NEW CANAAN, Conn. – A new state program offering up to $3,000 in rebates for purchasing electric cars has spurred interest in electric vehicles, officials said at an event at Karl Chevrolet in New Canaan on Tuesday.
Since the state launched the Connecticut Hydrogen and Electric Vehicle Purchase Rebate (CHEAPR) in May, more than $200,250 in rebates have been given out to 101 eligible electric vehicles, said state Energy and Environmental Protection Commissioner Robert Klee. Consumers are recognizing the economic value of driving electric vehicles, and helping reduce carbon emissions in the process, he said.
“It’s designed to get more electric vehicles out of the showroom here and out on the road,” said Klee.
Karl Chevrolet President Leo Karl III said the program has increased interest in hybrid vehicles such as the Chevrolet Volt. He said that reaction to the Volt has been overwhelmingly positive.
Karl put a 2016 Volt on display during the event Tuesday, and said that when the vehicle is available this fall it will get a range of about 50 miles per electric charge, and that drivers will be able to travel about 1,000 miles between fill-ups.
“The more we expose the consuming public to EVs, the better the adapter rate is going to be,” Karl said. “I think this state CHEAPR rebate program is really a great step because the goal is to encourage more consumers to at least come drive an EV and understand what it’s like to drive electric. It’s an amazing experience, it’s incredibly quiet, the cars handle really well and are incredibly efficient, and it’s a very freeing experience.”
“By driving these cars, they’re going to be contributing to our efforts to battle climate change and to reduce local air pollution,” said Klee.
Jim Fleming, president of the Connecticut Automotive Retailers Association, said the rebate program represented a good partnership between the state and car dealerships.
“This is only going to help the economy of the state of Connecticut and help legislators up in Hartford who are trying to balance the books at a tough time,” Fleming said.
Under the CHEAPR program, $3,000 rebates are available for cars with a battery capacity greater than 18 kWh, or for any fuel cell electric vehicle. This category includes the Nissan LEAF, the Volkswagen e-Gold, the Ford Focus Electric, the BMW i3 and the Mercedes Benz B Class.
Rebates of $1,500 are available for cars with battery capacity between 7 and 18 kWh, including the Volt, the Ford C-MAX Energi and Ford Fusion Energi.
A $750 rebate is available for cars with battery capacity of less than 7 kWh, such as the Toyota Prius Plug-in.
Rebates will be available until the $1 million in funding is distributed to consumers.
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