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Free EV Rides For San Diego Drivers On Clean Air Day

Electric car outside the County Administration Building for a free drive Clea...

Photo by Erik Anderson

Above: Electric car outside the County Administration Building for a free drive Clean Air Day event on Oct. 2. 2019.

Clean Air Day Advocates gave San Diego drivers on Wednesday a chance to sample electric cars that are currently on the market.

A line of electric and hybrid cars lined the sidewalk outside the San Diego County Administration building and experts were on hand to answer questions.

Local officials were encouraging people to take the new cars for a spin.

Electric vehicles and hybrids can go a long way to reducing the state’s greenhouse gas emissions because close to 70% of those emissions come from cars and trucks.

RELATED: San Diego Smog Among The Nation’s Worst

Reported by Erik Anderson , Video by Roland Lizarondo

EV’s do not have any emissions.

Getting people familiar with the vehicles goes a long way toward making them more accessible.

“An electric vehicle is not a flying saucer or a spaceship,” said Nathan Fletcher, a San Diego County supervisor. “They operate like normal cars. And that there is the infrastructure to support having a charging station at your house and that there’s the financial incentives that make it affordable.”

Fletcher sees affordability as a key to getting more people to buy.

“So it’s new and it’s different but those are surmountable things if we can figure out the math on the financing,” Fletcher said.

That financing piece of the pie includes state and federal incentives available for all people buying new electric or plug-in hybrid vehicles.

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There is also extra financial help for people who have more modest incomes. They get a bigger rebate.

“This program is available to anyone in the state who is interested or purchasing an electric vehicle and plug-in hybrid,” said Stephanie Hernandez of the Center for Sustainable Energy.

State officials just recently refilled the rebate account after the previous grant money was used up.

Hernandez said San Diego drivers might be in line for even more rebates.

Some California regions get bigger rebates because they struggle to meet clean air guidelines. San Diego may soon get similar rebates that can be stacked on top of all the existing financial help.

Listen to this story by Erik Anderson.

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