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Drive Clean Chronicles: A Workplace Charging Station Win

Dona is an Oxnard resident who spent a couple of years planning to purchase an electric vehicle (EV). Motivated by the potential fuel savings and minimal maintenance, as well as her desire to live more sustainably, she had done a lot of research. Then her employer, the Port of Hueneme, installed EV charging stations in their parking lot. She decided to make the leap.

Finding the Right Fit

Dona spent about a month researching various models and prices, including watching video and article reviews by EV drivers. Ultimately, she decided that a used EV with mid-level range would work best for her budget and needs as a new EV driver. In April of 2018, she found a 2015 VW eGolf with an 80-mile battery range for sale at a local dealer for $14,500.  Dona went for a test drive and bought it that day.

Commuting and Charging

Dona travels approximately 40-50 miles per day in her EV for work, school pick-ups, and errands. While she does most of her charging at the Level 2 stations at work, she can also charge her vehicle with a 110V outlet in the garage at home. With these charging options, she can make extra trips outside of her work commute with confidence.

One of the only inconveniences Dona has experienced with charging her EV is the need to purchase different charge cards and download various apps in order to charge her car.  She feels the initial time it takes to figure out EV charging is outweighed by the financial benefit of fueling with electricity.  It costs Dona around $7.00 to completely charge her battery at work.  Her charging costs at home are even less. She wasn’t initially aware of the Southern California Edison Clean Fuel Rebate, but was still able to claim  $450 incentive nearly a year after purchasing her car (the incentive has since been increased to $1,000 for plug-in electric cars purchased after January 1, 2019).  The SCE rebate comes as a check in the mail and will cover the cost of driving for well over 5,000 miles for Dona.

Dona’s family of three still has one gas-powered vehicle that they use for longer trips. Even so, in the year since she traded her car in for an EV, her family has spent 57% less in gas purchases and 60% less in service and maintenance costs for the household’s cars.

From Hesitancy to Advocacy

Despite some initial hesitation at buying an electric car with limited range, after just over a year of ownership, Dona is very happy with her choice. Her VW eGolf is quiet, quick to accelerate, easy to maintain, affordable to fuel and has never left her stranded. Once she learned how to plan for her range and drive the car efficiently, she loved the new technology even more.

She says it feels great to be environmentally friendly and socially responsible. Dona wants to use her experience to share with others that the choice to drive differently doesn’t have to be scary.  She imagines that she will trade this EV for a newer one within a couple of years as the range and size of models improves.

Since the charging stations were installed at the Port of Hueneme, a few other like Dona who were considering purchasing a new car went with a plug-in hybrid or an all-electric vehicle. She knows that for herself, and many others, workplace charging was the factor that made EV driving possible.

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Jennifer Hernandez-Munoz

Jennifer joined CEC in late 2018 as an energy assistant. Her focus is creating an Electric Vehicle Blueprint for Ventura County.Before joining CEC, she interned with Central Coast Alliance United for a Sustainable Economy (CAUSE) working on environmental justice issues in Ventura County. This was part of their work with the Clean Energy 805 Coalition.Jennifer has a B.A. in Environmental Studies from the University of California, Santa Cruz.
Jennifer Hernandez-Munoz

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