Interest in e-vehicles rise with gas prices

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- As the price at the pump rises, so is the interest in electric vehicles.

A Central California group is seeing more applications for their EV program, which aims to get more residents to make the switch.

"Just in the last two weeks, we've seen a 46% increase in people inquiring about the program and wanting to apply, and that's compared to the same time-frame last month," shared Yanni Gonzalez, communications director for the Clean Vehicle Empowerment Collaborative. "Our website also has increased the traffic. So we're seeing the 57% increase on our website."

The EV Equity Program, launched by the organization, provides assistance to eligible San Joaquin Valley residents making the switch to electric -- more than $13,000.

"One of our clients was recognized by the Governor's office as California's one millionth EV owner," Gonzalez said. "It was very, very exciting."

According to Gonzalez, the program has put 11 people in electric vehicles so far this year, with 64 of its clients currently in the purchasing phase. This puts them on the right track to surpass their goal of 75 by the end of 2022.

With how things are trending, he said it could be even more.

"We're not doing anything different to try and attract people. This is, you know, two factors," he explained. "The increased price of gas. And of course, our families are getting into new electric vehicles, and they're letting their friends and family know."

The organization is getting more staff to focus on the EV Equity Program and working with organizations to handle an expected increase in applications.

"We want to make sure that everybody who's interested can work with our programs so that they can get into these new EVs," said Gonzalez.

The organization plans to hold more test drive events, similar to one held in east central Fresno at the end of 2021.

For more information on the EV Equity Program, and to see if you're eligible, visit the website.

Copyright © 2022 KFSN-TV. All Rights Reserved.