4CORE Electric Vehicle Group Buy Affects Region's Outlook
The purchase of electric vehicles (EVs) and development of EV charging stations had little traction in southwest Colorado until the Four Corners Office for Resource Efficiency (4CORE), a non-profit organization, initiated an EV group buy.
An EV group buy is a negotiated, discounted price between a local agency and one or more EV dealers or car companies. The deal is available for a limited time to members of a group, which can be employees of a company or residents of a community. The agency, in this case 4CORE, takes the lead in outreach and marketing for the deal.
4CORE is one of the state’s Refuel Colorado coaches, technicians who work to build self-sustaining alternative fuel markets by working with a variety of stakeholders including, but not limited to, fleets, communities, fuel providers, dealerships and advocacy groups. They may engage with other stakeholders, such as dealerships and communities, to create an ecosystem of broad support and resources necessary for a successful transition to alternative fuels.
In 2017, 4CORE infused confidence in EV adoption when Archuleta, Dolores, La Plata, Montezuma and San Juan counties participated in a group buy. 4CORE collaborated with Nissan of Durango to offer the 2017 Nissan Leaf at a deep discount.
The group buy rebates and tax credits created the right climate for motivating Nissan Leaf purchases. And, 4CORE offered the hands-on experience to test drive the vehicles at two ride-and-drive events that brought nearly 200 people to each event. 4CORE’s marketing and outreach efforts played a critical role in conveying group buy details.
As a result of the program, 30 Nissan Leafs were purchased. Each Leaf in the region is saving an estimated 4,954 pounds of carbon dioxide (CO²) emissions per year compared to a conventional gas vehicle, according to the Alternative Fuels Data Center, https://www.afde.energy.gov/vehicles/electric_emissions.php. This is a combined 143,666 pounds of CO² emissions annually that will be eliminated from the regional atmosphere.
With more EVs on the road, EV charging stations are essential. Recent Charge Ahead Colorado grants were awarded to La Plata Electric Association and Mercy Regional Medical Center in southwest Colorado. Each location will have two dual-port EV charging stations.
Don Harms, Manager of Rates, Technology and Energy Policy at La Plata Electric Association, commended the results of the group purchase.
“La Plata Electric Association (LPEA) was extremely encouraged to see the community’s commitment to electric vehicles through their purchase of 30 new Nissan Leafs using 4CORE’s group purchase program. LPEA expects electric vehicles to play an important role in the operation of its electrical distribution system.”