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July 2016

Dear Wheego Enthusiast,
In This Issue:
  • National Drive Electric Week
  • Survey for EV Drivers
  • Report: Charge Ahead California
  • Electric Car Economics are Showing Some Sparks
National Drive Electric Week
Get ready for National Drive Electric Week, September 10-18, 2016. Celebrations will take place all over the country – click here to find an event near you. You can volunteer at a gathering, or host your own event, or just go to meet other EV enthusiasts. Now in its 6th year, National Drive Electric Week offers 91 confirmed events so far and 58 more in the planning stages.

Survey for EV Drivers
If you drive a Wheego (or any other EV), please take a few minutes to fill out Clean Technica’s annual EV survey. The results will be published in CleanTechnica, EV Obsession and Gas2, and will help the industry gauge EV drivers’ preferences, driving and charging habits and interest in new features.

Report: Charge Ahead California
From the California Research and Policy Center Press Release
California’s Research and Policy Center has released a report focusing on the potential money saved by driving an electric vehicle. The report shows electric vehicles are a cost-effective way for Californians to go green. Even if gas prices remain at or near today’s low levels, California consumers can save money buying a battery electric vehicle instead of a similar gasoline-powered vehicle, once incentives and other savings, including reduced fuel costs, are taken into account. The average EV analyzed in this report will save its owner more than $3,500 over its lifetime if gas prices fall to a low of $2.50 per gallon. When gas prices go back up to a more typical recent price of $3.50 per gallon, the vehicle will save its owner nearly $9,000 over the vehicle’s lifetime.
“The great news is that driving green can put more green in your wallet,” said Michelle Kinman, report co-author and clean energy advocate for Environment California Research & Policy Center.
"The environmental benefits of electric vehicles are already well-known," said report co-author Gideon Weissman of Frontier Group. "We added up all the costs and savings of electric vehicles -- including charging the battery, the value of incentives, and the low maintenance costs -- and found that they will also save money for consumers versus similar gas-powered models."
From the report: “Battery-powered EVs cost less to own than comparable gasoline-powered vehicles once the full life-cycle costs of car ownership and federal and state incentives for EV purchases are accounted for. Low-income buyers stand to gain the most from these savings, since Americans in the bottom 30 percent of the income scale spend nearly 30 percent of their annual income on transportation. By fully implementing and expanding upon the state’s electric vehicle policies, California can speed the introduction of electric vehicles, bringing a future of 100 percent clean, electric vehicles within sight.”
Read the full report here.

Electric Car Economics are Showing Some Sparks
Excerpted from an article by Jerry Edgerton for Moneywatch. Read the full article here.
Pushed by federal regulations, automakers are spending billions to develop new all-electric cars. But with gas prices staying relatively low, consumers aren't buying the electric offerings available now. However, the major drawbacks for electric cars -- limited charging stations and modest range before a new charge is needed -- may be changing due to new models and a new federal initiative. And with used electric models selling very cheaply, an electric vehicle can be a money-saver for some commuters even in an era of low gas prices.
Here are some of the coming developments.
  • Federal initiative. The Department of Transportation announced last week that it would use up to $4.5 billion in loan guarantees to spur creation of a national network of fast-charging stations for electric cars. The plan also involves creating a coalition of automakers and utilities to get behind this effort, and it will promote cooperation from state and local governments.
  • Affordable long-range electrics. 
  • Cheap used electric cars.  
Writer Sami Grover on the environmental site recounted his adventures after buying a used EV.  Based on Grover's experience and other expert advice, here are some suggestions if you're considering a used electric.
  • Compute your daily mileage carefully. If you're close to the national average of a 30-mile round-trip daily commute, you should be fine with recharging the car every night even if you run some errands as well. But if you have a longer commute or live out in the country where long drives often are necessary, the electric car math likely won't work for you.
  • Buy a home charger. If a plug is convenient to where you park, you can recharge your electric with a regular AC outlet. But it will usually take eight hours or more for a full charge. If you buy and install a 240-volt level-two charger at home, you can cut that to four to five hours. The cost to buy and install such a charger should run $1,500 or less -- depending on the difficulty of installing a new circuit.
  • Keep a gasoline car for longer road trips. The day will come, most likely, when electric cars will work well for all purposes. But for now a gasoline engine is your best bet for taking that drive three states away to visit relatives or see a national park. Even if you can find fast chargers on the road (and you usually can't), it takes 20 minutes to recharge -- much longer than a gas station fill-up. Of course, if you've been driving an electric car for daily commuting, you have saved plenty of money to buy gas for that road trip.

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As always, we thank you for your support. Please email your questions and suggestions to
Best Regards,
The Wheego Team
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