Beginning this month, Connecticut will sweeten financial incentives to buy or lease electric vehicles, hiking rebate amounts and broadening eligibility to include used cars, Gov. Ned Lamont announced Monday.
The additional incentives are a temporary supplement to an existing rebate program called the Connecticut Hydrogen and Electric Automobile Purchase Rebate. Since 2015, the CHEAPR program has provided a rebate of between $500 and $5,000 for the purchase of a new EV, depending on the type of vehicle.
The traditional rebate amounts jump to between $750 and $7,500 under the expansion announced this week. It also creates two new rebate programs, offering as much as an additional $2,000 for a new vehicle and a rebate of as much as $7,500 for a used vehicle.
In a press release, Lamont called the rebate a “remarkably successful” program that had provided more than $12 million in cash back to electric vehicle consumers.
“Today, I’m proud to announce that we’re making CHEAPR even better by adopting new incentives under the Rebate+ program for folks who may have a difficult time affording a new electric car and we’re also excited to become one of just a few states to expand EV incentives to used vehicles,” Lamont said.
The rebates apply to vehicles that cost $42,000 or less. Currently there are about 30 vehicles eligible for the incentives. They include Battery Electric Vehicles (BEVs), Plug-In Hybrid Electric Vehicles (PHEVs), and Fuel Cell Electric Vehicles (FCEVs).
The increased rebate amounts will continue through the end of 2021 or until funds are exhausted. The program is funded by a fee on new vehicle sales and online vehicle registrations, according to the press release.
State officials hope the initiative will put Connecticut closer to its electric vehicle goals. The state has committed to having between 125,000 and 150,000 electric vehicles on its roads by 2025 as part of a Zero Emissions Vehicle understanding with seven other states. As of Jan. 1, there were 13,800 electric vehicles registered in Connecticut.
“These new and increased incentives will go a long way toward expanding the pool of consumers able to invest in an electric vehicle,” Energy and Environmental Protection Commissioner Katie Dykes said. “This is an important step in the state’s pursuit of a zero-emission transportation future that promises cleaner air and will create new jobs in Connecticut’s green economy.”
The incentives now include for new vehicles:
–As much as $4,250 for a new Battery Electric Vehicle, up from $1,500.
–Up to $2,250 for a new Plug-In Hybrid Electric Vehicle, up from $500.
–As much as $9,500 for a new Fuel Cell Electric Vehicle, up from $5,000.
For eligible used vehicles the incentives include:
–$3,000 for a Battery Electric Vehicle.
–$1,125 for a Plug-In Hybrid Electric Vehicle.
–$7,500 for a Fuel Cell Electric Vehicle.
During this year’s legislative session, lawmakers on the Transportation Committee pushed another initiative aimed at boosting the number of electric vehicles on the roads. The bill, which died on the Senate calendar, would have allowed a handful of exclusively electric vehicle manufacturers to bypass state dealership laws and sell cars directly to consumers. Connecticut auto dealers have opposed attempts to change the law.