Cuomo rolls out electric car incentives

Source: Saqib Rahim, E&E News reporter • Posted: Wednesday, March 22, 2017

New York rolled out new electric car incentives yesterday, a move that environmentalists hope will buttress the technology as its support erodes in other states and in Washington.

Under a plan announced by Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D), New York will offer rebates of up to $2,000 toward a new plug-in hybrid, all-electric or fuel-cell car.

The $70 million plan also includes funding for charging stations and consumer awareness efforts. New York is aiming to get 800,000 electric vehicles on the road by 2025, up from about 12,000 in 2014.

“With the auto industry’s push to roll back regulations, the U.S. is entering crisis-mode for people’s lungs and pocketbooks,” Conor Bambrick, air and energy director at Environmental Advocates of New York, said in a statement. “This rebate program is the first of many steps the State must take, and it demonstrates that New York has the ability and willingness to break from the status quo despite President Trump’s fossil-fuel agenda.”

New York is part of an eight-state group that wants to deploy 3.3 million zero-emission vehicles (ZEVs) by 2025. New York’s share is 800,000.

Roughly 540,000 electric vehicles have been sold in the United States to date, according to charging station company ChargePoint Inc.

Transportation represents the largest source of greenhouse gas emissions in the state. Cuomo said the cars will advance the state’s goal of cutting these emissions 40 percent by 2030.

Thirty models are eligible for the new rebates. The incentive rises for cars that have greater all-electric range, as rated by U.S. EPA, and tops out at $2,000. If the car’s list price is over $60,000, however, the rebate tops out at $500.

The rebates take effect at the car dealership. They can be combined with the federal tax credit of $7,500.

The measures come as electric car incentives are losing ground at the state level, according to a report in The New York Times. Illinois, Pennsylvania and Tennessee have let their incentives expire, and the Colorado Legislature is considering a bill to end its tax breaks for electric vehicles.

The total number of states that offer financial support to electric car shoppers has dwindled from 25 to 16, according to the report.

Meanwhile, EPA is moving to review fuel economy standards set by the Obama administration (Climatewire, March 15).