I only drive 40-60 miles in a day, max. That means, I have at least 2-3 days worth of driving before I have to think about charging the vehicle. Plus, most people charge their electric vehicles overnight, so there is no concern of running out in one day. I also quickly found so many free charging options right by my house, so even if I didn’t want to plug in at home and wanted a quicker day-time charging option, I had tons of options.
Electric Vehicle Tax Credit & Rebates
Not only are there now many economic incentives, there are even more important environmental incentives. Electric cars produce much less pollution which can help reduce greenhouse gas emissions. To learn more about the environmental benefits, check out the Center for Sustainable Energy.
There are also major economic incentives, especially in California. The Clean Vehicle Rebate Project offer rebates up to $7,000 rebate for the purchase or lease of a new, eligible zero-emission vehicle, including electric, plug-in hybrid, and fuel cell vehicles. On top of the rebate program, there are also electric vehicle tax credits and electricity is less expensive than gas. Plus, electric vehicle drivers get access to the HOV lane even as a solo driver. To apply for the rebate program and to view eligible clean vehicles, click here.
The whole process of driving an electric vehicle was simple, and I loved being able to access the HOV lane. I felt good about driving the car because I knew I was making a better choice for the environment while also saving money in the process. If you’ve been on the fence about whether or not to try out an electric vehicle, I’d highly suggest you give it a try. If you’re not quite ready to buy one, maybe try renting one, like I did. You might be able to get the electric vehicle tax credit and rebates, not to mention all of the good you’re doing for the planet. It didn’t take long, at all, for me to become a true believe in the benefits of an electric vehicle.