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January 2016

Dear Wheego Enthusiast,
In This Issue:
  • Federal Tax Credit of $7500 Still Holds
  • California State Regulators Approve EV Charging Station Pilot Program
  • Ten Reasons to Buy an Electric Car When Gas is Two Bucks a Gallon
Federal Tax Credit of $7500 Still Holds
The Wheego Life continues to qualify for a $7500 Federal Tax Credit in 2015 and 2016. Visit the IRS website for more information. At tax time, you will need IRS Form 8936. Visit the Department of Energy for a current list of State incentives. California buyers will face some income-based restrictions to state credits starting in mid-March.
California State Regulators Approve EV Charging Station Pilot Program
Excerpted from an article by Ivan Penn for The LA Times
Southern California Edison won approval from state regulators to develop a $22-million pilot program that will increase the number of electric vehicle charging stations by as many as 1,500.
Edison plans to place charging stations at locations where drivers typically leave their cars parked for four hours or more: workplaces and fleet facilities, multi-unit dwellings and destination locations such as parks and shopping malls. Single-family homes are not eligible.
Ratepayers will fund the cost of all paneling, conduits and wiring.
Those who participate in the program will own and operate the charging station. They will be responsible for all related operating costs, including maintenance and electricity usage.
Edison also will provide rebates for charging-station owners to cover a predetermined amount of the system's cost.
“This decision takes bold action in support of transportation electrification, while simultaneously preserving competition and exercising prudence on behalf of ratepayers,” said California Public Utilities Commissioner Carla J. Peterman, who oversaw the issue.
As an incentive to participate in the program, SCE will offer rebates of 25% to 100% of the base cost of the charging stations and their installation.
At the end of the pilot program, Edison plans to seek approval for expansion of the program to increase the total number of charging stations to about 30,000 at an estimated cost of $355 million.
The program also provides funding for education and outreach to develop awareness about the benefits of electric vehicles and charging from the power grid.
Ten Reasons to Buy an Electric Car When Gas is Two Bucks a Gallon
Still on the fence? Check out this excerpt from an article by Jim Gorzelany for Forbes
Needless to say, EVs are a much harder sell today then they were back when gas prices were up near four bucks a gallon. Still, there are still a number of compelling reasons for consumers – at least those whose needs and lifestyles can accommodate their limited operating range on a charge – to buy and drive electric cars.
Here are 10 of them:
They’re cool. At one time true automotive individualists either drove a rugged SUV, burly pickup truck or perhaps a low-slung European sports car. While the first two are now about as mainstream as one can get and the latter barely registers unless the car in question is a Ferrari or Lamborghini, driving an electric car truly sets an owner apart from the crowd (except maybe in EV-rich Silicon Valley, in which case owning one would be the point of entry to the “in” group) and virtually guarantees cocktail party conversation.
Electricity is still cheaper than gasoline. Speaking of saving money, gas prices may be the lowest they’ve been since 2008, but – depending of course on local power rates – on average the numbers still favor the grid. According to the Environmental Protection Agency’s website, at current gas prices the annual average cost (at 15,000 miles per year) to run a gasoline powered Ford Focus with a combined city/highway rating of 30 mpg is $1,000. (Bump the price of gasoline up by a buck a gallon and this swells to $1,500 a year.) Meanwhile, the electric version, with an equivalent rating of 105 mpg, would cost an owner an average of just $600 a year. What’s more, many local power companies offer lower rates for “off peak” use, which would make charging an EV during the overnight hours an even better bargain.
The government will pay you to buy a new one. The federal government is still offering qualifying electric car buyers a sizeable tax credit that effectively reduces the cost of a new model by $7,500.
What’s more, a handful of states offer additional financial incentives to EV buyers that can further sweeten the deal. A few states allow EV owners additional perks like reduced charging rates and single-passenger access to carpool lanes. That may not sound like much, but a recent survey of California EV owners conducted by the Center for Sustainable Energy cited the latter as being their third most important buying motivation, behind environmental impact and saving on fuel costs.
Used EVs are dirt cheap. 
You never have to stop for gas. 
They create zero tailpipe emissions. 
They require less maintenance than conventional cars. That’s because utilizing an electric motor instead of a piston engine and transmission eliminates over two-dozen mechanical components that would normally require regular service. An EV owner thus side-steps periodic oil changes, cooling system flushes and transmission servicing, and avoids having to replace an air filter, spark plugs and drive belts. Of course automakers will still bring EV owners back to their dealers’ service departments at regular intervals, but such annual service visits are typically limited to rotating the tires and checking brake pads and other components.
Public charging stations are becoming more prevalent. According to the latest Department of Energy estimates, there are currently over 11,570 public EV charging stations up and running across the U.S. 

You can go solar and “roll your own” electricity. Indeed, the ultimate way for EV owners to go is to have solar panels installed atop one’s garage and be able to bypass both gas stations and the electric company altogether.
If and when gas prices shoot back up you’ll look like the smartest person in the room. 
Barring any unexpected setbacks or calamities along the way, the U.S. Energy Information Administration predicts that gasoline prices, currently at a national average of $2.02 a gallon, will rise to $2.36 a gallon next year. This means that motorists getting 20 mpg will pay an additional $255 over a 12-month period according to the EPA’s fuel cost calculator. That in and of itself might not be a budget buster, but if gas prices were to continue to rise by, say, another unexpected dollar a gallon, that difference would swell to $1,005 a year, or add up to $5,025 over a five-year ownership period.
Again, money talks.

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Best Regards,
The Wheego Team
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