Gov. Malloy Announces Funding to Continue Connecticut’s Popular Rebate Program for Electric Vehicles

This article was published on: 11/22/16 5:10 PM by Mike Minarsky

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Additional $2.7 Million in Funding Will Continue to Provide Rebates to Consumers

(HARTFORD, CT) – Governor Dannel P. Malloy today announced that due to the ongoing success of a consumer rebate program he launched last year to promote the sale of electric vehicles (EVs), an additional $2.7 million in new funding is being made available to continue this popular initiative. He made the announcement during the opening ceremony of the 2016 Connecticut International Auto Show in Hartford, which brings together dozens of manufacturers and car dealers to showcase their latest models being offered to consumers, including many EVs.

The Connecticut Hydrogen and Electric Automobile Purchase Rebate Program – known as “CHEAPR” – provides a cash rebate for residents, businesses, and municipalities who purchase or lease a battery electric, fuel cell, or plug-in hybrid vehicle. Fuel cell powered EVs receive the largest rebate of $5,000, while plug-in hybrid and full battery electric EVs receive incentives ranging from $750 to $3,000, based on battery size.

“This rebate program puts money back into consumers’ pockets while also supporting local retailers by helping make the price of electric vehicles competitive with a conventional car,” Governor 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.”

Since the launch of CHEAPR in May 2015 more than $2 million in rebates have been issued or reserved for the purchase or lease of 960 electric vehicles in Connecticut. Consumers purchasing EVs have the option to receive a reduction in the price of their vehicles under this initiative at the point-of-sale. This upfront cost reduction is critical because EVs may cost more than their conventional counterparts, and their residual value can be lower because of their rapidly evolving technology. Eighty-one percent of consumers have transferred their rebate to their dealer and received the rebate immediately.

Funding for CHEAPR, which is administered through the EVConnecticut program, comes from money that was made available to the state as a result of an agreement that allowed for the merger of Northeast Utilities and NSTAR. The merger of those companies, now known as Eversource Energy, was completed in April 2012.

The initiative was created by the state in consultation with the Connecticut Automotive Retailers Association (CARA), a statewide trade association representing over 250 franchised new car and truck dealerships primarily engaged in the retail sale of new and used motor vehicles, both foreign and domestically produced.

“Electric vehicle incentive programs are extremely effective, and this rebate helps consumers think about alternatives that are good for the environment as well as their bottom line when deciding to invest in a new car,” Jim Fleming, President of CARA, said. “CARA thanks Governor Malloy for having the foresight to secure this additional funding and continuing to strengthen the EV market in Connecticut.”

Commissioner Rob Klee of the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection, which administers EVConnecticut, explained that continuing the consumer rebate initiative will help the state meet its goals as part of an eight-state effort to put 3.3 million zero emission vehicles (ZEVs) on the road by 2025, and that Connecticut will continue to find creative means to support the development and roll out of adequate infrastructure and other efforts to promote the market uptake of plug-in electric and fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEVs).

“We need to put more Connecticut drivers behind the wheel of an EV 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,” Commissioner Klee said. “The transportation sector is responsible for about 40 percent of the carbon emissions in Connecticut and we must address that challenge if we are going to meet the state’s aggressive climate change target of reducing emissions 80% from 2001 levels by 2050.”

During today’s Connecticut International Auto Show opening ceremony, Commissioner Klee recognized the Chevy Volt as the first ever “2016 CHEAPR EV of the Year” as the result of that vehicle’s popularity under the CHEAPR program. Since the launch of the program, 327 Volts have received rebates – nearly double that of the second place EV. The second generation Volt has a 53-mile rated electric-only range. Nearly 90 percent of all trips can be made solely on electricity as the average driver travels no more than 40 miles per day.

“With a total range of up to 420 miles, the Volt offers the freedom to drive anywhere,” Megan Scranton, Dealer Principle of Scranton Motors in Vernon, said. “Chevy continues to innovate, and we will soon see the new Chevy Bolt, recently named 2017 Motor Trend Car of the Year with a 238-mile all-electric range, on show room floors in Connecticut.”

Consumers seeking additional information about the CHEAPR program should visit www.evconnecticut.com.

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