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Drive Clean Rebate program offers additional $30 million to buy electric

An additional $30 million has been made available through New York state’s Drive Clean Rebate program to encourage drivers to lease or purchase all-electric vehicles or plug-in hybrid electric vehicles, Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s office said.

The funding and program changes will enhance vehicle affordability and help more New Yorkers take action to lower their carbon footprint while driving, the governor’s office said.

More than 37,000 rebates have been issued to date, totaling more than $54 million, through the Drive Clean Rebate program, which is administered by the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA).

“New York is putting more electric vehicles on the road as part of our comprehensive strategy to electrify the transportation sector and build a more sustainable future,” Cuomo said in a statement this month. “Reducing emissions from vehicles will continue to enhance the quality of life in communities across New York by improving air quality, especially in disadvantaged communities that have been disproportionately impacted by pollution and climate change.”

Program changes are being made so that more rebates can be distributed throughout the market, with some rebate ranges being lowered to allow more New Yorkers to take advantage of the incentives, officials explained. The changes for consumers will take place June 30, 2021, and include updated rebate levels to incentivize EVs with longer all-electric ranges and EVs with a base MSRP of less than $42,000.

More than 50 EV models are available in New York, and of those models, 15 have a range of more than 200 miles and are eligible for the rebate. Rebates begin at $500 for vehicles with an MSRP of more than $42,000 and top out at $2,000 for vehicles with a range of 200 miles or more.

“The successful Drive Clean Rebate program has made driving an EV even more affordable and supports the market’s growing demand for clean transportation options,” said NYSERDA President and CEO Doreen Harris. “Expanding this program will ensure more New Yorkers have the ability to choose to drive clean while helping to lower their carbon footprint in support of Gov. Cuomo’s climate and clean energy goals.”

In the Finger Lakes Region, nearly 3,300 rebate applications have been filed, representing 8.7 percent of all applications statewide. Rebate applications in the Long Island region make up the vast majority of all applications at more than 32 percent.

“In efforts to reach our clean energy goals we need to create policies and initiatives that will allow consumers to do their part and lower their carbon footprint,” said Sen. Kevin Parker, D-Brooklyn, chairman of the Senate Energy and Telecommunications Committee. “The Drive Clean Rebate Program incentive is a great program. I applaud NYSERDA and Gov. Cuomo for working to ensure drivers are able to do their part and protect the environment.”

The additional Drive Clean Rebate funding comes from revenue generated through the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative. The state also is aggressively investing in the rapid build-out of its charging infrastructure with more than 7,000 charging stations installed statewide. The Charge Ready NY program provides $4,000 per charging port with an additional $500 per port for stations installed in disadvantaged communities and can be combined with the state’s 50 percent tax credit for charging station installation to boost savings.

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