SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4 Utah) – Salt Lake City has teamed up with the University of Utah for a new program designed to clean up the air by getting electric cars on the road. The U Drive Electric program is back and expanded to everyone who lives, works or visits Salt Lake City.
“It’s nice, it’s small. It’s easy to use.” Patricia Hanna is a professor at the University of Utah and the proud owner of a new electric BMW. “I always wanted an electric car and it was such a good price. So it seemed to me a perfect time to buy it,” said Hanna.
Through the U Drive Electric program she saw huge savings on her new electric vehicle. “My husband and I saved enough money to be able to put in 11 more solar panels, so that’s what it did for me.”
You no longer have to be a student or employee of the University to take part in the U Drive Electric program. Now that the U has partnered with Salt Lake City almost anyone can take advantage of the huge discounts.
Tyler Poulson, Sustainability Program Manager with Salt Lake City explained, “So there’s seven separate car dealers along the Wasatch Front and they’re offering eight different models of either all electric or plug-in hybrid vehicles and these models are discounted anywhere from 3% up to 25% off of MSRP. So the biggest discounts are actually $8,000 off the sticker price of the car. On top of that you can take advantage of state and federal tax credits creating a total cost reduction of around $17,000 off MSRP.”
Electric cars aren’t just good for the environment they’re easy on the pocketbook. We visited Tim Dahle Nissan of Murray to drive one of the biggest discounted EVs in the program, the new Nissan Leaf.
“This car is so unbelievably inexpensive to operate,” said Nissan Leaf Specialist Josh Edson. “From a fuel standpoint it’s about a 9 to 1 savings versus gasoline. From a maintenance standpoint it’s about a 9 to 1 savings versus gasoline. With the incentives both from Nissan and federal and state it’s almost…it can almost pencil out to be almost a net-free car for people.”
No gas, no oil changes and no worries about where to charge. There are dozens of charging stations across the valley with more coming to Salt Lake City next year.
For more information on the U Drive Electric program log on to: http://utahev.org/u-drive-electric