UCSF Sustainability Stories

Sophia Labeko, January 29, 2021

Unbelievable Deal on an EV – Save Up to $20K

Kathleen Burke, RN, of UCSF Emergency Medicine, made a quick and seemingly rash decision to purchase an electric vehicle (EV), over one June weekend in 2017. Although she was in the market for a new car, as her 2004 Volvo V70 wagon reached 180,000 miles, she hadn’t considered an EV because she didn’t know much about it.

A UCSF Sustainability newsletter announcement promoting EV discounts, specifically $10K towards a 2017 Nissan Leaf, piqued Kathleen’s interest and the approaching coupon expiration date put that interest in gear.

With time of the essence, Kathleen and her husband headed to the East Bay Nissan dealership to learn a little about the EV and to test drive. Trading the safety of the Volvo station wagon for a small car was concerning, but the Leaf handled great and the interior was roomy and comfortable.

Discounts and Rebates
Satisfied with the test drive, Kathleen researched additional discounts applicable to the $34,000 EV and decided that it was too good to pass up. In total, she was saving a remarkable $20,500 on this purchase, “yes, really!”

She kindly broke down all applicable discounts and rebates:

UCSF Nissan coupon (2017): $10K (accepted at Nissan dealership)
Federal Tax Credit (2017): $7.5K (filed on 2017 tax return)
California Clean Vehicle Rebate Program (CVRP 2017): $2.5K (check in mail)
PG&E Clean Fuel Rebate 2017: $500 (check in mail)

Initially, the idea of charging her car intimidated Kathleen. Where to charge it? How to charge it? Will she need a charging station at home? All good questions, considering she was trying something new.

As it turns out, the Leaf can be plugged into a regular 120- or 240-volt outlet. Kathleen’s car came with a Level 1 (120-volt) charger, which is the least expensive version but takes longer to charge.

Kathleen has figured out that charging her car overnight gives her plenty of power to complete the 38-mile round trip from Oakland to UCSF. To keep the overnight charging cost low, she signed up with PG&E’s Electric Vehicle plan, which provides the cheapest electric rates overnight. If she needs a little extra charge during the day, she can use a Level 2 (240-volt) charger available at the UCSF parking lots.

What else?
Kathleen reports her commute has improved by 45 minutes, and it’s not because she zips around faster in the smaller car. Driving an EV qualifies her to use the HOV lanes during commute hours. This means she’s no longer just sitting in traffic, she’s moving past it–saving time, money, and our limited natural resources.

On top of everything else: the car doesn’t require an oil change, is associated with little maintenance cost, and has all the safety features of a new car.

This particular discount offer might not be available right now, we update them as dealer promotions change. Kathleen encourages our readers to do their own research into additional discounts and rebates before purchasing. Review currently available EV discounts.