DEEP: DEEP Announces Electric Vehicle Champion Award and New Funding to Promote Electric Vehicles

2016 Press Release
 
June 9, 2016
 
DEEP Announces Electric Vehicle Champion Award and
New Funding to Promote Electric Vehicles

Stevens Ford of Milford recognized for selling most EVs and
expansion of consumer rebate program announced
 
At a ceremony today honoring Stevens Ford for selling more Electric Vehicles (EV) than any other dealer in the state, Connecticut’s Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) announced that it is strengthening efforts to promote the sale of EVs with additional funding for a consumer rebate initiative.
 
“With the spring and summer car-buying season upon us, now is the perfect time to think about the advantages offered by EVs,” said DEEP Commissioner Robert Klee. “One of the biggest advantages is the rebate we have offered up to $3,000 for those who purchase or lease an eligible vehicle under our Connecticut Hydrogen and Electric Automobile Purchase Rebate (CHEAPR) program.  We are now strengthening that program with the addition of $1 million in new funding that’s putting money right back in the pocket of car buyers.”
 
Stevens Ford – EV Dealer of the Year...

Stevens Ford, located in Milford Connecticut, secured its position as Connecticut’s EV Champion by putting 56 EVs on Connecticut’s roads since last May. 
 
“Stevens Ford has seized the initiative and is taking every opportunity to inform its customers of the advantages offed by EVs,” said James Fleming, President of the Connecticut Automobile Retailers Association (CARA). “Their ability to dramatically increase the sale or lease of EVs shows that Connecticut residents are ready to be part of the shift to cleaner and more efficient vehicles for the future.” 
 
“Stevens Ford is honored to receive the Electric Vehicle Champion award from DEEP,” stated David Stevens, owner of Stevens Ford.  “We are pleased that the CHEAPR program will receive additional funding to encourage Connecticut residents to purchase qualifying electric vehicles.  Stevens Ford, a third generation dealership, is just one of the many dealerships around the state that continues to offer a wide variety of vehicles to their customers.”
 
Increased Funding for CHEAPR

The original funding for the CHEAPR rebate program, which is administered through the EVConnecticut program, came from $1 million available to the state through an agreement that allowed for the merger of Northeast Utilities (now Eversource) and NSTAR in April of 2012.  An additional $1 million was added to the program from these funds in November 2015.  The new $1 million is also available through that merger agreement.
 
CHEAPR Overview

The  CHEAPR program has offered vehicle rebates on a sliding scale, up to $3,000, to Connecticut residents, municipalities or businesses who purchase or lease a new eligible battery electric, fuel cell electric, or plug-in hybrid electric vehicle.  To qualify for the maximum rebate level, drivers must purchase or lease an EV with the greatest battery capacity.  Rebates of $1,500 and $750 are provided for EVs that travel shorter distances on battery power. Full details are available at www.evconnecticut.com.
 
Since its launch on May 19, 2015 through the end of this May, CHEAPR has issued or reserved $1,500,750 for the purchase or lease of 626 new electric vehicles. These include 159 fully electric vehicles like the Nissan LEAF as well as 467 plug-in vehicles that have range extending or hybrid capabilities like the Chevy Volt. Without this latest funding, the CHEAPR program was projected to be fully expended by July 2016.
 
Electric vehicle technology is advancing rapidly and EVConnecticut is striving to advance the market.  As a result, beginning July 1st, the rebate levels will be modified to recognize EVolving technology.  The new incentive levels will promote the best performing EVs – both plug-in hybrid and full battery electric EVs as well as EVs powered by fuel cells.  Fuel cell powered EVs will receive the largest incentive of $5,000, while plug-in hybrid and full battery electric EVs will continue to receive incentives ranging from $750 – $3,000 based on battery size. The attached fact sheet explains the new rebate levels.
 
Supporting Connecticut’s Clean Air Goals
  • Air pollution from the transportation sector makes up nearly 40% of Connecticut's total greenhouse gas pollution as well as half of all smog-forming air pollution emitted in Connecticut. 
  • Motor vehicles fueled by gasoline and diesel are the primary source of pollutants that create smog – which causes illness, especially among infants, senior citizens and those prone to respiratory ailments. 
  • Connecticut can benefit from up to a 68% savings in GHG emissions when an EV is driven instead of a conventional gasoline vehicle.
  • Connecticut also has a long range target to reduce carbon pollution 80% below 2001 levels by 2050.  This will be impossible to achieve without significant GHG reductions from the transportation sector. 
  • Connecticut recognizes its role to support the development and roll out of adequate infrastructure and other efforts to promote the market uptake of plug-in electric and fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEVs).
CHEAPR Program Impact

CHEAPR, designed in consultation with the Connecticut Automotive Retailers Association, is a unique EV rebate program that provides consumers the option to transfer their rebate to their dealership and receive a reduction in the price of their vehicle at the point-of-sale. This upfront cost reduction is critical because EVs cost more than their conventional counterparts and their residual value is sometimes lower because of their rapidly evolving technology. Seventy-seven percent of consumers have transferred their rebate to their dealer and received the rebate immediately.
 
“Connecticut has made tremendous strides over a short period of time in helping to put more EVs on the road,” said Commissioner Klee. “We remain committed to this effort because it represents a ‘triple win’ that comes along with increasing our energy independence by reducing fossil fuel consumption, creating new opportunities for growing our green economy and improving public health.”