Jerome Mayfield had an old pickup truck that failed smog, but thanks to a scrap-and-replace pilot program in the San Joaquin Valley he’s now the proud owner of a zero-emission 2013 Nissan Leaf.
He hasn’t bought gas in more than a year, and he goes everywhere in his battery-electric car—to church, to the grocery store—all while passing gas stations along the way.
“I pass the gas stations every day,” he said. “By the time I get where I’m going I still have a lot of battery life left. Electric vehicles are really nice. They are really fast, too. It just takes off.”
Jerome likes, too, that there’s no need to check the oil – or pay for oil changes. He says the car “charges like a cell phone,” and even though he plugs it in at home his PG&E bill is virtually unaffected.
Jerome qualified for the scrap-and-replace program because his car was old and polluting and his income is modest. The 54-year-old Stockton resident is on Social Security Income disability benefits because of a medical condition that prevents him from working. The program, which is administered by the San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District, helps people of low-income replace old, polluting vehicles with cleaner, more fuel efficient vehicles.
Jerome learned about the program while attending an event hosted by nonprofit Valley CAN to reduce pollution from older vehicles still on the road. It was there he learned he qualified for $9,500 toward the down payment of an electric car. Once he found electric cars priced at $12,900, he figured out he’d owe just $3,400.
Jerome could not believe he was going to get a clean car until he was given a check for $9,500 with his name on it, he saw the silver Nissan Leaf he’d picked out with a bow on it and “they had the keys dangling real close to me,” he says.
Jerome has had the car for more than a year now. He doesn’t miss his old 1989 Chevy Silverado pickup and he loves his all-electric Nissan Leaf, which has just 30,000 miles on it. He says it’s good for the environment, sure, but, more importantly for him: “I don’t have to buy gas!” he says, with a wide smile.