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Cost Savings and Environmental Benefits Drive Growth of Electric Vehicles

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Imagine if you never had to pay for gasoline again. Or that your morning commute was promoting the common good and helping the environment. Those benefits are now possible for the growing number of people choosing to drive all electric plug-in vehicles.  

San Diego has positioned itself as a green transportation leader in this growing new field. The region has one of the highest per capita electric vehicle (EV) ownership rates in the country, with more than 22,000 EVs currently driving on San Diego’s roads. San Diego residents are literally driving this transition to electric vehicles, having realized that owning an EV means no more worrying about the price of gas, doing your part for the sustainability of the planet and promoting energy independence for America.  

The Benefits of Owning Electric Vehicles

Electric vehicles also are a great choice for drivers who want high performance on the roads. These vehicles are sporty and provide a fun drive, more like a sports car than an economy car. There are now more than 25 plug-in EV models on the market from every major car manufacturer. This includes new, more affordable models that can travel more than 200 miles on a single battery charge. 

EVs also save money in your pocket book and can reduce time spent on California’s busy freeways.  State and federal incentives of up to $12,000 are available when you purchase an EV and you can use California’s carpool lanes with a single driver. On average, EV charging between midnight and 5 a.m. is equivalent to paying approximately $2 per gallon for gas when you are on SDG&E’s special EV rate.  

The California Groundswell of Support for Transportation Electrification

The cost savings are not the only reason to switch to an electric drive. Upgrading the transportation sector to run on electricity instead of oil also helps reduce harmful air pollutants, as the transportation sector currently accounts for approximately 40% of California’s and 54% of San Diego’s total greenhouse gas emissions.

To encourage this beneficial shift to clean electricity as a fuel, Governor Jerry Brown has called for 1.5 million zero emissions vehicles on California’s roads by 2025. This growth is expected to occur in every sector, from passenger cars and business fleets, to heavy duty trucking and transit buses. A major hurdle is having adequate charging infrastructure to support all these new clean cars and make sure EV drivers have a place to fuel up.  

Installing More Charging Stations and Driving on Sunshine

SDG&E is committed to helping California reach this goal and has launched the Power Your Drive program to install 3,500 new electric vehicle charging stations at apartments, condos, businesses and disadvantaged communities. This will expand access to charging at these locations, where currently few if any charging stations exist.  

The program will also feature special rates to encourage off-peak charging and maximize the use of renewable energy to charge the cars.  And with more than 33 percent of the energy SDG&E supplies to customers already coming from solar and wind, residents will literally be driving on sunshine and helping clean up the air.  

As access to EV charging in the community grows, SDG&E will continue to walk the talk when it comes to encouraging employees to drive EVs. SDG&E has more than 300 employees who are driving an electric vehicle and is aiming to be the first San Diego company to reach 500 employee EV drivers by 2020.  SDG&E has also installed more than 150 EV charging station at its headquarters, more than any other single location in San Diego.

As these charging stations and innovative projects spread across the region, they create customer opportunities for cost savings, and allow residents to purchase EVs with the peace of mind that they can conveniently fuel them, while also helping to do their part toward energy conservation. So the next time you are in the market for a new car, consider purchasing an EV. You’ll not only have the drive of a lifetime, you’ll be benefitting the community and the natural world along the way.

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