DEEP: CHEAPR - FAQ

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If you have any questions on the Connecticut Hydrogen and Electric Automobile Purchase Rebate (CHEAPR), please review the frequently asked questions below.

The questions cover the most common questions that arise with the program. For more details, you should also review the CHEAPR program guidelines.

GENERAL QUESTIONS

Who can I contact if I have questions?

What is CHEAPR?

How is CHEAPR funded?

Who is administering CHEAPR?

What vehicles are eligible for the program?

Are leased vehicles eligible for the program?

What vehicles types are not eligible for CHEAPR?

What can I do if I am purchasing or leasing a vehicle that meets the requirements of the program but is not currently on the eligible vehicle list?

Can I purchase the vehicle out of state?

How many CHEAPR incentives may an individual receive?

Can businesses and government, municipal or commercial fleet operators apply for CHEAPR?

Is the CHEAPR incentive taxable income?

I want more detailed information about CHEAPR. Can I get a copy of the CHEAPR Implementation Manual?

INCENTIVE AMOUNTS

Why are the CHEAPR amounts changing on August 15, 2017?

What are the CHEAPR requirements and incentive amounts for eligible vehicles?

APPLICATION PROCESS

How do I apply for CHEAPR?

When can I apply for CHEAPR?

How will I know if my application was submitted or approved?

How are CHEAPR funds allocated?

How will I know if I will receive the CHEAPR incentive or not?

What are the requirements for the applicant?

When will I receive my CHEAPR incentive?

What if I purchased or leased my vehicle before May 19, 2015?

Is there a deadline to apply?

OTHER INCENTIVES

Are there any federal tax incentives for electric vehicles?

If the federal tax credit for electric vehicles is repealed, how would that affect the CHEAPR incentive program?

Are there any incentives for installing EV charging stations?

GENERAL QUESTIONS

Who can I contact if I have questions?

Please contact the program administrator, Center for Sustainable Energy (CSE), at 855-704-6350 or cheapr@energycenter.org for all program inquiries. Program staff is available from 11 am-8 pm ET to answer your questions, with 24 hour voicemail access. Program staff will return all voicemails left prior to 11 am ET on the same business day. All voicemails will be returned by the next business day.

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What is CHEAPR?

The Connecticut Hydrogen and Electric Automobile Purchase Rebate (CHEAPR) offers incentives of up to $5,000 for Connecticut residents who purchase or lease a new eligible battery electric, fuel cell electric, or plug-in hybrid electric vehicle.

As part of Governor Malloy's efforts to provide cleaner, cheaper and more reliable transportation energy and to support our clean air goals, CHEAPR will increase the number of clean vehicles on our roads.

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How is CHEAPR funded?

The CHEAPR incentive program is currently made possible through a funding commitment by Avangrid, as part of a broader commitment to energy efficiency, renewable generation, storage, alternative transportation, electric vehicles and other clean technologies set forth in a Settlement Agreement between Iberdrola USA Inc and UIL Holdings Corporation. The program was initially created and funded through a similar commitment from Eversource Energy, formerly Northeast Utilities, as part of a broader commitment to energy efficiency and related initiatives set forth in a Settlement Agreement related to the NU-NSTAR merger.

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Who is administering CHEAPR?

CHEAPR is administered statewide by the Center for Sustainable Energy (CSE) in order to promote the production and use of zero and low emission vehicles, including battery electric, fuel cell electric and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles.

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What vehicles are eligible for the program?

There are three different types of vehicles eligible for the program: battery electric vehicles (BEV), fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEV) and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEV). Eligible vehicles must have an MSRP that does not exceed $60,000 and be highway capable. To see the complete list of eligible vehicles and the associated incentive amounts, please visit the CHEAPR Eligible Vehicle List.

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Are leased vehicles eligible for the program?

Yes. Leased vehicles are required to have a lease term of at least 24 months to qualify for the program.

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What vehicle types are not eligible for CHEAPR?

The following vehicle types are not eligible for CHEAPR incentives:

  • Aftermarket plug-in hybrid electric and battery electric conversions;
  • Electric scooters, all-terrain vehicles (ATVs), neighborhood or low speed vehicles;
  • Electric motorcycles.

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What can I do if I am purchasing or leasing a vehicle that meets the requirements of the program but is not currently on the eligible vehicle list?

Please contact the program administrator at cheapr@energycenter.org or call 855-704-6350 before purchasing or leasing the vehicle to find out if the vehicle may be eligible.

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Can I purchase the vehicle out of state?

All new vehicles must be purchased at a licensed franchised Connecticut new automobile dealer and also registered in Connecticut. But, the CHEAPR program is able to process CHEAPR applications from individual consumers who purchase or lease an eligible vehicle directly from an original equipment manufacturer (OEM) that does not have licensed franchised new automobile dealers in Connecticut (e.g., Tesla). However, when such vehicles are authorized for sale or lease within Connecticut, applicants will be required to purchase or lease such vehicles from retail locations located within the state in order to be eligible for the CHEAPR program.

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How many CHEAPR incentives may an individual receive?

Private individuals will be allowed one CHEAPR incentive per person within available funds.

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Can businesses and government or commercial fleet operators apply for CHEAPR?

Yes, businesses, commercial fleet operators and not for profit organizations will be allowed up to two CHEAPR incentives within available funds.

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Is the CHEAPR incentive taxable income?

The CHEAPR incentive may be considered taxable income by the U.S. Internal Revenue Service and the Connecticut Department of Revenue Services. It shall be the sole responsibility of the recipient, individually, to seek professional advice and determine the tax consequences of CHEAPR.

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I want more detailed information about CHEAPR. Can I get a copy of the CHEAPR Implementation Manual?

You can download a copy of the CHEAPR Implementation Manual from the CHEAPR Resources webpage which contains the detailed guidelines for CHEAPR.

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INCENTIVE LEVELS

Why are the CHEAPR amounts changing on August 15, 2017?

EVConnecticut is committed to providing incentives that responsibly allocate public funds. These changes ensure rebate levels recognize and evolve with advancing EV technology being offered by new OEM products. The new amounts effectively and efficiently maximize limited funds to stimulate the market and promote EV uptake in Connecticut.

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What are the CHEAPR requirements and incentive amounts for different eligible vehicles?

Eligible vehicles must have an MSRP that does not exceed $60,000 and be highway capable. CHEAPR applications must be submitted no later than 10 calendar days after the date of purchase or lease of an eligible vehicle. Applications submitted prior to the date of purchase or lease will not be accepted.

For eligible vehicles purchased between July 1, 2016 and August 14, 2017, the following CHEAPR amounts apply:

Plug-In Hybrid Electric Vehicle (PHEV)
Incentive Amount Required Battery Capacity
$3,000 Greater than 18 kWh
$1,500 10 to 18 kWh
$750 Less than 10 kWh
Battery Electric Vehicle (BEV)
Incentive Amount Required Battery Capacity
$3,000 Greater than 25 kWh
$1,500 20 to 25 kWh
$750 Less than 20 kWh
Fuel Cell Electric Vehicle (FCEV)
Incentive Amount Required Battery Capacity
$5,000 Any fuel cell electric vehicle

For eligible vehicles purchased on or after August 15, 2017, the following CHEAPR amounts apply:

Plug-In Hybrid Electric Vehicle (PHEV)
Incentive Amount EPA Rated Electric Range
$2,000 40 miles or greater
$500 Less than 40 miles
Battery Electric Vehicle (BEV)
Incentive Amount EPA Rated Electric Range
$3,000 175 miles or greater
$2,000 100-174 miles
$500 Less than 100 miles
Fuel Cell Electric Vehicle (FCEV)
Incentive Amount EPA Rated Electric Range
$5,000 Any fuel cell electric vehicle

APPLICATION PROCESS

How do I apply for CHEAPR?

After you purchase or lease a new eligible vehicle, your dealer will complete and submit all necessary application materials for you. You only have to (1) decide if you want the incentive applied to the purchase or lease of your vehicle or if you want to receive the incentive directly and (2) complete a short survey.

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When can I apply for CHEAPR?

Vehicles must be purchased or leased on or after the program launch date of May 19, 2015 to qualify. CHEAPR applications must be submitted no later than 10 calendar days after the date of purchase or lease of an eligible vehicle. Applications submitted prior to the date of purchase or lease will not be accepted. In most cases, the application process will be completed on the day of purchase or lease.

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How will I know if my CHEAPR application was submitted or approved?

You will receive an email that confirms receipt of your CHEAPR application and provides a link to an on-line survey after your dealer submits an application. You can also expect to receive additional emails notifying you when your documents are received and when your application is approved.

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How are CHEAPR funds allocated?

Funds are limited and all funds are allocated on a first-come, first-served basis. When shopping for a vehicle, please be aware of the CHEAPR Available Funding and note that funds may not be available when you actually decide to purchase or lease a vehicle. CHEAPR will end when program funds are exhausted.

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How will I know if I will receive the CHEAPR incentive or not?

If funds are available when the application is submitted by your dealer, the applicable CHEAPR amount will be reserved. As long as all the required documents are submitted and all program requirements are met in the program timeframes, the CHEAPR incentive will be issued.

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What are the requirements for the applicant?

To qualify for a CHEAPR incentive on the purchase or lease of an eligible new electric vehicle on or after the program start date, applicants must:

  • Purchase or lease the vehicle after the program start date of May 19, 2015;
  • Submit an online dealer application with a dealership representative no later than 10 calendar days after the vehicle purchase or lease date, after executing and signing a purchase or lease agreement;
  • Provide proof of residency in Connecticut (e.g., current Connecticut driver's license), or if a commercial applicant, provide a tax identification number;
  • Provide proof of purchase or lease of the eligible vehicle from a licensed Connecticut franchised new automobile dealer1;
  • Provide proof of registration for the eligible vehicle in Connecticut;
  • Certify that they will retain possession of the vehicle for at least 24 months in Connecticut;
  • Complete a short survey at the time of purchase or lease.

1 The CHEAPR program is able to process CHEAPR applications from individual consumers who purchase or lease an eligible vehicle directly from an original equipment manufacturer (OEM) that does not have licensed franchised new automobile dealers in Connecticut (e.g., Tesla). However, when such vehicles are authorized for sale or lease within Connecticut, applicants will be required to purchase or lease such vehicles from retail locations located within the state in order to be eligible for the CHEAPR program.

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When will I receive my CHEAPR incentive?

Once all application criteria are met, the CHEAPR incentive will be sent to the applicant or the applicant's designee (i.e., the dealership) within 10 days by electronic funds transfer.

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What if I purchased or leased my vehicle before May 19, 2015?

Only new vehicles purchased or leased on or after the program start date, May 19, 2015, are eligible for CHEAPR.

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Is there a deadline to apply?

Applicants must apply before CHEAPR funds are exhausted. Applicants can track available CHEAPR funding in real time on the CHEAPR Available Funding page. CHEAPR applications must be submitted no later than 10 calendar days after the date of purchase or lease of an eligible vehicle. Applications submitted prior to the date of purchase or lease will not be accepted. In most cases, the application process will be completed on the day of purchase or lease.

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OTHER INCENTIVES

Are there any federal tax incentives for electric vehicles?

Federal tax credits for BEVs and PHEVs range from $2,500 to $7,500, with factors such as battery capacity determining how much owners are eligible to receive. To meet the tax incentive's standards, a BEV or PHEV must have a battery with a minimum capacity of 4 kWh. Vehicles with a battery capacity of 5 kWh or greater are eligible for an additional $417 of tax credit added for every kilowatt-hour in excess of 4 kWh. Vehicles such as the Nissan LEAF, with a 24 kWh capacity battery, will be eligible for the maximum $7,500 credit. Federal tax credit amounts for each qualified vehicle can be found on the Department of Energy's Fuel Economy website.

Federal tax credits for FCEVs start at $4,000 and can go up to $8,000 depending on the vehicle's fuel efficiency rating. The federal tax credit is expired January 1, 2017.

The federal government plans to phase out the electric vehicle tax credits over time as sales volume increases.  Electric vehicle tax credits are often a topic debated in the annual provisions that Congress makes to the U.S. tax code.  For further information on federal tax incentives for alternative fuel vehicles, hybrid vehicles, diesel vehicles and electric-drive vehicles, visit www.fueleconomy.gov.

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If the federal tax credit for electric vehicles is repealed, how would that affect the CHEAPR incentive program?

If the federal electric vehicle tax credit is phased out or repealed, there will be no impact on the CHEAPR incentive program.  The CHEAPR incentive program is a Connecticut state program and is independent of the federal electric vehicle tax credit. 

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Are there any incentives for installing EV charging stations?

For consumers, your dealer may provide discounts for purchasing electric vehicle supply equipment (EVSE) for your private residence at the time of vehicle purchase. Discuss your options with your dealer.

If you are a business or municipality and are looking to install a publicly available electric vehicle charging station, please review the available EVConnecticut Incentives. In the past there have been substantial grants awarded for the installation of publicly available charging stations.

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Content Last Updated: November 8, 2017