New program offers employees a discount on electric cars

Electric car being recharged

A new sustainability program will let UO employees and local residents explore electric vehicle ownership, with the option to take advantage of a generous discount and federal tax credit to purchase an electric car.

The program, rEV up Eugene! will offer free workshops to the community to educate participants on the ins and outs of owning an electric vehicle, including its fuel costs, emissions, charging options and maintenance. Once drivers have completed the workshop, they can opt to save about $15,000 off the retail price of a 2016 Nissan Leaf at Lithia Nissan Eugene.

“Electricity in our area is virtually carbon-free, so transitioning to an electric vehicle is a great emissions reduction strategy,” said Steve Mital, director of the UO Office of Sustainability. “Still, electric vehicles aren't for everyone. The UO Office of Sustainability will present the pros and cons, and costs, of ownership at the workshops to help people make informed decisions.” 

The program is fueled by a partnership between the UO, Eugene Water and Electric Board and Drive Oregon and runs through Dec. 15. The first of five workshops will take place on Monday, Oct. 3, in Room 132, Lillis Hall.

“Electricity is less expensive and a much cleaner fuel source than gasoline,” said Frank Lawson, EWEB’s general manager. “According to the U.S. Department of Energy, for the cost of a gallon of gas, you can drive 113 miles in an electric vehicle compared to under 30 miles in a gas-powered car.”

Last year, the UO Office of Sustainability offered a similar program to help local residents install rooftop solar arrays at their homes. More than 80 households in the community collaborated with the UO to improve their home energy.  

More information and registration is available at driveoregon.org/eugeneev.

By Emily Halnon, University Communications