As gas prices rise, Stockton drivers consider electric vehicles

When Stockton resident Joe Snow placed an order for his first electric vehicle in September, a Tesla Model Y, he didn’t know California would see record-breaking gas prices the following year. He just knew he wanted to cut the cost of his commute down.

“I’m a super commuter. I travel 125 miles a day to work and back,” Snow said. “I was working from home during the pandemic for the past two years, and my work asked all of us to start making our way back to the office.”

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Snow said he placed an order for his Tesla in September 2021 for an anticipated delivery in March 2022, which is the time he needed to return to the office.

“At first, I was supercharging at the mall in Manteca, but eventually I bought my own level 2 charger for my house,” Snow said. “Now each day before I leave for work, it’s like I have a full tank.”

Snow said his work also provides two hours of free charging daily for employees who own electric vehicles, but there are more incentives that come with making the switch from gasoline to electric.

The California Air Resources Board offers point-of-sale rebates of up to $750 for the purchase or lease of a new all-electric or plug-in hybrid electric vehicle through the Clean Fuel Reward Program.

Dru Sutton attaches a charger to his Hyundai Ioniq 5 electric vehicle at the Electrify America charging station Wednesday at the Walmart on Trinity Parkway in Stockton.

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PG&E also offers incentives of up to $2,500 per income-eligible single family household to help cover the cost of purchasing and installing EV charging equipment.

In addition, the Drive Clean in the San Joaquin program provides rebates to San Joaquin Valley residents and businesses for the purchase or lease of new, clean-air vehicles. To be considered for a rebate, all-electric or plug-in hybrid electric vehicle owners can fill out an application at

“I received $3,000 back as a rebate,” Snow said.

The cost of gasoline, and clean air incentive programs, are causing many Stockton residents to consider switching to electric or hybrid electric vehicles like Snow.

Claus Weigand attaches a charger to his Polestar 2 electric vehicle Wednesday at the Electrify America charging station at the Walmart on Trinity Parkway in Stockton.

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Gas prices hit record highs statewide in March, with the average price of a gallon of unleaded regular gasoline in Stockton reaching $5.58 that month, according to GasBuddy.

The cost of gasoline has gone down slightly since then, with the cheapest gas in Stockton currently at Delta 88 on 5611 E. Waterloo Road at $5.49 per gallon, according to GasBuddy.

But gas prices are still hurting consumers’ wallets.

“When I saw gas prices were going up, I was very thankful that I got my car at the right time before it started to skyrocket,” Snow said.

Ashley Zapata, a regular commuter, said she decided to purchase a Toyota Highlander Hybrid when gas prices started to skyrocket. She used to drive a Chevrolet Trailblazer to work.

A Nissan Leaf electric vehicle charges at a ChargePoint charging station Wednesday at the Arco AM/PM gas station on March and West lanes in Stockton.

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“I travel about 100 miles a day for work so I’m always looking to save money on gas,” Zapata said.

Zapata said now she only has to fill up her car about once a week.

“If I drove a gasoline car, I’m sure it would be much more than that,” Zapata said. “I’m saving probably $250 a month.”

With the amount of money that could potentially be saved, Zapata said it’s no surprise that more people are starting to make the switch from gasoline to electric or hybrid electric vehicles.

“I would recommend it because my husband filled up our tank in our Trailblazer today and it was over $100,” Zapata said. “The Highlander is bigger and it costs about $70 to fill. I believe it’s worth it.”

EVAdoption projects that EV sales should grow to reach approximately 29.5% of all new car sales in 2030.

Record reporter Hannah Workman covers news in Stockton and San Joaquin County. She can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter @byhannahworkman. Support local news, subscribe to The Stockton Record at

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