San Diego: Test Drive a plug-in car for free tomorrow


What is it like to live with a plug-in car? A promotional event for electric vehicles in San Diego on Saturday will offer a close-up look and discussions of the latest in green car technology, including a test drive of new models.

California plug-in car sales surpassed 100,000 in August, as state and federal authorities encourage drivers to reduce their dependence on gasoline and diesel fuel.

Major car makers have expanded their offerings to more than 15 plug-in models since the Nissan Leaf and Chevy Volt debuted in 2010.

Experts from San Diego Gas & Electric will be on hand at the event to answer questions about the economics of vehicle charging and discount rates for late-night charging. And a variety of charging stations and equipment will be on display.

The Center for Sustainable Energy, administrator of California’s clean-car rebates, will provide up-to-date information about government incentives.

State rebates of up to $2,500 are available toward the purchase or lease of plug-in vehicles. A federal tax credit can offset another $7,500 in costs.

Organizers of the event expect the following vehicles will be available to test drive:

  • BMW i3
  • Chevy Spark EV, Volt
  • Ecocentre M Car, Van, Truck
  • Fiat 500e, 500e Sport
  • Ford C-Max Energi, Focus EV, Fusion Energi
  • Mitsubishi i-MiEV
  • Nissan LEAF
  • MY14 smart fortwo electric drive cabriolet, electric drive coupe

The Cadillac ELR and Tesla Model S will be on display, though not available to drive.

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