Governor Cuomo Launches $70 Million Electric Car Rebate and Outreach Initiative

Drive Clean Rebate Provides Up to $2,000 for Each Eligible Buyer

March 21, 2017

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today launched a $70 million electric car rebate and outreach initiative to encourage the growth of clean and non-polluting electric car use in New York and promote the reduction of carbon emissions in the transportation sector. The Drive Clean rebates are now available to all New York residents who buy eligible cars through participating new car dealers.

"Reducing vehicle emissions is a critical part of this administration’s efforts to fight climate change and reduce New York’s carbon footprint,” Governor Cuomo said. "These highly-anticipated rebates will make electric vehicles more affordable and accessible and support this state’s nation-leading efforts to build a cleaner, greener New York for generations to come."

$55 million of the Drive Clean Initiative is dedicated to rebates of up to $2,000 for purchase of a new plug-in hybrid electric car, all-electric car or hydrogen fuel cell car. In addition to the $55 million in rebates, $15 million will support improving consumer awareness of electric cars and their many benefits, installing more charging stations across the state, developing and demonstrating new electric car-enabling technologies, and other efforts to put more electric cars on New York’s roadways. The initiative will be managed by the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority and will help the state achieve its goal to reduce greenhouse gas emissions 40 percent by 2030.

More than 30 different types of electric cars are available under the Drive Clean Rebate initiative. For information on the benefits of electric vehicles, types of cars and models eligible for rebates and rebate levels, locations or participating dealers, a map of New York State charging stations, and directions on home charging options, visit NYSERDA’s Drive Clean Rebate website. Photos from the announcement are available here.

“The transportation sector is the largest contributor to greenhouse gas emissions and electric cars are helping to reverse this trend,” Lieutenant Governor Hochul, who attended the announcement at Albany Convention Center, said, “Governor Cuomo’s Drive Clean Rebate will provide consumers with vehicle options that are both economically and environmentally conscious. The increased use of electric cars will play a critical role in helping New York achieve Governor Cuomo’s goal to reduce greenhouse gas emissions 40 percent by 2030.”

Chairman of Energy and Finance for New York Richard Kauffman said, “Along with a cleaner, modernized electric grid, we cannot achieve our climate change goals without also supporting new and cleaner technologies in the transportation sector. This new electric vehicle rebate is the latest step under Governor Cuomo’s leadership enabling New Yorkers to take an active role in the fight to clean our air and the state’s unprecedented commitment to clean transportation will animate the electric car market in New York State, allowing more people to buy cleaner cars and help reach the Governor’s ambitious greenhouse gas reduction goal.”

John B. Rhodes, President and CEO, NYSERDA, said, “This is an exciting initiative that will make it easier for consumers to choose clean transportation. Electric cars are critical to our clean energy future, and New York State is committed to accelerating the growth of these environmentally friendly vehicles as we build a clean, resilient and affordable energy system under the Governor’s Reforming the Energy Vision strategy.”

Department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner Basil Seggos said, “Governor Cuomo is making New York State a global leader in the fight to combat climate change and the Electric Car Rebate and Outreach Initiative is the latest example of his strong commitment to reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Emissions from the transportation sector make up New York’s largest source of greenhouse gas emissions—more than one third of the state’s total. Protecting this planet requires bold action and the Governor’s rebate initiative will put more electric vehicles on the road while reducing the emissions that are changing our climate.”

The transportation sector is the largest contributor to greenhouse gas emissions in the state. Compared to gasoline-powered cars, electric cars are more energy efficient and cost about 50 to 70 percent less to operate per mile. Carbon emission savings from cars receiving rebates under this initiative is expected to be 115,000 metric tons per year, the equivalent of taking 24,000 cars off the road.

The Drive Clean Rebate initiative is the latest action by Governor Cuomo to increase the number of electric cars in New York State. Earlier this month, the Governor announced a new electric vehicle campaign that includes the installation of charging stations and incentives for employers to encourage employees to drive electric vehicles. Last fall, he announced $3 million for rebates through the Environmental Protection Fund for municipalities to purchase or lease zero-emission vehicles, such as battery electric and hydrogen vehicles, for their fleets. Over the summer, Sustainable Hudson Valley kicked off its Drive Electric Hudson Valley campaign to educate consumers about electric vehicles, which was supported by NYSERDA.

The state has also revised regulations to clarify charging station ownership rules, and supported research and demonstration projects on new plug-in electric car technologies and policies. In addition, the New York Power Authority has invited municipalities to tap into a master contract that offers better pricing for the supply, installation and maintenance of charging stations. The Governor also announced previously the availability of another $3 million to help eligible municipalities and rural electricity cooperatives purchase electric vehicles for use in their municipal use fleets.

Senator Joseph Griffo, Chairman of the Senate Energy and Telecommunications Committee, said, “A consumer rebate for the purchase of electric vehicles – including plug-in hybrid electric vehicles, battery electric vehicles and fuel cell electric vehicles – provides a greater opportunity for choice to consumers who want to drive low emission vehicles. The program will also help reduce emissions in the transportation sector over time, while further promoting economic opportunity by keeping dollars for domestic electricity and sales of EV cars right here in New York.”

Senator Tom O’Mara, Chair of the Senate Environmental Protection Committee, said, “The ongoing development of clean energy initiatives and strategies is critical to New York State’s long-term energy future. Consequently, I’m extremely pleased that we are moving forward with this initiative, which I sponsored as legislation last year and that was included in the current state budget, to provide a rebate incentive that we hope will encourage more consumers to purchase electric and 'zero-emissions' vehicles.”

Senator Liz Krueger said, "To meet the challenge of climate change, we must take bold and smart action on many fronts. Our antiquated transportation sector is our largest source of greenhouse gas emissions, so it’s vital that we move quickly to transition to new, cleaner, 21st Century technology like electric cars. The Drive Clean Initiative will help us get there. Electric cars are not only carbon-free, they’re also cheaper to operate and maintain, making them a triple win for New Yorkers’ wallets, their lungs, and the climate we all live in."

Assemblywoman Amy Paulin, Chair of the Assembly Energy Committee, said, “The Drive Clean initiative, by establishing a rebate program, conducting outreach, and installing more charging stations, will encourage and enable more people to purchase electric vehicles, which is something I strongly support. Increasing the electric vehicles on the road will go a long way towards curbing greenhouse gas emissions and reaching New York’s goal of a 40% reduction in emissions by 2030.”

Assemblyman Steve Englebright, Chair of the Assembly Committee on Environmental Conservation, said, "The Drive Clean rebates will help New Yorkers take an active role in reducing air pollution and fighting climate change by making electric vehicles more affordable and accessible. As the Federal Government backs away from its commitment to action on climate change, it is critical for states take the lead. Under Governor Cuomo's leadership, New York is continuing to blaze the path to a sustainable future with initiatives like the Drive Clean Initiative."

Robert Vancavage, President, New York State Automobile Dealers Association said, "NYSADA, representing 1,000 New York auto dealers, is very appreciative and commends Governor Cuomo for allowing a rebate for Electric Vehicles for the benefit of clean air and the environment for all New Yorkers."

Marcia Bystryn, President of the New York League of Conservation Voters, said, "If we are to meet our ambitious goals for getting 700,000 zero emissions vehicles on the road in New York by 2025 and reduce greenhouse gas emissions 40 percent by 2030, implementing a consumer tax rebate on ZEVs is simply essential. We are pleased to see Governor Cuomo implement this important tool to drive demand, in addition to his growing commitments to build out a robust network of charging stations."

Sierra Club's New York Electric Vehicles Initiative Organizer Kathleen Fisher said, “Providing clean, convenient, and affordable transportation choices will create New York jobs and protect our climate. A consumer rebate for the lease or sale of an electric vehicle will be one of the best ways to help New Yorkers drive away climate pollution. With this rebate, Governor Cuomo, NYSERDA and legislative leaders are ramping up convenient and affordable transportation options, creating New York jobs and protecting our climate.”

Luke Tonachel, Director of the Clean Vehicles and Fuels Project, Natural Resources Defense Council said, “Transportation-related emissions are the dominant source of New York’s greenhouse gas pollution. The Drive Clean rebates can help accelerate us on the road toward cleaner air, a more stable climate, and a much-needed transition to pollution-free vehicles. This is another important step in New York’s clean energy leadership and hopefully more states will consider similar rebates.”

About Charge NY

Governor Cuomo’s Charge NY initiative will accelerate the growth of the electric vehicle market in New York State through education, research, consumer outreach, and financial support for the installation of charging stations across New York. More than 1,600 electric vehicle charging stations have already been installed toward Charge NY’s goal of 3,000 charging stations by 2018. The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority, New York Power Authority and New York State Department of Environmental Conservation collaborate on this initiative as part of the State’s goal to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 40 percent by 2030.

About Reforming the Energy Vision

Reforming the Energy Vision (REV) is Governor Andrew M. Cuomo's strategy to lead on climate change and grow New York's economy. REV is building a cleaner, more resilient and affordable energy system for all New Yorkers by stimulating investment in clean technologies like solar, wind, and energy efficiency and generating 50 percent of the state's electricity needs from renewable energy by 2030. Already, REV has driven a nearly 800 percent growth in the statewide solar market, enabled over 105,000 low-income households to permanently cut their energy bills with energy efficiency, and created thousands of jobs in manufacturing, engineering, and other clean tech sectors. REV is ensuring New York State reduces statewide greenhouse gas emissions 40 percent by 2030 and achieves the internationally-recognized target of reducing emissions 80 percent by 2050. To learn more about REV, including the Governor's $5 billion investment in clean energy technology and innovation, please visit www.ny.gov/REV4NY and follow us at @Rev4NY.

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