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New state initiative provides cash rebates for buying electric cars

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2016 Chevrolet Bolt

HARTFORD–If you’re in the market for a new vehicle and want to save some money, you might want to consider an electric vehicle.

On Tuesday, Gov. Dan Malloy announced a new cash rebate for residents who buy or lease electric vehicles.

The Connecticut Hydrogen and Electric Automobile Purchase Rebate Program is the last step for EVConnecticut, a Department of Energy and Environmental Protection program geared towards encouraging people to buy electric to help protect the environment. Connecticut is part of an eight-state initiative called the Zero Emission Vehicle Action Plan, which is intended to put 3.3 million zero-emission cars on the road by 2025.

“This rebate puts money right back in people’s pockets and makes the cost of purchasing or leasing an electric vehicle competitive with the price of a conventional car,” Malloy said.  “Putting more Connecticut drivers behind the wheel of an EV is what it will take to drive down harmful carbon emissions linked to climate change, reduce conventional pollutants that threaten our air quality and public health, and help motorists reduce the cost of owning and operating a car.”

The program offers between $750 and $3000 in cash rebates depending on the car’s battery capacity, or how far the car can travel on battery. Residents, businesses and municipalities are all eligible. Here’s the breakdown:

  • $3,000 is available for vehicles with a battery capacity of 18 kWh or more for any fuel cell electric vehicle, including, but not limited to, the Nissan Leaf, Volkswagen e-Golf, Ford Focus electric, BMW i3 and Mercedes Benz B class
  • $1,500 is available for vehicles with a battery capacity of seven to 18 kWh, including, but not limited to, the Chevy Volt, Ford C-Max and Fusion Energi
  • $750 is available for vehicles with a battery capacity of less than 7 kWh, including, but not limited to the 2015 Toyota Prius Plug-In

The rebates are being funded from $1 million made available to the state through an agreement that allowed the merger of Northeast Utilities and NSTAR into Eversource. The rebates will be available until the money runs out, though it may be extended if additional funding becomes available.

According to R.L. Polk and Company, which provides data on the automotive industry, there are 2,754 electric vehicles currently registered in Connecticut.

Before this rebate initiative, EVConnecticut held other incentive programs for residents, including a contest that offered awards to dealerships that sold or leased the most electric vehicles and provided $400,000 in grants to fund the installation of electric vehicle chargers throughout the state free of charge to the public.

“CHEAPR rebates will help us address carbon emissions in the transportation sector, which is critical to achieving Connecticut’s climate change goals,” Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection Commissioner Robert Klee said.  “The cars and trucks we all drive are the largest single source of carbon emissions in our state, accounting for about 40 percent of the greenhouse gases produced here. Gasoline powered cars and trucks are also the single, biggest in-state source of pollutants that produce ozone.”

In addition to the state’s new rebate incentive, there is a Federal Income Tax Credit available for customres buying new plug-in electric vehicles. That credit ranges from $2,500 to $7,500.

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