JACKSON, Wyo. — Have you wanted to test drive an electric vehicle (EV) but haven’t had the opportunity? Now is your chance! Yellowstone-Teton Clean Cities (YTCC) was awarded a grant from Teton Conservation District to offer the EV Experience program, allowing Lower Valley Energy co-op members to test-drive an electric vehicle for free, to learn about the technology and determine if an electric vehicle fits their daily driving needs.
YTCC partnered with Lower Valley Energy (LVE) to host and develop the program as well as Energy Conservation Works to support program development and marketing efforts. Currently, dealerships in Jackson and surrounding areas seldom have electric vehicles on the lot available for test drives. This program was developed to provide access to those interested in testing an electric vehicle.
Project partners will host a virtual ribbon cutting on Thursday, Sept.9 at 1 p.m. The program will be live-streamed from Lower Valley Energy’s Jackson office. Please join the live stream by visiting Energy Conservation Works’ Facebook page.
There are many questions a consumer rightfully has when considering purchasing an electric vehicle.
Can I charge at home? How far can an electric vehicle go before I need to charge? Will there be charging stations located where I need them along my route? Is there anything tricky about driving an electric vehicle? How does it handle mountainous terrain?
The EV Experience will help answer these frequent questions, through first-hand experience.
“YTCC has provided electric vehicle education and awareness programs since 2012 but the missing piece has always been the ability for folks to get behind the wheel and simply take an electric vehicle for a spin. These test drives help provide the answer to many of the questions a potential EV owner may have. We’re very excited to help provide this resource to our community,” states Alicia Cox, executive director of Yellowstone-Teton clean cities.
“As the local electricity provider, we are excited to participate in this program to help educate our membership on the benefits of electric vehicles,” says Amy Walton, conservation manager at Lower Valley Energy.
This free program allows individuals one to three days to try the 2020 Chevrolet Bolt with a range of over 250 miles and free charging at numerous stations provided by the Town of Jackson, Teton County, Teton Village Association and local businesses. This iteration of the program will run for three years.
“We are very excited to work with our great partners to offer LVE members access to an EV to see how it fits the Jackson lifestyle,’ added Phil Cameron, executive director of Energy Conservation Works. ‘We know these vehicles cost less to operate, and with our clean electricity mix, drastically reduce emissions. We’re excited to give more community members a chance to get behind the wheel!”
We are in the midst of an electric vehicle boom with almost every major car manufacturer has made aggressive and financially significant electric vehicle production targets. There are currently 26 all-electric models and 44 plug-in hybrid electric vehicle models on the market. Starting this fall, light-duty pick-up trucks, a vehicle segment of particular interest to our mountainous area, could be available. The roll-out of the electrified version of the United States’ best-selling vehicle, the F-150 Lightning, as well as trucks from GM and others, begin spring of 2022, with Rivian slated for truck deliveries this month.
In the United States, transportation is the largest greenhouse gas-emitting sector, with 29% of all greenhouse gas emissions attributed to transportation. Of that amount, 58% of all transportation emissions result from light-duty vehicles. Locally, 65% of our emissions are attributed to ground transportation. Driving an electric vehicle in Teton County reduces lifetime emissions by 96% with Lower Valley Energy’s clean electrical grid-mix and reduces tailpipe emissions to zero. And if you choose to purchase Green Power through Lower Valley Energy, your total emissions reduce to zero.
This program is an excellent example of community partnerships, including those who have worked to offer this specific program but also the Town of Jackson, Teton County, Teton Village Association and local businesses who have invested in electric vehicle charging station infrastructure in this community, allowing for a program such as this to be successful.
If you are interested in signing up for the program visit Lower Valley’s website. If you are interested in purchasing an electric vehicle or other alternative fuels and would like supportive information and resources, please reach out to Yellowstone-Teton Clean Cities staff.