NY Launches $70M Electric Car Rebate And Outreach Initiative

Mar 21, 2017

New York Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul made a stop in Albany Tuesday to make a clean energy announcement.

New York, electricity and electric cars have a long history, as evidenced by this sign in downtown Albany.
Credit WAMC photo by Dave Lucas

At the gleaming new Albany Convention Center, Hochul announced an effort to incentivize New Yorkers to avail themselves of a technology involving clean energy that's been in use more than a century.  "We've had electric vehicles in the state of New York for 115 years. They started in Buffalo in 1902. And the reason they started electric vehicles is that women had difficulty operating the crank. So some ingenious person at Buffalo Electric Motor Company came up with the idea that we could deal with electricity, and what a great idea for women.  Even before they had the right to vote in the state of New York or in this country, had the freedom to be able to travel around their community with an electric vehicle back in 1902."

Hochul outlined New York's first electric car rebate and outreach program. "It's a $70 million total investment that'll build on the state's efforts to reduce carbon emissions while encouraging the use of electric cars statewide. We're gonna be dedicating $55 million for rebates up to $2,000 per vehicle for the purchase of cars, an additional $15 million will be allocated toward the installation of new charging stations all across New York as well as consumer education awareness."

Lt. Gov. Hochul says considering climate change, we have a responsibility to protect future generations, so electric vehicles make sense.
Credit New York State

New York already has 1,600 charging stations. Hochul says the state will have more than 3,000 by year's end. Hochul says considering climate change, we have a responsibility to protect future generations, so electric vehicles make sense. Hochul indicated she'd like to see more built in the state.

Chairman of Energy & Finance for New York and Chair of the NYSERDA Board Richard Kauffman says New York is leading the transition to a clean energy economy, and the electric car rebate program will play a key role. As of today, more than 30 different types of electric cars are eligible for rebates.    "The longer the car can travel on one full charge, the higher the rebate will be, ensuring that incentives are directed toward those cars that can best help us meet our emissions reductions goals. Vehicles getting less than 20 miles from one full charge will receive a rebate of $500. Vehicles averaging between 20 and 40 electric miles will get a rebate of $1,100. And vehicles averaging between 40 and 120 miles will receive a $1,700 rebate. Cars ranging upward of 28 miles from a full charge receive a $2,000 rebate. vehicles that retail for over $60,000 will receive a maximum rebate of $500 regardless of their range."

Lou Roberti has been an auto dealer in New York state for over 30 years.   "I never thought we'd see electric cars come to where they have today. I'm like completely shocked and I'm so happy with the whole program. Now, the governor, with New York state giving us, you can take a vehicle like a Volt that's $37,000. Take a $2000 rebate. You can get a $7500 federal grant. You can bring the car under $30,000. 238 miles on a single charge."

New York League of Conservation Voters president Marcia Bystryn  says New York has improved its carbon footprint and that EV's create a tremendous opportunity to advance public-private partnerships.  "The launch of the EV rebate program is another step toward the statewide effort to reduce CO2 emissions in the transportation sector."

Officials say the rebate program ( New York’s first, was approved in the SFY2016-17 Budget) provides a $2,000 rebate per vehicle.

should accelerate sales while protecting the environment, as well as raising awareness of climate change and new technologies serving mobility.

For information on the benefits of electric vehicles, types of cars and models eligible for rebates and rebate levels, locations or participating dealers, a map of New York State charging stations, and directions on home charging options, visit NYSERDA’s Drive Clean Rebate website.