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Electric Vehicles Discount Program Information Session Set

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WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — The Williamstown COOL Committee is sponsoring an information session on "Drive Green with Mass Energy," a special program that offers electric cars for purchase or lease at significantly discounted prices, at the Williamstown Youth Center at 66 School Street on Thursday, Feb. 16, from 6:30 to 8 p.m.

Staff from the nonprofit Center for EcoTechnology will describe the Drive Green with Mass Energy program, which was launched in November by nonprofit Mass Energy Consumers Alliance (Mass Energy) and now runs through June 30. Drivers will be able to buy or lease cars at significant discounts below standard pricing.

Mass Energy has negotiated the discounts with several dealers throughout Massachusetts and Rhode Island. Anyone can participate and buy or lease an electric vehicle through a participating dealer. The available cars will include the Chevrolet Volt, Nissan Leaf, Ford Fusion Energi and Ford C-Max Energi. A waiting list will be set up for the new Chevrolet Bolt, which should be available by the end of 2017.

The session will provide an opportunity for people to have their questions about electric vehicles answered. Clark Semon, a local electric car owner, will share his experience and bring his Nissan Leaf for attendees to view first-hand.

According to Mass Energy, discounts on purchase prices for the listed vehicles will be up to $10,000 below the Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP). These discounts will be additional to a federal tax credit of up to $7,500 and a state rebate of up to $2,500. Taken together, the purchase price will be up to $20,000 less than the MSRP.

"People have been asking what they can do about climate change on a local level, and given that as much as one third of our greenhouse gas emissions come from the cars we drive, we are pleased that electric vehicles are now an affordable option to reduce our emissions," Wendy Penner, chair of the Williamstown COOL Committee, said.

About 15 dealers have signed up for the Drive Green with Mass Energy program, including several in western Massachusetts.

There are several specific points that CET staff will emphasize:


1. Electricity can dramatically reduce a driver's carbon footprint.

2. Running a car on electricity costs less than gasoline and electric cars are less expensive to maintain than a car fueled by gas.

3. The federal tax credit and state rebate are generous.

4. Discounts available through the Drive Green with Mass Energy program are possible because of the group buying concept.

5. The range of electric cars has increased recently.

6. It’s easy for most people to charge their car at home and to find charging stations away from home.

Drive Green with Mass Energy is based upon successful EV group buy programs in Colorado and Utah. Mass Energy believes it is the first such program in the Northeast.

The session is being sponsored by the Center for EcoTechnology and the Williamstown COOL Committee.  For more information about Drive Green with Mass Energy, visit the program's web page.

 


Tags: energy efficiency,   

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Berkshire DA: Up to Towns to Handle Officers on 'Brady List'

By Stephen DravisiBerkshires Staff
WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — If Select Board members hoped the Berkshire County district attorney would offer direction on how the town should deal with the impact of having a police officer on her office's "Brady list," they were very disappointed.
 
Twice during an hourlong presentation at Monday's Select Board meeting, District Attorney Andrea Harrington said it was not her office's place to tell towns how to respond when the county's prosecutor decides one of the municipality's law enforcement officers has a history that needs to be revealed to defense attorneys or, worse, that an officer's history is so concerning that he or she cannot be used as a prosecution witness without approval of a supervisor.
 
The town currently has 11 full-time officers — including one on administrative leave since March and another pulling double duty as lieutenant and interim chief. A third has been placed on Harrington's "do not call" list, meaning the DA has determined the officer has "made misrepresentations about material facts in a criminal investigation," she said Monday in Williamstown Elementary School's gymnasium.
 
Some in the community have wondered whether having an officer on the do-not-call list, particularly when the department already is short-handed, creates an issue for the department's efficiency. Many residents have suggested that the town should remove the officer on the list and replace him with an officer who can be fully functional.
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