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City Manager's Office
Press Contact: Matthai Chakko, (510) 981-7008

Explore benefits of electric cars and e-bikes

Berkeley, California (Tuesday, September 03, 2019) - Come see and learn about the newest electric and plug-in hybrid cars, and e-bikes, at a Sept. 14 event highlighting the benefits of zero-emission transportation.

Bring friends and kids to this family-friendly event featuring a bounce house powered by 100% clean energy.

The downtown Berkeley event will give the curious a chance to explore vehicles that have a big environmental, economic and political impact: these cars reduce carbon emissions as well as dependence on foreign oil. Unlike early models, today's electric and plug-in hybrid cars offer a significant range, options for every budget, and the convenience of charging at home, work or on the road.

3rd Annual Ride Electric at the Farmers' Market
Civic Center Park
1940 Allston Way
Saturday Sept. 14, 11am-3pm
Please register

At the September 14 event, current electric vehicle owners will be on hand to share their experiences. If you own an electric vehicle and are interested in showcasing your car or bike, please register. The event will also include resources for accessing clean electricity for your vehicle or bike through rooftop solar through the Bay Area SunShares  bulk discount program, East Bay Community Energy, and more.

The federal tax credit, and state and utility rebates, make electric vehicles and plug-in hybrids more affordable to purchase or lease. Charging a car battery is far less expensive than filling up on gas. And, since electric vehicles do not include many of the moving components of a gas powered car, maintenance costs are also much lower. Imagine never changing your oil again.

For lower income drivers, various programs  help further reduce the costs of buying or leasing a new or used plug-in or hybrid car. The CA State Clean Vehicle Assistance Program, Community Housing Development Corporation Transportation Program, and the Clean Cars for All program offer grants, financing, and help with installing home charging stations.

E-bikes, which can provide a boost for hilly or long commutes and recreational rides, can help drivers get out of their cars and start pedaling. E-bikes can help you climb longer, adventure farther, or just get there a bit faster without a sweat. With e-bikes, you avoid parking fees or fill-ups. 

Transportation accounts for 41% of greenhouse gases statewide - the single largest contributor - and made up 60% of Berkeley's emissions in 2016. Reducing the carbon impact of vehicles primarily requires reducing car trips. Strategies include having denser housing near transit, improving access to transit through programs like bike share, and designing roads to better protect bicyclists and pedestrians.

For those who have to drive, electric vehicles help our climate and local air pollution because they have no tailpipe emissions. Increasing electric vehicle use is a key strategy of Berkeley's voter-inspired Climate Action Plan, which seeks to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 80% by 2050. 

The City of Berkeley supports electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles by offering streamlined, online permitting for home charging stations, a pilot program that allows residents without off-street parking to install curbside stations adjacent to their homes, resources for businesses interested in electric vehicle charging, and public charging stations at the Berkeley Marina, West Branch Berkeley Library, Oxford Garage, Telegraph/Channing Garage, and the newly renovated Center Street Garage.  Additionally, the City is developing an Electric Mobility Roadmap, a plan to increase equitable access to EVs and other forms of electrified transportation.

Berkeley's September 14 Ride Electric  event is supported by our neighboring cities of Alameda, Oakland, Albany and El Cerrito, and is co-hosted by the Ecology Center. Join us at the Farmers' Market to explore and better understand how electric cars and bikes work and can help you save money, improve your commute, and protect our environment.


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