A new state program offering consumers cash rebates of up to $3,000 for purchasing or leasing eligible electric vehicles (EVs) is successfully creating interest and spurring sales, according to Connecticut's Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP).
During a recent event at Karl Chevrolet in New Canaan, Conn., DEEP Commissioner Robert Klee said, ‘Consumers 'get' that the rebate puts money right back in their pocket and makes the cost of an EV competitive with the price of a conventional vehicle. This will help put more of these vehicles on the road, reducing carbon emissions linked to climate change as well as conventional pollutants.’
According to the DEEP, since the Connecticut Hydrogen and Electric Vehicle Purchase Rebate (CHEAPR) program was announced on May 19, more than $200,250 in rebates have been paid out or committed for 101 eligible EVs. Rebates are available for eligible battery electric, fuel cell electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles.
Jim Fleming, president of the Connecticut Automotive Retailers Association (CARA), said the group's members support the program as “a great way to promote the sale of electric vehicles in the state and ultimately help the state's clean air initiatives.”
The DEEP says the CHEAPR initiative is the latest step in Connecticut's effort to encourage the use of alternative vehicles. Through EVConnecticut, for example, the DEEP has already provided about $400,000 in grants to fund the installation of 184 EV chargers – some of which are still being installed – that are available to the public for free. With chargers funded through the EVConnecticut grant program and those installed by other entities, the DEEP says there are currently 361 publicly available EV chargers in the state.
The agency also notes the CHEAPR will help Connecticut achieve the goals of the eight-state, bi-coastal Zero Emission Vehicle (ZEV) Action Plan designed to put 3.3 million zero-emission vehicles on the road by 2025.
According to R.L. Polk and Company, which provides data on the automotive industry, there are more than 3,000 EVs currently registered in Connecticut.