Starting April 1, 2017, New York state will begin a rebate program for electric vehicles, according to an Associated Press report. Rebates up to $2,000 will be available, although the final details have yet to be announced.
The purpose of the program is to help consumers who want to buy electric vehicles do so. EVs typically cost more than fossil fuel-powered vehicles, but with the combination of federal and state EV incentives governments hope to bring the costs down. In New York state, both zero emissions all-electric and plug-in electric hybrid vehicles will be eligible for rebates, although whether the rebate amounts will be the same hasn’t been made public.
The New York State legislature approved the rebate program in 2016 but it has just received final approval from Governor Andrew Cuomo. According to Kate Muller, agency spokesperson of the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority, officials are tending to the final details of the program. They are also making sure state car dealers are aware of the new EV rebate program and the April 1 launch date.
“We want to make electric vehicles a mainstream option,” said Amy Paulin, state Assemblywoman and the leader of the Assembly energy committee. “They are becoming more affordable and we need to encourage them.” According to state officials, automotive carbon emissions are the state’s largest contributor to climate change and the rebate program is a part of the effort to reduce emissions.
The executive director of Environmental Advocates of New York, Peter Iwanowicz, supported the rebate program when it was approved by the legislature and has been disappointed that the Governor took so long to give final approval. “Consumers want to buy these vehicles,” Iwanowicz said. “It’s just unfortunate the agency decided to slow-walk it.”
New York now joins the more than three-quarters of the states in the U.S. with incentives to lower EV costs