Incentive of $5,000 for electric Vehicle Buyers Extended

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE January 23, 1998

CONTACT:   Bobbie Bratz, (805) 961-8890, or  Gary Hoffman, (805) 961-8818

GOLETA, CA ? Santa Barbara County Air Pollution Control District (APCD) announced today that its Electric Vehicle (EV) Buydown Program for new EVs purchased or leased by county residents has been extended another year. Individuals or fleet operators who certify that their new EVs will be operated in the county can receive $ 5,000 towards the purchase or lease price. The following EVs are currently qualified under the program: General Motors EV-1, Honda EV Plus, General Motors S-10 EV pickup, and Ford Ranger EV pickup.

Gary Hoffman, APCD Air Quality Engineer heading the EV incentive effort, noted that vehicle exhaust emissions can account for two-thirds of the air pollution caused by human activity in Santa Barbara County. “It?s one of our biggest pollution problems,” he said, “And at APCD we don?t have the authority to regulate these emissions directly. This EV incentive program represents one of many tools we are using to reduce vehicle emissions. We encourage buyers to take advantage of it.” EVs are considered zero-emission vehicles (ZEVs). Starting in 2003, California will require ten percent of passenger cars and light-duty trucks offered for sale in the state to be ZEVs.

The $5,000 incentives are funded by the California Energy Commission (CEC) with matching funds provided through APCD from Department of Motor Vehicle (DMV) surcharge monies earmarked for vehicle emission reduction efforts. There is still program funding for some sixteen additional incentives, and on January 15 of this year, the APCD Board approved extending the program to January 31, 1999.

The incentives are issued through qualified EV dealers or manufacturers on a first-come, first-served basis. The closest participating dealerships for county residents are Saturn of Oxnard (GM EV1), Miller Honda of Van Nuys (Honda EV Plus), and Downtown Family Ford of Los Angeles (Ford Ranger EV pickup). GM?s S-10 EV pickup is marketed only to fleet buyers, and the closest dealership is Gunderson Chevrolet in El Monte. Interested buyers can also contact APCD (Gary Hoffman, at 961-8818) for assistance.

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