electric car

Loren Sande of Clear Lake pulls his electric charging cable out of his Tesla on Saturday at a National Drive Electric Week event in Anacortes.

ANACORTES — Why buy an electric car?

Electric car owners said Saturday it comes down to reducing their carbon footprint, cheaper maintenance and operation costs — and they’re fun to drive.

About 20 community members brought electric cars to display, and some offered rides, as part of National Drive Electric Week, which was held together with the annual Anacortes Community Energy Fair.

“We did it last year and we had eight cars,” said Susan Crippen of Anacortes. “This year it’s really blossomed.”

This spring, the state Legislature reinstated a sales tax credit incentive for the purchase of electric cars.

Leslie Myers, a representative for Puget Sound Energy at the event, said as of August, drivers can receive a sales tax credit up to $2,500 for the purchase or lease of a new electric vehicle under $45,000, and up to $1,600 on a used electric vehicle under $30,000.

“It’s really targeted toward people who are not looking for luxury cars, but your average, everyday cars,” she said.

Bob Hall of Anacortes said he bought a Nissan Leaf for $24,000 in 2016.

“Our main reason was to cut our carbon footprint, and after that, money,” he said. “It’s much cheaper to run. I’ve had to go into the dealer twice.”

Bruce Baglien of Anacortes said as an electric car owner, he most frequently gets questions on cost and access to electric charging stations. He said while he paid about $49,000 for the more expensive Tesla, he believes the savings in gas and maintenance over the car’s life is well worth it.

“I think I won’t buy another car,” he said. “They expect the battery to last 500,000 miles.”

As for electric charging stations, many are free, including several in Anacortes, he said.

He said there should be even more incentives for people to buy electric cars, such as free parking for electric vehicles.

Loren Sande of Clear Lake said he bought a Tesla this spring because of the car’s longevity and to cut pollution.

He said prices will go down as costs to manufacture electric car parts, such as batteries, go down.

The car’s acceleration, 0 to 60 mph in about 5 seconds, was also a draw.

“It makes me feel young, like I’m 16,” he said.

— Reporter Jacqueline Allison: jallison@skagitpublishing.com, 360-416-2145, Twitter: @Jacqueline_SVH

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