With fuel prices on the rise, an increasing number of Yuba-Sutter residents are considering alternative vehicle solutions – such as electric cars.
“It’s been a great boom in the community,” said Dianna Coggan, the assistant manager at New Earth Market in Yuba City. New Earth has a designated charging station for electric cars and a specific charging area for Teslas.
“We’ve had regular charging stations for about a year. We got the Tesla stations this spring. I believe we have the only Tesla charging station in the area.”
Coggan said customers can come during normal business hours and charge their vehicles free of charge. Although the stations are designed for customer use only, she said they don’t have charging station police on duty. Coggan also said that popularity has increased within the last few months.
“Before, there would only be a few electric cars out there. Now just about every station gets filled up,” she said.
New Earth has two regular charging stations and 10 Tesla stations because of a lease agreement they have with Tesla.
Mike Singh, a Yuba City resident utilized the New Earth charging station Thursday after his Tesla died while he was at Starbucks. He purchased a Tesla a few months ago and said this was the first time something like that happened.
“This was completely my fault,” Singh said. “I left something on in my car so it drained it but I love Teslas. They are the future.”
Singh said his vehicle takes some 40 minutes to charge and lasts about 300 miles. He said many people worry about the hassle of charging electric cars but it’s worth it.”
“I’ve driven Ferrari’s, Benz’s, Range Rovers- but nothing beats this car,” Singh said.
Randy Potts, the owner of Randy’s Towing in Yuba City said that electric cars are pretty reliable.
“In a month I’ll probably only tow three to four electric cars,” he said. “They can go pretty far and most drivers seem responsible enough to charge them on time.”
Other Tesla owners agree.
“I love it. It’s the technology, it’s convenient and it saves you money with not having to pay for gas,” said Greg Mikaelsen, a Yuba City resident who has been driving his Tesla Model S for two years.
Mikaelsen commutes to Modesto for work and said he only has to charge his vehicle about three days per week which isn’t much different than the number of times someone might have to fill up a gas tank per week if they’re traveling the same distance.
“There’s something called charging phobia to describe people who obsess about charging their cars but it’s nothing to stress over. Most vehicles will keep you updated with the number of miles you have left and the nearest station,” he said.
According to chargehub.com, there are 16 total public electric car charging locations in Yuba-Sutter.
“I still have a gas powered car. I’m not ready to make a complete switch just yet, but I’m getting close. I’ll probably always have an electric car,” Mikaelsen said.
Most electric cars can be purchased at new car lots.
“They’re good cars. ... Most people who buy them keep them.” said Matt Smith, a sales associate at Sunrise Modern Classic Motors, a used car dealership in Yuba City.
Most new car dealerships in Yuba-Sutter sell electric vehicles that also have the option to use fuel.
“There aren’t many fully electric models like the Tesla, “ said David Arce, a sales associate at Yuba City Toyota. “We have the Prius Prime which gives you the option of gas or plugging it in,” he said.
Fully electric vehicles like the Nissan Leaf, Chevy Bolt, and other fully electric model vehicles can be purchased at Nissan Yuba City, John L. Sullivan , and Geweke Ford in Yuba City.
For more information on electric vehicles check with your nearest dealership.