Connecticut’s Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) says it is strengthening efforts to promote the sale of electric vehicles (EVs) with an additional $1 million in funding for its consumer rebate initiative. Furthermore, the agency is launching a new grant program under the existing initiative to encourage state agencies and local governments to purchase EVs and install charging stations.
DEEP’s consumer rebate program – known as the Connecticut Hydrogen and Electric Automobile Purchase Rebate (CHEAPR) program – provides a cash rebate of up to $3,000 for Connecticut residents, businesses and municipalities who purchase or lease an eligible EV. EVs covered by CHEAPR include battery electric, fuel cell and plug-in hybrid vehicles.
Rebates offered through CHEAPR are on a sliding scale, with the maximum $3,000 amount for those who purchase or lease an EV with the greatest battery capacity. Rebates of $1,500 and $750 will be provided for EVs that travel shorter distances on battery power.
Since the program was launched in May, more than $632,000 in rebates have been issued or reserved for the purchase or lease of 278 vehicles.
The original funding for the rebate program, which is being administered through the EVConnecticut program, came from $1 million available to the state through an agreement that allowed for the merger of Northeast Utilities and NSTAR in April 2012.
The new $1 million in funding is available as a result of revenues the state receives from its participation in the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI), a program designed to reduce carbon emissions from electric generating facilities.
Revenues from the RGGI are also being used to provide more than $1 million in grants to cities and towns and state agencies who purchase eligible EVs for their fleets and install charging stations for their use, as well as for the public.
The DEEP says this new grant program, which is under the CHEAPR umbrella, will provide a reimbursement of $15,000 per EV and $10,000 per charger meeting the program guidance specifications. The grant guidelines limit recipients to a maximum of six EVs and chargers.
The agency says the focus on charging stations – as well as on sales of EVs – builds on the DEEP’s efforts to develop a statewide, publicly available charging network. An EVConnecticut grant program has financed the installation of 134 publicly available charging stations with 194 plugs. These stations are part of a network of 187 publicly available charging stations with 419 plugs across the state.
“Connecticut has made tremendous strides over a short period of time in helping to put more EVs on the road,” says DEEP Commissioner Robert Klee. “We remain committed to this effort because it represents a ‘triple win’ that comes along with increasing our energy independence by reducing fossil fuel consumption, creating new opportunities for growing our green economy and improving public health.”
Klee also notes the expanded consumer rebate initiative and new grant program will help Connecticut meet its goals as part of an eight-state effort to put 3.3 million zero-emission vehicles on the road by 2025.