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CEC is committed to creating a more resilient and just region in the face of climate change. Through our work with the Central Coast Climate Justice Network and elsewhere, our vision includes an end to racial injustices and their resulting environmental inequities.

Below is the full transcript from the National Drive Electric Week – Electric Vehicles 101 webinar. It is sectioned by slide so you can easily follow along with the slide presentation.


Michael Chiacos, Community Environmental Council (CEC): While people are looking at the poll, we’ll just go ahead and start. My name is Michael Chiacos. I’m the director of energy and climate programs at the Community Environmental Council. 

Welcome, everybody. We’re very excited to hear talking about one of my favorite topics. I’ll be joined with Barry Rands from the SLO Climate Coalition. Here’s Barry. And Barry will be sharing with us his personal story about electric vehicles a little later in the presentation. We’ll have about 40 minutes for me and Barry to speak and then about 20 minutes for live question answers at the end. In the meantime, though, if you have a burning question, and you want to put it in the chat, while I’m giving the presentation, very, we’ll be able to answer those, so feel free to wait. 

And for everybody who – looks like we have the first poll results – about 44% of people say their next vehicle will definitely be an EV. 36% are considering an EV if it meets their needs, 5% need to learn more and 15% already have an EV. So great to know our audience, thank you. 

And for those of you many of you probably know us at the Community Environmental Council. We’re an environmental group that was formed 50 years ago in 1970. We were founded based here in Santa Barbara. We work throughout the central coast on energy and climate solutions. Even though we’re based in Santa Barbara, and welcome, everyone from Santa Barbara, we know this has been advertised heavily up in San Luis Obispo County as well as Ventura County. So welcome to everyone who’s joining us from other regions and across the state. 

We were formed in 1970. And have been working on environmental solutions. And then in the last 15 years we refocused entirely on clean energy and climate solutions. And our programs work on everything from renewable electricity and energy efficiency to electric vehicles and clean transportation, driving less over to our food program, which is working to reduce food waste, to encourage and pilot regenerative agriculture to sequester carbon. And then we have folks working in plastic and waste reduction, as well as climate resilience. 

So we’re really excited to have you all here today. This presentation is being filmed. And also we will have a PDF in both the webinar recording and the PDF we will email to you, along with questions and answers a few days after this presentation. So feel free to take notes, but also know that you’re going to be getting all the great info and links that we have here as well.

So electric vehicles, these are one of my favorite topics. I’ve been an electric vehicle driver myself since 2012. I also have solar so we’re gonna be talking about driving on sunshine, one of my favorite ways to get around. I also really love biking on burritos, though. And there’s over 40 electric vehicles on the market in California. So vehicles, these are just some of them in all different sizes from small to large sedans, SUVs, even minivans. 

And we’ll be going into some of the different types of electric vehicles. But I just wanted to point out this website here: is an amazing resource for looking at all the different electric vehicles that are out there.

Why EVs?

Driving=Huge Impact

And so why electric vehicles? They’re becoming very popular in California. That’s because, you know, driving has a huge impact. 

The EPA rates electric vehicles at over 100 miles per gallon equivalent. So you see these amazing mpg stickers like this with a lot of money in fuel cost savings. And this is because EVs are about three to even four times more efficient than internal combustion engines. As you can imagine driving an electric vehicle you don’t have all that sound, you don’t have the pollution spewing out the tailpipe. You don’t even have as much heat. All of that is wasted energy that in an electric drive trading gets to move you down the road. 

They have zero tailpipe emissions. So this is one reason to clean air that the air pollution control districts are the primary sponsors and collaborators for our electric vehicle readiness team here on the Central Coast. In electric vehicle because it’s so efficient reduces greenhouse gas emissions by about 75%, if you just plug it into Edison, or PG&E is grid to as much as 100% with increasing amount of hundred percent clean and renewable electricity mandates that people are being delivered or if you go solar, your own house and can generate that electricity, right on your rooftop. 

So California’s electricity is getting increasingly green. So EVs actually will get greener as they age, which is pretty amazing to think that in 10 years, they’ll get greener. Our central coast community energy or CCA has a 100% renewable electricity goal by 2030 and the state of California has that same goal by 2045. So EVs get greener as you drive them, whereas gasoline cars actually get dirtier. And that’s because emission components fail, as well as our oil is getting dirtier. Long time ago, you could pump oil out of the ground very easily. But now we’re having to do cyclic steaming, and fracking, you know, in our own backyards here in California, as well as tar sands in Canada and all kinds of really bad hard to get oil that’s getting dirtier and dirtier. We’ll also be talking about how easy it is to drive on sunshine and how EVs and solar are synergistic technologies that enable you to pay back both quicker. And it feels really great to be

Driving=Savings and Fun

But it’s not just the environmental issues. I know that may attract a lot of people, but they’re also just really fun to drive. It’s a totally better experience. Anyone who’s been driving an electric vehicle for a while, when they go back to a gasoline car just feels really archaic. And part of that is because of this torque curve that you see here. The electric motor has this spaceship-like acceleration that just goes. And it’s much different than revving up into first and then our second gear and third gear with an internal combustion engine. 

Another great thing beyond the fun is that you can save a lot of money. If you power your vehicle up at home you can save about – the cost is about half or even less than gasoline. As well as you can save a lot of money on maintenance. The County of Alameda did a study and found it was about half on their electric vehicles. And just last week, Consumer Reports came out with a huge study of hundreds and thousands of car members. And it showed the EV and plug in hybrid drivers pay half as much to repair and maintain their vehicles. And they found that at $4600 in repair and maintenance costs over the life of the vehicle. So really great to see this in depth analysis from Consumer Reports.

Transportation Emissions: Driving = Carbon Footprint

Before we get into the cars, I’m just gonna hammer you a little bit more on the transportation emissions and the big carbon impact from driving. As you can see here, this is California’s greenhouse gas emissions and 41% are from transportation. But it’s actually about 50% because a lot of these industrial emissions come from refining the oil, as well as extracting oil from the ground. So half of our emissions come from transportation. An average gasoline car is equal to about five metric tons of carbon, which may be about half of your household’s impact. And so we really say that by driving an electric car, you can do as much as pretty much everything else in your life put together. And some common things: we’ve all heard that eating cheeseburgers and beef has a lot of carbon emissions, that’s about equivalent to 10 miles of driving a gasoline car. Manufacturing an iPhone is about 200 miles. And then the easiest way to use a lot of oil and carbon in one bang is you know a long flight; about 3800 miles. You can really see how driving an electric car day in and day out is the largest environmental decision that you can make. And I want to point out that you should also be reducing your driving that you can do biking, taking the bus, carpooling, all of those other great things.

EV Sales are Increasing

Because of all these reasons that I’ve laid out, EV sales are increasing dramatically. In the US we have about 1.6 million electric vehicles. And about half of those almost three quarters of a million EVs are already in California. You may have heard the news that Governor Newsome just put the first ban on gas cars in the United States by 2035 there’s going to be no new sales of gasoline vehicles. Still going to be able to buy used ones or bring them in from out of state but this is really putting the hammer down. I think that we can definitely get there as we’ll see how affordable electric vehicles are and easy to use they’re getting. And in the last couple years we’ve had EV sales already have 8 to 9% of new vehicle sales. So we’re really on the glide path to get there. 

I want to point out that other places already have these bans and globally, Europe and China are really leading with electric vehicles. There’s already 8 million electric cars on the road globally. Some places like Norway have a net gas car ban by 2025. It is already above 60% of vehicle sales being electric and many European countries are quickly catching up to them. 

Here on the Central Coast, we have 1000 electric vehicles in Ventura, Santa Barbara, San Luis Obispo counties. And we’re adding about 100 a month.

Used Electric Vehicles $5k-10k

Now we’re getting to the vehicles. I know that’s why you all are here. That’s how we advertise this webinar. 

And oh, here we have our next poll: Do you think your next vehicle might be used or you’re not sure. We can think about that for a moment. 

While you’re thinking about that, and voting, you know, we advertise this webinar is saying that you can get an electric vehicle for as low as $5,000, which is pretty amazing. And these are the ones that are around $5000. The used older electric vehicles, maybe four to nine years old. Most of them are kind of the first generation of electric fields. 

Oh, and here’s the poll results, we have 28%, buying a used vehicle 46% think they’ll buy a new one and 26% are not sure, so good to know. 

Most of these used electric vehicles that are under $10,000 are the first generation of electric vehicles, they often have a range of 70 to 100 miles. So it might not work if you just have one car and it is your primary car. But for anyone who’s in a household with two or more cars, picking up one of these use electric vehicles and using it to do all you know your commuting, or all your around town errands you could put a lot of miles and save a lot of money on one of these older electric vehicles. Here we have the Fiat 500. Electric, the Nissan LEAF, these are the most affordable and there’s a lot of them out there. The Ford Focus Electric, and the VW electric vehicle. 

Used EV Buyer - John

So we’re taking some feedback from the first webinar we did back in June. Someone said, Well, I want to see an actual case study. And so last week, we emailed everyone who came to that first webinar in June, asking who had bought electric vehicles and a bunch of people got back to us and this is John. He attended the EV webinar in June. He’s a County of Santa Barbara employee who lives in Lompoc, but he works in Santa Barbara, and he has a long commute of 100 miles each time he has to go into the office. And just a few weeks ago, he bought this 2017 Volt. This is him with his son here and he paid 52 or $14,500 and it had 52,000 miles on it so someone was really driving and saving a lot with that Volt. But he was able to luckily get it as a second owner for a really good deal. He had a 2016 Acura that he was spending $400 a month on gasoline for it. So he’s a super commuter. And for Super commuters, you’ll really be saving the most amount of money and an electric vehicle because they’re so efficient. He doesn’t have a full month yet of his electricity. But he’s thinking that’s going to be about $50 to $100 because you can charge up pretty cheap at the County Calle Real campus. Sometimes he’ll go to work and come back and then his wife who sometimes has to work at night, then she’ll take it to Santa Maria, where she actually works across the street from Lowe’s, where they just added 13 free chargers. So if you live in Santa Maria, check out the Lowe’s free charging. Doesn’t get better than that. 13 free chargers.

New EVs/PHEVs $20-40k+

So now we’ll move on to some of the new electric vehicles. These are often after incentives $20,000 to $40,000 or more. These new electric vehicles include the Chevy Volt, that same one that you saw John just bought. The Nissan Leaf, this one after the incentives and in the manufacturer discounts you can often get for in the low 20,000s. So it could be a similar price as a Toyota Corolla, but you get much better mileage and can drive electric. This vehicle here the blue one is the Toyota plugin prime is a plug- in hybrid. And these three vehicles are some of the vehicles from Tesla, which are some of the most advanced electric vehicles. And amazingly, you’ve all heard that Tesla’s can be pretty expensive, but this is the Tesla Model three. After incentives, you can purchase this vehicle for around $35,000, which is actually cheaper than average a new car of $38,000 in this car will actually drive itself on the freeway as well as can go anywhere in the US on the Tesla supercharger network, as we’ll talk about in in a little bit. 

So new electric vehicles, there’s 40 different ones on the market.

EVs Coming 2020/2021

All different shapes and sizes, including some larger trucks and SUVs that are coming later this year. And next year, people are really excited about this. As you know, Californians are buying more and more crossover vehicles. So this is the rav4 plug in hybrid that’s out on the market now and being built in larger quantities. This is Ford’s new crossover as well as Volvo’s new crossover that will be on the market later this year. 

We have a new SUV coming from Rivian who is closest to Tesla. They’re a startup – they have billions of dollars invested with Amazon and Ford. These guys really look like they’re going to be making it and are following on Tesla’s heels as a new American automaker. 

Of course, we see Tesla’s polarizing Cybertruck down here for $40,000. It’s going to be a pretty interesting vehicle. I can’t wait to see one of those on the road for the first time. 

And then GM is actually relaunching their Hummer brand. Can you believe it or not – it’s all electric trucks. So these are just a small amount of all the different electric vehicles that are coming soon. 

Hydrogen Fuel Cell Vehicles

I also wanted to talk a little bit about hydrogen fuel cell vehicles you may have heard about. They also are zero emissions, they have a higher range than many of the electric vehicles on the market. Most of the long range electric vehicles that I showed you have maybe two to 300 miles of range, hydrogen fuel cell vehicles may have 350 or more, you can also refuel them faster, it’s more like a gasoline experience. But the supercharging and the fast charging for electric vehicles is really catching up. The one limitation is that there’s only 41 hydrogen stations in California. Luckily, we do have one here in Santa Barbara, as well as there’s another one in Thousand Oaks, and then many more in Los Angeles, in the Bay Area, Sacramento all throughout the state. So it’s a pretty usable vehicle for using mostly around town, or going on longer trips throughout the state might not want to go on a road trip to Utah or other places with them. And you also can’t charge them at home, which is as you’ll see one of the big benefits of driving an electric vehicle, it’s actually more convenient than using a gas station for a lot of people. 

They’re also a little more expensive. But there are some pretty amazing lease deals that are out there, many of which include all the fuel. So you might want to look into it if you don’t have access to home charging and drive a lot and can use that free fuel and live close to a hydrogen station. There’s been a little over 8000 sold in California, which is about, you know, a little over 1% of the electric vehicle so you can really see that electric vehicles are taking off. And then the other thing is that they’re actually less efficient than the electric vehicle. You can see 67 miles per gallon equivalent, very efficient, still twice as efficient as a gasoline car, but maybe a little more, more than half as efficient as an electric vehicle because you have to make the hydrogen. And rather than using electricity directly in an electric car, if you use hydrolysis to make the hydrogen, it’s not quite as efficient. Definitely encourage people, probably electric vehicles are the top choice. But if you don’t have access to home charging or interested in hydrogen vehicles, it could be another great zero emission choice as well.


Alright, so get into the incentives. Iris, do you want to run the next poll? 

This poll is a little bit more complicated, because I’m going to ask you to really think about your eligibility for some of these heightened rebates that you can get. So I’ll just let you read them.

And I see that something got a little left off the first answer, but if you have a family of four, it would be around $104,000. So if you make under that $104,000, for a family of four, you could get up to a $5,000 grant towards a new or used EV, or plug in hybrid. There’s another incentive, that’s the clean vehicle rebate program, it’s about $2,000. And you can make up to $150,000, or $300,000 if you’re a joint filer, take that one. And then if you make more than 150, single 300, joint filer – lucky you, you may not get the rebates, but you’ll still be eligible for carpool stickers. And then if you prefer not to state, you can do that as well. But this is all confidential, where we have a grant that’s aimed at helping low to moderate income people get into electric vehicles. We really want to be able to understand our audience here. 

While people are thinking through that, I’ll just give you another couple seconds. 

And the answers are in, Iris. You might want to just keep that until you see some good answers. 

Oh, here we go. So we had about 20% of people that may be eligible for the $5,000 grant, 54% that can get the clean vehicle rebate program, and then 8% that are only eligible for the carpool stickers. 17% are not sure or prefer not to state. So I hope that you’ve been able to think a little bit about which of the incentives that you can actually qualify for. 

Now I’ll talk about the incentives, the Federal Tax Credit is the biggest one, it’s up to $7500. It’s a credit on the taxes that you owe. So you have to have this much tax liability, and you take it on next year’s taxes. So if you went out and bought an electric car this month, you could actually change your withholding for the next few months so that you could see the money sooner and not have to wait till next April or whenever you do your taxes. 

Tesla and GM do not qualify for this federal tax credit anymore, because they’ve sold more than 200,000 electric vehicles. All the other manufacturers do. And it’s a great way to lower the cost of an electric vehicle, we’re going to be talking a little bit about leasing, which is amazing. They’re the best lease deals that I’ve ever seen. And I was gonna say this at the beginning, you may think that pandemic is a weird time to be talking about purchasing a new electric vehicle. But if you are in the position to do so, the deals that you can get right now, because of the impacts of the auto industry, are amazing and we’ll cover them. But by leasing a vehicle to you don’t have to have all that tax liability, the manufacturer can take that and pass you on a really good lease price. 

And there’s also $1,000 to Edison and $800 through pg&e. pg&e’s is only for new vehicles but Edisons can actually be used up to two times on used vehicles as well. So it’s a nice extra rebate to be able to get particularly if you’ve bought one of those five or $10,000 used EVs and you knock another thousand dollars off. 

And then there’s also the California rebate, most people will get this $2,000 for an EV or $1,000 for a plug in hybrid. But if you’re a low to moderate income, and this is a little different designation than the other program I told you about, you can get an extra $2,500. So if you make under $77,000, for a family of four, you could get $4,500 for that electric vehicle. 

There’s also the clean vehicle Assistance Program, which I told you about the limit of $104K for the family of four. It’s a $5,000 grant. You can learn all about these incentives at, that’s our EV readiness website. I know it’s a little bit complicated, but basically you buy the vehicle and then you can apply for these different rebates. I’ve done it twice on my two different EVs that I’ve owned, it was pretty easy to do. And we’re really looking, if you go through the clean vehicle Assistance Program, it’s a newer program, and get this grant, please let us know so that we can learn a little bit more about how people are using those, I really want to get the word out about it, because it’s a new program.


Types of Charging

All right, so now onto charging. So there’s three types of charging: level one, two, and three. 

Level one is just a regular outlet, you may have this already in your garage or in your driveway. And you get about three to five miles per hour, which sounds really slow, right? A lot of people are like, why would I drive somewhere and then only charge up that slow, but really what most people do is charge their electric vehicles overnight using that trickle charge. 

I had a Chevy Volt as I told you about for six years. And I just use a level one plug like this. If you drive a plug in hybrid, that’s all you really need. It’s a very affordable option, it might already be at your house for free, or pay 500 bucks for an electrician to install one. And if you drive less than 50 miles a day in an all electric car or a plug in hybrid, it could work just great for you. Charge up overnight and then you wake up with a full battery and can do all your driving. 

The next level is level two, and you get 10 to 30 miles. Most electric cars get around 25 to 30 miles per hour. These are like all the public ones you see around the Central Coast as well as most people would put one of these into their house to be able to charge their vehicle faster. Then if you have a 300 mile range electric vehicle you could charge it up overnight. And oftentimes, many electric vehicles come with a level two charger and you just need an outlet kind of like a dryer plug. You may already have a dryer plug in your garage, or you can have an electrician install one. Mine at my house was a pretty simple installation. It was about $800 to put that plug in. And then I use the charger that came with the car but you may already have on your house. There’s around 1000 charging stations on the Central Coast now that are public, including some free ones, and I’m going to go into those in a minute. 

The last is fast charging: level three. There’s 172 plus of these in the Central Coast. And even the old Nissan Leafs that are nine years old, some of them can fast charge, they charge about 50 kilowatts. You can get about 60 miles of range in 20 or 30 minutes. So if you had one of those older Nissan leafs, this would enable you to rather than just be using it locally, say to be able to drive a longer distance maybe if you live in Santa Barbara to Thousand Oaks and charged up and come back or down to Los Angeles and come back. Most of the second generation in the newer electric vehicles have longer ranges of 150 to 300 miles. And they also are starting to charge faster. So you could get even faster of a charge on this network that is expanding very quickly throughout the whole country. 

There’s also very fast charging. Tesla’s is called a supercharger. These charge 250 kilowatts, so that’s about five times faster than the chargers that were just out, you know, five, eight years ago. And that means that you can hit up to 1000 miles per hour, which is very fast. It’s as fast as you’re really going to need even for a road trip, as we’ll talk about in a moment. And really, electric vehicles have been improving faster than anyone ever thought.

Road Tripping in an EV

I’ve been in this for a while. So it’s pretty amazing to see that now you can take an electric vehicle on a road trip. This is me and my wife. So I got rid of the Chevy Volt and sold it to someone a couple years ago and we got one of the more affordable Teslas: the model three. And this is us on a 2500 mile electric road trip that summer. You can see we’re in a very remote area of Utah. And it worked great using the Tesla supercharger network, just right in the navigation system of the car. You can just say hey, I’m going to Utah and they tell you where to stop for how long and the different superchargers. 

Oh, actually Iris, can you put up the charging poll? I realize we forgot to do that. I want people to think a little bit about if they have access to charging at home now, home possible with upgrades, at work, or maybe you’re relying on public charging. 

So while people are answering that – it looks like 50% of you already have access to charging at home, 38% home possible with upgrades, 20% at work (that’s really great to hear), then 21% are reliant on public charging. 

Speaking of the fast charging, it’s becoming more and more capable if you had a Chevy Bolt or a Tesla to be able to, if you live in an apartment and don’t have access to charging at home,  to just use the fast chargers or some level three chargers while you’re at work or out in public. 

Going back to the road trip, we did 2500 miles in 12 days. And we’ve also done a lot of trips to Yosemite to backpacking in the Eastern Sierras. 

You know, when people are first considering an electric vehicle, they’re really nervous about the charging, but anyone who’s used one, after a month or so, you get really comfortable with it, and you realize that it’s actually quite easy and convenient. If you have access to charging at home, it’s more convenient than going to a gas station because, just maybe once or twice a week, we charge up the vehicle. It takes about 20 seconds to plug it in at home. Way more convenient than going to find any gas station and sitting there smelling the gas as you pump it up. 

On a road trip it’s not quite as convenient as a gas car. But it is pretty easy in that you know, you start out with a full charge, maybe drive three hours, stop somewhere with a fast charger for a lunch break for 30 or 40 minutes, drive another couple hours, stop somewhere for a bathroom break for you know 10 or 15 minutes and get to your destination. Usually most people don’t like to drive more than 6,7,8 hours in a day. So makes it quite easy to actually go on a road trip. And it can be very affordable to do so as well because you’re saving a lot of money on gasoline. 

One last thing I just want to say about road tripping and EVs is that you do have to stop at certain places. But we’ve found all these great places that we otherwise wouldn’t have gone to including really cool little towns when you’re going through Arizona. And then in Santa Clarita, we found this amazing international grocery store with the most phenomenal falafel and hummus and now we try to try to plan our trips so that we can stop for lunch or dinner at this place in Santa Clarita on our way home because we like it so much. So it’s part of the road trip experience, right?

Ventura County

All right, just real briefly, I’m going to just show you some of the charging stations. You can see how many are in Ventura County. Over 100 fast chargers and this is just the city of interest. So you can see how many chargers out there are public ones.

Santa Barbara County

This is Santa Barbara, and apologies to people who don’t live in the namesake city of each county. There’re many chargers in your community as well, I just couldn’t put them all up here.

San Luis Obispo County

Here’s San Luis Obispo. If you go to this site and look at all the chargers in your city or in your neighboring cities, or places you like to go, you can see where a lot of these chargers are.

Time-of-Use-Rates = Low Cost Fuel

I wanted to emphasize a little bit about charging at home. You can get on these very affordable rates to charge up your vehicle. 

This is Edison’s time-of-use prime. So when you have an EV, its load may be as much as your entire house, so you want to switch to one of these rates that charge you very cheap, 14 cents a kilowatt hour. So this is equivalent to paying about $1.40 per gallon gas. And you can use this rule of thumb at public charging stations. If it’s 25 cents per kilowatt hour to charge, that’s equivalent to $2.50 a gallon gas. But yeah, for 19 hours out of the day, you can charge very cheaply, just don’t charge your car during four to 9pm. And you can save a lot of money on gas. 

Most cars, you can also set them to start charging at 12:30. So even if I plug it in at 7pm, then it will start charging at 12:30 at night when it’s very cheap or you could charge it up during the day as well.

Solar EV + PV = Zero Emissions Driving

I’m just wanting to also talk – we’re kind of getting to the end of my part of the presentation – about solar plus electric vehicles; synergistic technologies.

Saving $245/month

This is Jeff and Mandy. He had an auto loan of $475 per month and was spending $300 a month to drive from Santa Barbara to Ventura every day. And then he had a very small utility bill of only $30 a month and he wanted to go solar but he had a really small bill so it didn’t make financial sense. He ended up leasing an electric vehicle. He drove a lot, as you know, so the deal at the time was $200 a month after putting the California incentive down, but he upgraded to 18,000 miles a year for $260 a month. And then he was using more electricity so he could go solar about $300 a month for a five year solar loan. And turned out he was saving about $245 a month and while he leased a vehicle and went own it and he was going to own his solar array after five years. So it’s very similar to the auto loan he had before, except that he owned his solar, which is an appreciating asset rather than the car, the depreciating asset. So he was really excited to make such a huge change and have it make total economic sense.

2kW solar = 12,000 miles

Another guy, Tim Forker, is a financial advisor, a real numbers guy, we profiled him a while back. And to drive about 12,000 miles a year in your electric vehicle, you need about two kilowatts of solar, which could be $6,000, maybe even $5,000 now. And that basically provides you with 25 years of free electricity for your electric car. 

I bought my own solar array seven years ago, and it’s totally paid off now. And so now I can drive for free for the next 20 years, which is a pretty awesome feeling, as well as to look at your solar panels and smile to just know that you’re generating your own clean electricity for your house and your car. 

So the cost of gas over 25 years might be $50,000 or more. So you can see going solar and EV is a really great return.


We have our Solarize program. It’s a group purchasing program. It’s Solarize Santa Barbara and Ventura County. They are open right now. I really encourage you to go to one of these websites to learn more. So the group purchasing program aggregates people to all go solar at the same time. It makes it more affordable and easier to go solar through our vetted installers. So check it out.

Barry's Story

All right, I’ve been talking a lot. I have a lot to say sorry, excuse me. But now we’re gonna get to Barry. He’s going to talk with us for three to four minutes about his own personal story. So Barry, come on on and join us.

Barry Rands: Hey there. Thank you, Michael. And glad to be on this with you. 

Yeah, my name is Barry Rands, I have been in San Luis Obispo and have been the code coordinator of the Drive Electric events here in San Luis Obispo for the last three years, and I’m a member of the San Luis Obispo Climate Coalition. 

And my journey through the EV pilgrimage started in 2013 when I was working for the city of Morro Bay, and they asked me to supervise the installation of an electric vehicle charger in the parking lot behind our city hall building where I worked. So we had a grant on that and got it installed. And I thought, you know, we’ve got an EV charging station here, why don’t I go ahead and look into getting an EV. So I did. I leased a 2013 Nissan Leaf, had it for three years and it worked out great. I didn’t have to hardly ever charge at home, I never had to buy an electric vehicle charger or anything at home. And I was able to charge it at work, and that got me back and forth. 

And I should interject right here. If you have workplace charging, this is a no brainer, get an electric vehicle. Your commuting costs will go way, way down and you’ll improve your carbon footprint greatly. So if you do have workplace charging, it’s usually offered free by your employer, get an EV. 

Moving back to my Nissan Leaf. So a lease came up towards 2016. And I got a postcard in the mail that said, Hey, if you want to buy this back from us, we’ll give you a $5,000 discount more than what you agreed on when you sign the lease. So I got it down to about $10,000. I bought it, used it for another I think two or three years, sold it for $6,000 and bought myself a new Kia Nero, which you see in the picture there. So I’ve had this Kia Niro for a little bit over a year. And the range on the Kia Niro is about four times, well three times, that of the Nissan Leaf. So I’m a happy camper with my Kia Nero. The only trouble is I had to go all the way up to San Jose to buy this thing. So that’s a little bit difficult for servicing and stuff but on the good, good end of it. You know I can get tire changes and new wiper blades at my local auto shop. Anyway, that’s my journey through EV – my EV pilgrimage – and I’ll turn it back to you Michael.

Michael Chiacos, CEC: Great, thank you Barry for sharing your story with us.

All right, so I just have a few more slides and then we’ll get into some of the Q and As. 


I just wanted to point out is your really best resource. It’s been put together by our EV readiness coalition, which is us at CEC along with air pollution control districts for Ventura, San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara, Ventura County Regional Energy Alliance, and C5. And there’s a huge amount of resources here. We’ll also have this webinar available on demand on that website. I really encourage you to check it out.

Central Coast EV Progress

Our EV readiness team has done all kinds of things such as large events with thousands of rides and drives and tens of thousands of people annually exposed to EVs. We’ve received California Energy Commission funds to do EV readiness plans, where we’ve worked with hundreds of local workplaces, cities’ condo associations to make it easier to drive electric vehicles, put in charging infrastructure, bringing new grants and resources to our region. So we’re working behind the scenes to make it easier and easier to drive an electric vehicle in our region. 


And to kind of summarize some of the wrap up, you know, challenges and drawbacks that five, eight years ago, I heard: a lot of people are really concerned about that longer recharge time. And it’s just a different mindset. As I mentioned, you know, you charge at night or while you’re at work, 90% of that charging might happen at home while you’re sleeping. And so I personally think it’s much more convenient if you charge an EV. Particularly, if you have access to home charging, you have to charge up at work, it could also be pretty convenient. If you only have access to charging, public charging, might not be quite as convenient. But you can save a lot of money as well as be able to at least drive an electric vehicle with all the fast charging and in public level two charging that’s being put in place. 

People also back in the days when an EV only went 70 to 100 miles had a lot of issue with limited range. But that’s not an issue at all with a plug in hybrid because you have that gasoline backup. And, you know, the more affordable used EVs can work great in a two car household. And then the longer range battery electric vehicles get 200 to 300 miles they can work for someone who only has one car in their household. 

And then cost was also a big issue early on. As you can see, with all of these incentives, you can get a new EV for the price of a Toyota Corolla. You get a Tesla now for cheaper than the average new car in California. And I really think that the cost issues are much smaller than the early days, particularly when you also consider the huge savings on gasoline and maintenance which are both about half the cost of a gasoline vehicle.

Great Value Propositions

So all in all, you know, it’s a really great value proposition. I’m actually going to talk about leasing in a minute because the lease deals I’ve seen are amazing right now. 

But traditionally, you could effectively get about zero down if you put the $2,000 California rebate as your down payment. You can get about $200 a month. I helped my mom buy her first electric vehicle – a Nissan Leaf in 2012. She put the rebate down, paid $206 including taxes a month for her lease. And then she got, a few years ago, a VW electric Golf and put the $2000 down and then got I think $186 a month including tax early so you can really get them. And now you could get a lease for around $100 a month, as I’ll show you in a minute. 

The cost of ownership is much cheaper with the gas savings. And with maintenance savings, you reduce your greenhouse gas emissions a huge amount. 

There’s so much more public charging infrastructure out there now. The City of Santa Barbara just put 30 charging stations on top of the Granada garage a block away from me right now. Big installs like this are happening all around. 

And then it’s just really fun to drive an electric vehicle. Drive past a gasoline station knowing that you’re part of the solution, not feeding the oil companies anymore. 

So now right now is really the time to get the word out about the EV era. I hope you all will consider one for your next vehicle as well as tell all your friends so we can send them this presentation when we email it to you in a few days.

Best Resources

These are the top four resources, I talked about all of them: link to drive805 for everything, Plug In Cars to see all the 40 EVs available, to see where the charging is. And then this last one is where all the different lease deals are and I just took a screenshot of it because I looked at it this morning and was just blown away. During the pandemic, car sales in general are really low.

Amazing Time to Lease! Lowest Ever

And this is a very busy slide but what you can basically see is you need to get a 36 month lease to be able to get the car for any rebate. 

Honestly, right now, I would encourage almost everybody if they’re thinking about an EV, to lease one, because you can get a price much cheaper than buying them. Because of the car markdowns right now on a Bolt or a Leaf, you can see that the average per month is less than $200. And so if you put down that $2,000 rebate, as well as the thousand dollars from Edison, you know, your monthly payment could be around $100 a month. If you’re a low to moderate income person, it could be under $100 a month, as we saw. It could conceivably even be free, which I really want to see someone do that and be able to lease that EV for free taking advantage of those two programs. So this is the best lease deals that I’ve ever seen my entire life looking at these every few months. So a really great opportunity  right now to get into a Bolt or a Leaf. And this is just the top of the page. If you go to that website, it keeps going down further for some of the other electric cars that are out there. 

So feel free to continue the conversation by joining our Facebook group. And then we’ll have a survey that’s going to pop up at the end of this presentation.


And so we’re getting to the end, we’re going to go into Q & A. But I did just want to mention really quickly that we really appreciate having all of you tune in for this webinar. Special thanks to our partners at SLO Climate Coalition and our guest speaker Barry Rands for sharing his insights today. 

Look for an email in a few days with a follow up with the recording as well as a PDF of all these great resources. 

I’m really proud to have served for over 10 years at the Community Environmental Council. We’ve consistently gotten some of the top marks from these independent charity rating services. And we’re just recently named 2020 California Nonprofit of the Year. We’re very proud about that. Free events like this are just some of the ways that we work to advance rapid and equitable solutions to the climate crisis. So you can support CEC’s work by going to this website here, or texting give to this number. Really appreciate if you feel like you’ve learned something here. Or if you’re saving all that money when you go with EV to help support our work. 

We’re going to go into the Q & A now. But when the webinar ends, there’ll be a pop up that will ask you to just do a one or two minute survey. And if you could do that, that would be very helpful so that we can know what’s valuable and what we can work on for the next one.


So this is me back in 2012 when I got my first electric vehicle, and it’s been an amazing ride, I never would never go back to buying a gasoline vehicle. Hope you all will join me on that ride. 

And now we’ll pull up the Q & A. I know a lot of people have been answering them. Other attendees. So really appreciate that. And I’ll just go through and pick some of these. And Barry, why don’t you come back up here with me? And we’ll have you answer some, some questions, were you able to answer some of these questions? Or did you have some that you wanted to answer live?

Barry Rands: Yeah, I was able to answer about half of them but I’m not a fast typer. Some of them require a little bit of research but there’s still about 20-some open questions out there. 

One of the questions that I would like to answer live is tips for charging cheaply on a road trip. And I would say number one if your road trip is multiple nights, definitely look into and do your research ahead of time. Find a hotel that has EV charging. More and more hotels have that, but make sure your destination hotel for your first night or your multiple nights, make sure they have EV charging. It’s almost always free and that’ll save a lot of money right there. 

You have any further tips on on charging inexpensively on the road, Mike?

Michael Chiacos, CEC: Yeah. Definitely the hotel is a good one. I’ve used that one myself. There’s also a lot of campgrounds if you’re on a road trip and camping that have the NEMA 1450 plugs. Any campground that has RVs will have those plugs there where you might be able to charge up for free if you’re buying a campsite there. Another one is that many of the new EVs like I know VW offers three years of free charging on their network when you buy the vehicle so then you could just fast charge on all their stations for free. With Tesla, you know if you refer a friend and they give you 1000 free supercharger miles, so I’ve actually had a couple friends buy vehicles with my referral link. So I’ve never had to pay any of the Tesla superchargers. And, you know, if a friend or two a year buys an EV, then you may never have to pay for road trips as well. So, those are some tips. 

Katherine Dunham is also asking did Michael just say it cost him $800 to install a charger at home? And yes, that was a cost to install the charger. I use the level two Tesla charger that came with the vehicle so the $800 was just for the plug. And it was I think it was $500 for the labor and a couple hundred for the permit and less than a hundred dollars for the materials. So that was $800. 

Barry, do you have a charger at home? Mine was very low cost. I had room on my panel. Sometimes it can be a little bit more if you don’t have a new electrical or enough electrical service. Barry did you put a charger in at home and how much was yours?

Barry Rands: Yes, I did. The  electrical installation of the NEMA 1450 plug cost about 800 bucks. $700 and change. And then I bought a charger. I got one online through Amazon and it works fine. And then last year I won through national drive electric I won a free charger from Cooper Creek. So maybe I could sell one of those.

Michael Chiacos, CEC: The one you bought online? Was it like under 500 bucks? Around?

Barry Rands: Yeah, as I recall, it was about three to $400.

Michael Chiacos, CEC: Yeah, so I would say that’s pretty typical if you don’t have any problems with your electrical system. Barry and I both paid $800 for the install for $400 for the charger. Yeah, the Teslas and I think some other vehicles come with level two portable chargers that you can just use, you don’t have to buy one. All electric vehicles come with at least a level one charger, if you just have an outlet that you want to use, which is the most affordable way. 

Someone’s asking: Can low to moderate income households get the additional $2500 California rebate if they get a plug in hybrid? 

Yes. So you can get $1,000 for the plug in hybrid plus $2500 for the rebate. So that’s $3500 total or $4500 if you’re getting a pure EV. 

Christopher is asking: Is long term battery life extended/ maximized by typically charging above one versus level two. Also, will Tesla ever consider non Tesla cars or their chargers? 

My understanding is that Tesla isn’t allowing other cars. They have a proprietary standard. There’s a lot of Teslas out there. It’s amazing to show up to charging bay stalls with 24 of them and have 20 of them in use. 

Barry, do you have any thoughts on the long term battery life? Or do you want me to answer that one?

Barry Rands: I’ve heard that most important is not draining it if completely empty, and not charging it to 100% and leaving it in the garage. Those are more important for maximizing battery life. So try and charge between 20 and 80%. And if you charge between 20 and 80%, I don’t think it really matters that much. If you’re doing you know 110 or 220. Maybe if you’re doing a lot of fast charges that might not be so good. But the difference between 110 and 220 is probably insignificant.

Michael Chiacos, CEC: Yeah, I would agree with that. Some manufacturers have it built into their vehicle that they don’t really, they have a buffer like my old Chevy Volt had a buffer so that you could charge it to 100% all the time. And that didn’t use the battery. In fact, I recently heard that out of the 120,000 Volts on the road that none of them have ever needed a battery replacement. And that gets to some of the warranties people often have questions about. Most electric vehicles have an eight year 100,000 mile warranty. The Volt is up to 150,000 miles. The batteries are warrantied to last the life of the vehicle and most of them do. But if you’re really concerned about the battery, you know maybe leasing would be the best option or buying a used one that still has a lot of years or miles left on it because the battery warranty is transferable. 

Let’s see, someone’s asking, do you know if you can charge a Volt with fast charging capabilities at a Tesla supercharging station? 

So no, unfortunately, you can’t charge the Volt there. But you can charge the Volt at all the fast chargers that are being built all across the country now. In fact, I got married last year and one of my friends drove his Volt from Bellingham, Washington, which is up near the Canada border, all the way to Santa Barbara. And he was down here for a few weeks, so wanted to go on a big road trip. And he said it was just fine using the Volt, fast charging. 

All electric cars can use the same fast chargers –  there’s two standards, and most of the charging stations come with a CHAdeMO in the combo fast chargers. But you can go on the plugshare website and see where all the fast chargers are. 

So Brad is asking: I have a solar system I own and generate about 2500 kilowatt hours excess per year. How would I determine if this is enough for EV to charge at home? 

Well, Brad, you should definitely get an EV because you can charge about 10,000 miles of driving for free now on your excess. So most EVs get about three to four miles per kilowatt hour and you have 2500 kilowatt hours excess. So that would be like for a Tesla Model 3, about 10,000 miles of extra driving. So if anyone has excess solar, yeah, you should definitely go electric. You’ll love it. 

Oh, someone’s asking where can I find the total carbon footprint of an EV? Which includes manufacturing? 

Lifecycle Transportation Emissions

Okay, great. This is a great question because I actually have a slide on it. So this is one that I often get asked. In other questions people ask is, I’ve been driving this car for 10 years, and I really want to get an electric vehicle. But isn’t it bad to get rid of my car? And my answer would be if you’re in the position to get an electric vehicle and you’re just driving your old one because you you feel bad about getting rid of it, you should definitely get the electric car, it’s not like it’s just going to go and get crushed, you know, you’re going to sell that to someone who’s going to be very happy to have your used vehicle, they’re going to sell their vehicle and on down the line. The one that will get crushed is probably a really old polluting one that’s leaking oil and is only worth 500 bucks, and, you know isn’t going to pass smog anyways. 

And so basically what this is is a lifecycle analysis from the Union of Concerned Scientists. They found a small electric vehicle like a Nissan Leaf adds about 15% to the manufacturing impacts. 

So for a normal gas car, when you look at the life cycle analysis, manufacturing is only 10 to 15% of that lifecycle analysis. The other 85 to 90% is that 15 years of driving it. So an EV does have a little bit of a higher increase in the manufacturing, you can see 15% for a small EV and 68% for the largest EVs (this would be like a large battery Tesla). Because they’re so clean and you’re reducing your emissions each year you drive it, that extra emissions gets repaid in six to 16 months of driving on the national network. Even faster here in California because we’re so clean with our electricity, you can see. You can check out the UCS report by googling it. 

California is really one of the cleanest places to drive an electric vehicle. But everywhere is getting cleaner and cleaner. There’s pretty much no coal left in California created –  it’s reducing everywhere in the country. 

So yes, I would encourage you to trade up to that electric vehicle because you’ll be putting less carbon pollution every year into the air and you know that carbon is building up and building up. If you are in the position to go electric you should definitely do it sooner. 

Go back to those questions. 

Barry if you see any good ones that you want to answer, go for it. 

Oh, actually, I see that we’re getting out of time. Maybe we can answer more Barry. Do you see any or should I just pick one?

Barry Rands: Go ahead and pick one, Michael.

Michael Chiacos, CEC: Well, someone’s in Cambria. Katie in Cambria wants to install solar panels and then lease a longer range EV, where do I start? Who to call for solar install? How long does that take? 

Well, we have our Solarize Santa Barbara and Ventura programs. So that’s a great place to start if you live in the southern part of our region. Up in San Luis Obispo, I would encourage you to just call a local solar installer. There are local ones that can give you a really great service and you’re helping the local economy. 

You might want to start with just leasing your EV first so that you know how much extra electricity you are using. So, you know, go out and lease and EV, use it for a few months, go solar, when you know how much electricity you use. Or if you know you drive 10,000 miles a year, you could have the solar installer estimate that for you. And driving on sunshine, EV plus PV, is a really great synergistic technologies, it will save you a lot of money and highly reduce your carbon footprint. So definitely encourage you to look into both of those.

Thank You

So thank you so much everybody. We’re at 1:02. We’re running out of time. And we’ll see if we can try to get to some of the rest of these questions and answer them and put them out when we send out info. But you can also go on our Electric Drive 805 website that may have some of the answers or, you know, these days out on the internet, you can find all kinds of answers to a lot of these questions. So, really appreciate all our attendees that are answering questions as we go. For everybody that attended the webinar, please share it with your friends and anyone else you think that might be interested in going electric. 

So we’re gonna wrap it up and Iris if you can put out the survey. And thank you everyone so much for joining us. 

Good luck with your EV journey.

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